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FSC partners with Centre for Social Intelligence for DEI advancement

Partnership aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within FSC in North America

September 12, 2023  By Forest Stewardship Council

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has announced that FSC Canada and FSC U.S. have joined forces with Centre for Social Intelligence (CSI) to drive meaningful change and create inclusive workplace cultures across the sector.

Stemming from FSC International’s strategic framework on diversity and gender, and recognizing FSC’s organizational values of embracing stewardship, advancing inclusion, promoting equity and realizing rights, this partnership will begin with a focus on developing a North American DEI action plan.

“Our partnership is a significant milestone in our journey toward a more inclusive forest industry,” says Francois Dufresne, president of FSC Canada. “DEI is not only a social imperative but also a crucial component of sustainable forestry. Our united efforts will signal to the sector that we take this issue seriously and are going about it effectively.”

According to Natural Resources Canada’s 2022 State of Canada’s Forests annual report, currently the forest sector employs 17 per cent women, nine per cent visible minorities, seven per cent Indigenous Peoples and 12 per cent immigrants. These figures underline the fact that the forest sector labour force is not keeping up with the social fabric in North America. Embracing diverse genders and cultures will allow the forest sector as a whole to increase its competitive advantage in this ever-increasingly global market.


CSI founder and president Kelly Cooper shared her enthusiasm for this venture, stating, “It’s exciting to work with an organization that has a high standard for social issues as part of its mission. I believe that our combined forces will create a sustained impact across North America and beyond. My DEI expertise and proven strategic leadership with the Free to Grow in Forestry Movement adds value to FSC and will ensure that we can make a strong, positive, and profound effect together.”

Immediate attention will be focused on establishing an advisory committee comprised of FSC members and staff to help guide the development of the action plan.

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