Decision by organizers of 2016 Olympics in Rio to procure only certified forest products will stimulate Brazilian market for FSC-certified wood, says FSC, notes country's underuse of certified wood despite FSC certification of 7.446 million hectares

BONN, Germany , January 22, 2014 (press release) – On December 11 2013, the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 and FSC Brazil announced that all forest products that will be acquired by the Organizing Committee will be certified. This includes overlay structures, furniture, communication materials and stationery. This is an important step towards sustainability at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, one that will contribute to the preservation and responsible use of forests.

An area of 7.446 million hectares of Brazilian forests are under FSC certification, ranking the country 5th place in terms of total FSC certified forest area. But a 2012 survey by FSC has shown that FSC certified wood is underused in the national market. The partnership between FSC Brazil and the Organizing Committee is expected to help  in Brazil. The additional demand for certified wood and paper is likely to foster new supply chains in Brazil and encourage the certification of additional forests.

The initiative builds on sustainability achievements of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More than two thirds of the wood used at the London’s Olympic Park was FSC certified, as well as 98 percent of the wood used in the Olympic Village. In the 2016 Games in Rio, all the furniture for athletes will be FSC certified and the event tickets will be printed on FSC certified paper.

The goal is to demonstrate leadership in sustainability management at events held in Brazil. “Using FSC certified materials, will be a great opportunity to showcase responsible practices of production and consumption that avoid negative impacts on the environment,” says Tania Braga, Head of Sustainability, Accessibility and Legacy at Rio 2016.

Fernando Cotrim, Supply Chain Director at Rio 2016, adds: “The partnership with FSC reaffirms our efforts to use the Games to create a demand impulse and develop the local market for FSC certified wood products. Some companies meet the requirements to obtain certification, but do not understand its importance or think the process is too difficult. Their interest to supply to the 2016 Olympics will expose them to these best market practices.”

FSC Brazil and the Organizing Committee for Rio 2016 expect this commitment to provide a push for responsible forest management in Brazil and inspire other countries and events to adopt similar good practices.

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