Forestry at Groupe Lebel
Our regional family business is proud of its good forestry practices, which ensures the future of the resource as well as respect for other users. Groupe Lebel makes every effort to ensure that the forest is well managed and remains healthy. « It is a great source of pride to produce materials that are part of the solution in the fight against greenhouse gases. In addition to being a renewable resource, wood material sequesters carbon », says the company’s CEO, Mr. Frédéric Lebel.
Respecting allowable cuts is our top priority. Our team in charge of forestry, made up of professionals, technicians, measurers and forestry supervisors, ensures that the environmental guidelines and other laws put in place by the Ministry of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks are respected and even exceeded.
Of the 2.5 million cubic meters processed annually by the Group's sawmills, more than 80 % of the fiber comes from the free market: private forests in Quebec, New Brunswick, the state of Maine or from public auctions (BMMB).
Another source of pride for Groupe Lebel is having adapted its processing and manufacturing model to what the forest provides. In addition to processing fir and spruce, some of Groupe Lebel’s factories specialize in processing Norwegian spruce, red pine and larch. This is a significant asset for woodlot owners and for the region!
Because of our concern for the environment, more than 80 % of the company's energy needs (sawmill and wood kiln) are met by autonomous systems fueled by ecological by-products generated by the manufacture of construction wood (bark, sawdust, chips).
The spruce budworm epidemic has been on the rise for several years in Bas-St-Laurent. For Groupe Lebel’s procurement director Normand Simard, the challenge is considerable: « We must strive to adapt our harvesting strategies in order to minimize the losses caused by the infestation, without neglecting the significant supply of fiber by small private producers. »
At Groupe Lebel, the forest alone allows us to employ hundreds of workers in the region (harvest, transport, supervision). In addition, our good forestry practices pave the way for future generations, so that the family business can continue to grow!
DID YOU KNOW ? The forest is a renewable resource.
In Quebec, 90 % of land is public and 8 % is composed of private lots. Less than 1 % of the forest land is harvested each year. The vast majority of forests (80 %) regenerate naturally. For the remaining 20 %, reforestation is necessary.
Groupe Lebel’s staff is committed to an approach based on sustainable development and participate in certification initiatives listed below. For all types of certification our company adhere to, compliance with standards is always reviewed by an independent body.
CERTIFICATION OF FORESTRY OPERATIONS
Certification of Forest Territory
Groupe Lebel proudly adhere to Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification which is active on the vast majority of public territory where we operate in Québec. Such certification represents additional recognition of the quality of our sustainable forest management. It also contributes to the improvement of forestry practice by taking into account the environmental, social, and economic issues of our regions.
For more information about Groupe Lebel and its affiliates’ environmental engagements, please consult the web sites of the following organizationswhich act as applicants in the forest territory certification process:
- The Corporation de gestion de la certification forestière des territoires publics du Bas-Saint-Laurent (CGCBSL) ;
- The Corporation de gestion de la certification forestière des territoires publics de la Gaspésie et des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (CGCGÎM) ;
- Gestion FORAP (Chaudière-Appalaches’s region) ;
- The Séminaire de Québec (Seigneurie de Beaupré in Charlevoix’s region).
Those four organizations make sure to maintain the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certificate they respectively hold for Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Chaudière-Appalaches and Charlevoix territories. The Séminaire de Québec FSC® certificate concerns a major freehold they own. The other three organizations’ certificates relate to public territories.
Groupe Lebel is also responsible for the FSC® certificate for the forest management unit (UA) 111-61 in Gaspésie. The documentation regarding this certificate can be found in the DOCUMENTATION section below.
Environmental Management System (EMS) Certification
Linked to its forest management activities conducted on public forest in the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie regions, Groupe Lebel received the Forest Management Certification Program (CEAF) from the Bureau de normalization du Québec (BNQ) as its Environmental Management System (EMS).
In the Chaudière-Appalaches region, for the Bois Daaquam inc. (a Groupe Lebel’s subsidiary company) forest operation, the CEAF is managed by Coopérative de Gestion Forestière des Appalaches (CGFA).
The main goal of the EMS certification is to minimize the impact our forest activities have on the environment under a series of established requirements.
We should mention that Nouvelle, a Groupe Lebel’s branch, also holds the ISO 14001 : 2015 certification on the Gaspésie’s territory where forestry work is being made. Information regarding this certification can be found in the DOCUMENTATION section below.
The attached table shows a summary of the certification regarding forestry operations at Groupe Lebel and its affiliate.
- Déclaration de politique en matière de droit du travail (informative document in French)
- Informations relatives à la certification FSC® et ISO 14 001 en Gaspésie (informative document in French)
CERTIFICATION OF WOOD PRODUCTS
In many plants, Groupe Lebel received the Forest Stewarship Council® (FSC®) chain-of-custody certification for various products. This certification allows us to meet the demand for products coming from sustainably managed forest.
However, in other plants, some products/process are governed by more specific certifications, such as:
- the treating plant certification issued by Canadian Wood Preservation Certification Authority (CWPCA)
- or the chain of custody certification issued by Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP).
The attached table shows a summary of the certification regarding wood products at Groupe Lebel and its affiliate.
Groupe Lebel’s chain of custody FSC number : FSC-C138092