A “greenward shift” is taking place among global buyers of British Columbia’s (BC) forest products, according to an independent report.

The Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society’s report, which surveyed 30 major buyers who purchase more than C$2bn-worth of BC forest products, shows an increasing shift of purchasing decisions to include environmental criteria.

It also indicates that forest regions which do not respond to this shift are increasingly at risk of losing market share.

The report, “A Greenward Shift in the Market for Forest Products from British Columbia”, says sustainability of environmental procurement is dependent on key stakeholders working together to enhance supply, and to educate end consumers to develop true demand and willingness to pay for greener forest products.

However, two-thirds of corporate buyers believe BC producers need to take environmental concerns more seriously.

One told the report’s consultants: “Generally, producers that supply the largest volume are on a certification track. In three to five years certified [forest products] will be the norm. Non-certified suppliers will become the exception and find it difficult to win business.”

Gavin Edwards, forest campaigner for Greenepace Canada, said: “This report makes clear that much of the international market place is firmly rejecting forest products from controversial sources.”