Gibson USA is working with the Rainforest Alliance to assist in the guitar manufacturer's efforts to strengthen its commitment and support of sustainability in its wood supply chain.
In November 2009, Gibson facilities in Nashville, TN, were investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for allegedly violating the Lacey Act, a law requiring that all wood products and plants imported into the United States come from legal sources. While on site, officials found rosewood from Madagascar, and the investigation on its legality is still pending.
According to a Rainforest Alliance press release, Gibson Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz is working with the alliance to ultimately only source wood from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests.
Gibson's sourcing initiative reportedly involves the following six key elements:
- Gibson is eliminating risk in its supply chain by identifying potentially illegal or unsustainable sources, banning future purchases of ebony or rosewood from Madagascar, and requiring all future purchases are from documented legal sources.
- The company is establishing a baseline of its entire supply chain to determine which woods come from known or unknown, legally verified, or sustainably certified sources (FSC as the goal).
- Gibson will source FSC-certified or verified legal wood, and progress against the baseline will be independently audited by the Rainforest Alliance and formally reviewed by Gibson's chairman and CEO each year.
- Gibson will continue to invest in the sustainability of its supply chain, providing support community, indigenous and small and medium-sized enterprises working toward FSC certification to help build more FSC-certified supply.
- The company is looking at alternative sources to reduce the need for rare woods, including composite materials, recycled woods and sourcing from FSC-certified forests whenever possible.
- Gibson's chairman and CEO has appointed an individual to lead Gibson's wood sourcing initiatives globally, as well as people within each division and mill, who will be accountable for sourcing tracking and improvements.
Read the Rainforest Alliance's press release.
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