“In an era of climate crisis we need to know with certainty that the products we are buying do not cause deforestation or damage in their zones of origin, and do not contribute to loss of biodiversity or violation of the rights of local communities”: these are the words of Giuseppe Bonanno, director of FSC Italia (the non-profit international NGO that oversees responsible management of forests and plantations) to explain the importance – now more than ever before – of correct choices on the part of consumers, regarding companies in which design is an expression of high environmental and ethical value.
This virtuous approach has been adapted by the Alpi group for almost 50 years in the forests of Africa, the source of most of the wood utilized as raw material for the firm’s production. This commitment has been recognized today with the assignment of FSC® 100% certification for the management of over 300,000 hectares of forests in Cameroon, through the affiliates ALPIcam and Grumcam.
It is possible to act in a responsible manner, on an environmental, social and economic level. The activity of Alpi in Cameroon has grown exponentially since the 1970s, giving rise to a production system that has created jobs for over 1300 people, becoming an extraordinary resource for the wellbeing of local communities.
This value is not limited to the development of expertise in local populations. It also covers the construction of a school for the children of workers, a grocery store at controlled prices, a dispensary, an infirmary and a laboratory for micro-biological analysis, which is very important in locations like Mindurou where illnesses like malaria and typhus fever are endemic.
While the company fully respects the rights of workers and the laws of the country, it also puts into practice rules of low-impact extraction. All the trees of the concessions are identified in an inventory. Felling is not permitted of trees under a given diameter, or of those with a diameter of over 190 cm, which produced large quantities of seed and are thus indicated and marked for conservation.
After cutting – one per 1.5 hectares – the trees are immediately branded for traceability and replaced with new plantings. The group is already working on the objective of 27,000 plantings in 2023, to be increased to 50,000 before the end of 2026.
The obligations of good forestry management also extend to protection of animals, a factor included in the final evaluations for FSC® certification. Vittorio Alpi, president of Alpi SpA, explains: “The company takes another step forward on the path of sustainability, stating the intent to pursue the values of the corporate philosophy with transparency and ethical practices, in the awareness that the quality of life of all of us begins with respect for the environment and for people.”