The Alpi Group's forest concessions in Cameroon have achieved FSC® certification, an international, independent, third-party certification specifically for forestry and forest-based products. Alpi wood products can now be sold FSC® 100%, the highest mark of distinction for FSC®-certified products. The company, which has always been transparent in environmental and social matters, thus achieves one of the most important milestones in sustainability.
"By obtaining the FSC® certification," says Vittorio Alpi, Group President, "Alpi takes another step towards sustainability and declares its willingness to transparently and ethically pursue the values of the company's philosophy, claiming that the quality of life for each of us starts with respect for the environment and for people.
Sustainability at the heart of the Alpi philosophy
Environmental, social and economic sustainability have always been at the heart of the Alpi philosophy.
For almost 50 years, the Alpi Group has been responsibly managing forest concessions in the Congo Basin, the world's second largest rainforest after the Amazon, and managing more than 300,000 hectares of forest in Cameroon through its subsidiaries ALPIcam and Grumcam.
Since its beginnings, the Alpi Group has been committed to the development of its activities by setting sustainability goals in the environmental, social and economic spheres. In these 50 years of forest management, the commitment has grown exponentially to the achievement of FSC® certification, which guarantees compliance with all FSC® criteria and principles for environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and economically efficient forest management.
The Alpi Group in Cameroon
Since the 1970s, the Alpi Group has created a production reality in Cameroon that, with its development, has proved to be an important resource for the social and economic well-being of the local communities, providing employment for more than 1300 people. At ALPIcam's two sites, one located in Mindurou inside the forest and the other near the port of Duala, not only are raw materials extracted, but the first industrial processing of the wood also takes place.
The commitment to the local communities is continuous: at the forest site, the Alpi Group has built a village attached to the sawmill whose accommodation houses the workers' families. A school for the workers' children has been built, as well as a food shop with reduced prices, a dispensary, an infirmary and a microbiological analysis laboratory, which is very important for places like Mindurou where diseases such as malaria and typhoid are endemic.
Among the main objectives of the Alpi Group is to ensure production in full respect of workers' rights, the country's legality, environmental regulations and local communities, as well as to develop an industrial activity that creates value and develops skills in the local population.
Responsible forest management
Responsible forest management involves observing low-impact extraction rules.
Cameroonian law imposes very precise guidelines on the size a tree trunk must be before it is felled; below certain diameters the tree is left to grow. Each felled tree is immediately marked to ensure the traceability of the timber, in the interests of transparency and legality. In compliance with environmental regulations, the Alpi Group is engaged in an important reforestation project, which ensures the biodiversity of species and guarantees the planting of trees from the company's large nursery, with seeds taken from the forest itself. Each felling corresponds to new plantings. One of the goals of the reforestation project is to increase the number of plantings each year: the group is already working towards the goal of 27,000 plantings in 2023, which will increase exponentially to 50,000 plantings per year by 2026.
Giuseppe Bonanno, Director FSC Italy, said: "In times of climate crisis, we need to know for sure that the products we are buying do not cause deforestation or degradation in the areas of origin, do not contribute to the loss of biodiversity or the violation of the rights of local communities. Thanks to the FSC® certification of the forest concession in Cameroon, Alpi now has the opportunity to add this further piece, offering the market composite wood solutions of the highest design, environmental and ethical value'.
Photo by Marco Pavan.