UCS Forest Group’s Warren Spitz on founding a business on sustainable practices

The Path Forward is a collection of insights from Canadian business leaders at the forefront of sustainability in our country. In the eBook, Warren Spitz, Founder, President and CEO, UCS Forest Group, shares how sustainability informs business practices at UCS Forest Group. 

You can access our free The Path Forward eBook in full below this article. 


As a child, I was exposed to sustainable forestry practices through my father. A logger on Canada’s West Coast, he practiced selective cutting even in the 1950s. He couldn’t understand the concept of clear cutting, unless it was appropriate from a forest management perspective (e.g. disease). A healthy forest made for a healthy business, community, and future for all. When I started Upper Canada Forest Products more than 30 years ago, we built the business on this philosophy. We are driven by a holistic understanding and appreciation for sustainability and we manage the business accordingly.

Our organization embraces sustainability—from choosing hybrid cars for our sales fleet to sourcing products from suppliers that meet the highest environmental standards. We were an early adopter of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and search globally for unique, sustainable products, such as Accoya.

Climate change is a direct threat to our forests and is already having a devastating impact in some areas. With this understanding and appreciation, business needs to learn to thrive in a way where economic and industrial growth creates positive sustainability outcomes.

Our industry definitely has a key role to play in the fight against climate change as the long-term success of the industry depends on the health of our forest ecosystems. In addition to my role as Founder, President and CEO of the UCS Forest Group of Companies, I have served on many boards in the industry, leading important discussions on sustainability and touring the globe to promote legal and sustainable forestry practices. On the supply side, our company works with suppliers, and on the demand side, with architects, builders and other leaders within the industries. We educate, advocate, innovate, and adhere to best practices for sustainable harvesting and design.

I believe our industry and UCS are catalysts in the rejuvenation of sustainable forests and businesses—and ultimately in the fight against climate change.


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