Auditing chain of custody: Sandra Heatherington (Norske Skog), Van Thien (Vinacontrol), Tuấn Anh (Vinacontrol), Wayne Tibbits (Global-Mark)
In December, Responsible Wood partnered with PEFC APAC and VFCS to put two national certification bodies in contact with each other: Global-Mark of Australia and Vinacontrol of Vietnam. Vinacontrol is looking to build national auditor competency in line with VFCS and PEFC International requirements for accreditation bodies.
As part of the partnership, two auditors from Vietnam traveled to Australia to join two audits in Hobart, Tasmania. One audit was a chain of custody audit for one of Australia’s largest pulp mills, which assessed conformance against AS 4707 and PEFC ST 2002. The other audit was against the sustainable forest management standard (AS 4708) and involved a visit to an active native forest where the team got a chance to see best practice operators and forest managers at work in Tasmania.
Wayne Tibbits, Global-Mark Lead Auditor and Forestry Programme Manager, was thrilled with the experience.
“This was a great chance for me to share my 40 years of industry experience with people from different forestry backgrounds with a common interest in sustainable forest practices. There were also plenty of things I could learn from the Vinacontrol team too when it comes to new audit IT systems, note-taking, and reporting. We look forward to working together again in the future.”
This collaboration is a win-win for everyone involved. Participants gain access to new knowledge and perspectives, building national auditor competency and learning from each other’s experiences. The collaboration helps build capacity and ensures that the forestry industry can move forward sustainably in our region.
Tuấn Anh (Vinacontrol), Jonathan Tibbits (Responsible Wood), Van Thien (Vinacontrol)
These types of partnerships are just one example of the importance of working together in the region as Asia-Pacific (APAC) PEFC national members. The growth of certification schemes in the region has been remarkable in recent years, with more and more forests and companies becoming certified. However, this growth also highlights the need for certification bodies to build their capacity in order to meet the demand for certification services. By collaborating and sharing knowledge and expertise, national certification bodies can ensure that they are able to provide high-quality certification services and help supply the market with sustainable forest products.
Dr Tibbits adds,
“By working together, we can learn from each other and share best practices to ensure that we are all able to provide high-quality certification services that meet the requirements of PEFC International and other international standards. This will help to promote sustainable forest management practices and ensure that the market is supplied with sustainable forest products.”
By building their capacity and working together, national certification bodies can help to ensure that forests and companies are able to meet the growing demand for sustainable forest products and that consumers can have confidence in the products they purchase. As the demand for sustainable forest products continues to grow, it is essential that the industry is able to meet this demand in a way that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Collaboration and capacity building among national certification bodies is an important steps toward achieving this goal.