To enable sustainability of Australia’s forests, the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme provides guidance and accountability to forest managers, manufacturers and suppliers.
The Scheme is made up of two Australian Standards® :
- Sustainable Forest Management (AS 4708)
- Chain of Custody (AS 4707)
The Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management was developed through a rigorous 3-year process involving community, industry, scientific, academic, environmental, indigenous, employee and government representatives. It was specifically designed to suit Australian unique environments, legal systems and community expectations.
Both Standards are based on internationally recognised frameworks, such as ISO 14000 environmental management standards and the criteria of the ‘Montreal Process’ for sustainable forest management. The Standards were also developed using the formal Australian Standards process.
Sustainable Forest Management certification assures that forests are conserved and managed responsibly to ensure they deliver social, environmental and economic benefits now and in the future – balancing people, planet and profit.
Chain of Custody certification is a verified mechanism for tracking forest materials from the sustainably managed forest to the final product. Chain of custody certification is required to substantiate any claim that wood and wood products are obtained from a certified forest.
Sustaining Australia’s forests
Under Responsible Wood, Australians can be proud that:
- Australia is the 3rd largest certified forest area (hectares) in the world
- 90% of our large public and private native (timber harvesting) forests and plantations are certified
Source: PEFC, October 2017
Meeting International Sustainability Benchmarks
The Responsible Wood Certification Scheme is endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the global authority on sustainable forest management.
The high standards of PEFC include requirements to:
- Safeguard ecologically important forest areas
- Protect and enhance biological diversity
- Prohibit deforestation
- Prohibit forest conversions
- Prohibit use of the most dangerous chemicals
- Prohibit genetically modified trees
- Respect rights of workers and indigenous peoples
- Encourage local employment
- Provide consultation with local people and stakeholders
- Respect traditional land rights and local customs
- Provide a voice for those who depend on forest for their livelihood
PEFC endorsement follows rigorous third-party assessment and is reviewed every five years. This ensures the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme continuously improves and evolves, and that we engage all interested stakeholders on an ongoing basis.