Who are PEFC?
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is the world’s largest forest certification scheme, with about 280 million hectares of forest certified. We often think about forests on a large scale, such as the Amazon. But the reality is, there are thousands of small forests all over the world. Some are privately owned, while others are managed by governments.
PEFC ensures that significant biodiversity valuesare preserved and is primarily concerned with promoting certification and endorsement for forest owners. In addition, the PEFC works throughout the entire supply chain to promote good practices in forest management. This can include transport companies, timber harvesting and right through to companies that manufacture timber-based products.
Using carefully developed standards of forest and supply chain management, PEFC helps to promote timber growth and harvesting that supports not only the timber industry, but the environment, indigenous communities to which forests hold cultural relevance, and society as a whole.
PEFC and Responsible Wood
So, you might be wondering what the difference is between PEFC and Responsible Wood. In Australia and New Zealand, Responsible Wood is the national representative for PEFC. This means we have received endorsement ofour forest management standards from PEFC, while also working as an accredited standards development organisation here in Australia and New Zealand.
These standards include:
- Sustainable Forest Management (AS / NZS 4708)
- Chain of Custody for Forest Products (AS 4707& PEFC ST 2002)
In addition, we also work within the following international standards as set by PEFC:
Chain of Custody of Forest and Tree Based Products – Requirements (PEFC ST 2002:2020)
You’ll notice that the names are much the same, and that’s because the standards have been developed based on the recommendations of PEFC’s own standards.
What does PEFC do?
PEFC, much like Responsible Wood, has a very broad and wide-ranging job to do. Firstly, they promote the importance of certification. They also provide resources for consumers looking to buy more sustainably. They provide a huge amount of resources to consumers and businesses alike.
PEFC also works with local governing bodies such as Responsible Wood, ensuring they have a presence in major regions around the world. This allows them to work more closely to help forest owners and businesses become certified.
This may include advising forest owners on best practices and helping them improve their forest management to be more sustainable. It can also include working with retailers on issues such as sustainable, eco-friendly packaging.
So, while certification is the name of the game for PEFC, it’s certainly a lot more than just saying yes or no to certification applications. It’s more about working closely with providers to ensure not just that the right boxes are ticked, but also that standards are continually being upheld all over the world.
Why is certification important?
Sustainable timber certification is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, the PEFC’s main goal is to ensure that all timber products are harvested from responsibly managed forests. So, certification is important on a global scale because of the impacts that unsustainable logging can have on the environment and our planet as a whole.
Certification is also great for businesses that manufacture or sell forest-based products. This could be companies that manufacture building materials, furniture manufacturers and many more. With certification, these companies appeal much more to consumers who are environmentally conscious. A building company, for example, may want to promote itself as a green-friendly business. Using only timber building materials that have been sourced responsibly is a great way to do that.
For consumers, certification is equally important. There are more and more people making conscious decisions about what they buy, based on environmental factors. If a customer wants to make more eco-friendly choices, they can look for PEFC-certified products (or Responsible Wood-certified products in Australia).
Want to know more about PEFC or Responsible Wood?
As the national governing body for the PEFC in Australia and New Zealand, Responsible Wood offers certification for all stakeholders involved in the growth, harvesting and even manufacturing of timber-based products. We also provide valuable resources for those who want to buy sustainably, and work closely with landowners to improve their sustainability. Contact us today to find out more.