PEFC clears up accreditation confusion with new publication

Jez Abbott
Monday, February 29, 2016

A new publication aims to clear up confusion around the differences and similarities between two of the world's most well-known sustainable forest-management accreditations.

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has looked at its sustainable forest management certification system and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) programme.

Its brochure, Promoting Sustainable Forest Management around the World: PEFC & FSC, explains the origins of both certifications.

The eight-page A5 brochure is downloadable from PEFC and Horner Brothers Paragon based in Sheffield printed around 500 copies.

PEFC communications director Hilary Khawam said: “Around 1,200 UK companies have signed up and 16,000 worldwide to the PEFC system.

“But we still find when we speak to end users, their first question is what is the difference between the two, so we decided to expand our existing fact sheets with this new brochure.

“On the whole printers are up to speed, as they get their paper from merchants well versed in sustainable management. This document is aimed more at brand owners and retailers.”

It aims to clearly explain each of the standards and their definitions in practical terminology and easily understandable language.

The document also aims to serve as a useful resource tool for certified companies that may have questions regarding the similarities and differences.

Both global certification systems share the same goals of ensuring forests are managed in line with environmental, social and economic requirements

PEFC and FSC labels appear on a range of certified forest products. These labels enable consumers to recognise products and packaging made from responsibly-sourced materials.

The brochure explains that by opting for certification, be it PEFC or FSC, companies are demonstrating their commitment to a sustainable future for the world’s forests.

The world-leading PEFC system has certified more than 260 million hectares of forests that supply more than 16,000 chain-of-custody certified companies.

The responsibly sourced timber and wood products are used in producing fibre-based paper products such as packaging.

PEFC has worked with other organisations on sustainable forest management such as the Consumer Goods Forum of more than 400 big-name retailers, manufacturers and service providers such as Coca Cola, IBM, Kellogg’s and Walmart.

PEFC UK head Alun Watkins said, “We are often asked about the similarities and differences between the two global forest management certification schemes.

“This publication aims to help answer these questions and we hope that it will provide a useful resource to both chain-of -custody certified companies and those specifying certified products in their corporate procurement policies, such as retailers and brand owners.”

PEFC is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation, dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management.

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