PEFC is an international membership association representing a wide range of stakeholder interests.
To promote the widest possible participation, PEFC adopts a "bottom-up" approach to governance. It builds on national members whose local expertise is complemented by the experiences of internationally-active organizations.
There are two categories of membership with voting rights:
- National members (or "National Governing Bodies") are independent, national organizations established to develop and implement a PEFC system within their country.
- International Stakeholder members are international entities including NGOs, companies, and associations committed to supporting PEFC's principles.
This unique structure allows for ethical and responsible decision-making that incorporates the combined experiences and knowledge of all stakeholders at national and international levels and highlights its commitment to participation, democracy and equity as critical and central elements in the governance of the organization.
PEFC has three decision-making bodies:
- The General Assembly is the highest authority of PEFC. It includes both national members and international stakeholder members with voting rights, and extraordinary members as observers.
- The Board of Directors supports the work of the General Assembly and the organization as a whole. It is accountable to all members. Board members are elected by the General Assembly. Board members are chosen to ensure a balance between the major stakeholders supporting PEFC, the geographical distribution of members, annual cutting categories, and gender.
- The Secretary General is responsible for the work of the PEFC Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. He is supported by a highly dedicated team of ten professionals.
PEFC International is a not-for-profit organization. It has an annual budget of Swiss francs 2.5 million. It activities are financed almost entirely (99%) from membership fees.