Companies Globally to Benefit from PEFC Certification, EUTR AlignmentMay 29 2013
With the 2013 PEFC Chain of Custody standard companies have now a straightforward, tried-and-tested mechanism at their disposal to demonstrate alignment with EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) requirements. The standard was published last week after 18 month of intensive multi-stakeholder deliberations.
"Companies can yet again benefit from PEFC leadership in forest certification," said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International. "PEFC has become the first global forest certification system to align its Chain of Custody standard with EUTR requirements, providing businesses along the timber value chain with the option to comply with the regulation through a mechanism that has already been successfully implemented in more than 10.000 companies globally."
"Importantly, PEFC Chain of Custody certification offers additional benefits other than satisfying regulatory needs – it provides companies with access to markets that are increasingly demanding sustainably sourced, PEFC-certified products," Mr. Gunneberg explained.
The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber on the European market in an effort to tackle the problem of illegal logging across the world. It sets out requirements that companies within the European Union (EU) must meet to minimize the risk of illegal timber being traded.
More specifically, the Regulation requires companies placing timber or timber products on the European market (both imported and domestic) to implement a Due Diligence System (DDS). Companies trading wood products within the EU are responsible for keeping records of their suppliers and customers to allow for traceability.
The Regulation also affects companies outside the EU as their products may be imported into the EU further down the supply chain. Companies that are already certified to the 2010 PEFC Chain of Custody standard will be aligned with EUTR requirements as soon as they transition to the 2013 standard. In addition, companies that do not yet have access to certified material consider PEFC as a viable option as they benefit from compliance with the Regulation while at the same time being well prepared for future business opportunities with customers requiring evidence of sustainable sourcing.
"We have a long history of demonstrating leadership in forest certification," emphasized Mr. Gunneberg. "As far back as 2001, in an effort to integrate social concerns, PEFC became the first global forest certification organization to require compliance with all the fundamental ILO conventions in forest management. More recently, in 2010, we included social requirements in Chain of Custody certification, providing an additional layer of confidence to consumers and buyers of PEFC-certified products that elementary rights of workers along the timber supply chain have been respected. Now, we are ensuring that companies can be confident that their PEFC certification meets EUTR requirements."
PEFC is preparing extensive information material and training to equip companies with comprehensive information about how to implement PEFC Chain of Custody certification and transition from the 2010 standard to the 2013 standard.