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PEFC’s Stakeholder Dialogue calls for Purposeful Innovation

Nov 29 2017

Wiebke Herding 2017“Once technologies have been incorporated adeptly into certification systems, we'll begin to see a shift to where certification systems are data brokers for social and environmental performance,” highlighted Wiebke Herding, ON:Subject, during her keynote presentation to the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue. 

“Such a future, however, will require a shift in the use of technology and in the organizational purpose. If done well, it will enable more and real-time information about product flows through the supply chain, enable information feedback loops that benefit and add value to all participants, whilst ensuring that confidential data remains confidential.” 

With Ms. Herding’s forward-looking and provocative keynote address, PEFC’s Stakeholder Dialogue on ‘Making Certification SMART’ got off to a dynamic and enthusiastic start.

Embracing innovation

“There is seemingly no question amongst our diverse stakeholders that forest certification needs to embrace modern innovations and technology,” highlighted Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development at PEFC International.

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Technology in action: participants using their smartphones to vote

“Nearly all participants agree that there is room for further integration of technology within forest certification and that technology can help certification deliver more value,” she stated, highlighting some of the survey results collected from participants during the opening session.

“But what’s required is a clear vision on what we want to achieve with technology and how to ensure its integration delivers real benefits to all actors in the certification system.” 

Jump-starting the conversation

PEFC’s event brought together over 250 people from 50 countries to share perspectives, experiences, and highlight some innovative applications of technology to jump-start the conversation about how technology can advance forest certification.

stakeholder dialogue workshop 2017We focused on SMART solutions for Sustainable Forest Management, Chain of Custody and Engaging society in forestry in a series of parallel workshops.

Presenters showcased applications of technology innovation that support more efficient certification and forest sector, more robust and proactive certification processes, and enable certification to deliver more value-add and go beyond traditional boundaries. 

From remote sensing to crypto-currencies

Reflecting on the event, Ben Gunneberg CEO of PEFC International highlighted, “the meeting provided the opportunity to explore the potential of technology innovation within certification, from remote sensing and mobile apps through to block-chain and crypto currencies.”

“We debated how to approach technology in a meaningful way; to not only increase the value of forest certification, but leverage the role of forests and forest sector to society as a whole.”

“There is so much potential. By working together, in partnership, we are well placed to ensure an enhanced offer for everyone striving to promote sustainable livelihoods and land management,” concluded Ben Gunneberg.

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PEFC Certified

Forests area: 304 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 19,800

(as of September 2017)
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