UK Government gives PEFC top scores, confirms acceptance for public procurement
29 October 2015 News
PEFC-certified timber and wood-derived products continue to meet the UK government criteria for legal and sustainable timber, with PEFC demonstrating the highest level of compliance.
This is the outcome of an evaluation through the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) and released by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) earlier this week.
The evaluation against the UK Government Timber Procurement Policy (TPP): Criteria for Evaluating Certification Schemes (Category A Evidence) Fourth Edition, October 2014 concluded that both the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have achieved scores of 100% for legality criteria and over 90% for sustainability criteria and as such are recognized as continuing to deliver requirements for both legality and sustainability.
Overall, the evaluation demonstrated PEFC to have a 96% compliance with the UK criteria, with FSC achieving 94%. "These very high scores demonstrate the significant progress made in international forest certification since the first evaluation conducted in 2004. Both FSC and PEFC have made substantial improvements to their schemes since 2010, reflected in the scores awarded," Defra writes in the final report.
"The results highlight that PEFC delivers excellence," said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General and CEO of PEFC International. "We appreciate this recognition of our work and the work of our stakeholders in undertaking sustainable forest management, in making a real difference for the people and communities who depend on forests - globally and locally."
Welcoming the positive assessment Alun Watkins, Executive Director, PEFC UK said: “The CPET review and Defra results demonstrate that PEFC is at the forefront of responsible sourcing and sustainable forestry. Both in the UK and internationally, PEFC works hard to keep up with the challenges and real life issues facing the broad range of stakeholders involved in the global forestry and wood-products supply chain. The global PEFC family is committed to continuous improvement to ensure our standards continue to reflect best practice in sustainable forest management.”
CPET has played a significant role in supporting the increased uptake of sustainable timber in the public sector and in support to government buyers and suppliers implementing the UK government TPP. The first assessment was conducted in 2004 and the most recent assessment in 2010. The 2015 update was undertaken to ensure FSC and PEFC continue to provide assurance of legality and sustainability, particularly in light of new criteria on the updated definitions of ‘legal’ and ‘sustainable’ sources.