Sustainability certification

Sustainability certification

European Forest Institute (EFI)

In seeking to demonstrate to customers that they have exercised good management and due care in their supply chains, timber suppliers may choose to engage in legality verification or sustainability certification schemes. Whereas legality verification offers evidence of the legal origin of timber and timber products, sustainability certification goes further in proving that these products originate from forests which are responsibly managed. In order to achieve certification, forest managers and timber suppliers have to comply with certain performance standards which may cover reforestation requirements, the protection of community and indigenous land rights, health and safety standards, and labour rights at the point of harvest.

Sustainability certification is increasingly being included in national public procurement policies and in private sector buying standards (Brack, 2014). While many private certification mechanisms exist, there are currently two schemes that operate at a global level: the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).