Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific January 2022

Transformational Year for Sustainable Natural Rubber in Southeast Asia
PEFC says 2021 was a transformational year for sustainable natural rubber as real progress was seen on the ground, with two game-changing certifications. The first from Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG), who saw their pilot project with PEFC culminate in the certification of 55,000 hectares of rubber plantations. This means that the 85,000 tons of natural rubber and 300,000 tons of rubberwood produced by these plantations is now certified sustainable. The second game-changing development was Weber & Schaer’s achievement of PEFC chain of custody certification for natural rubber. Strong indications are that demand exists for environmentally friendly rubber from Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam - and that supplier certification can trigger certification of buyers. Read More.
PEFC CEO/Secretary General Ben Gunneberg on the Move
After 22 years as CEO and Secretary General of PEFC Ben Gunneberg is moving on. The organisation's Deputy Secretary General and Head of Technical Unit, Michael Berger has taken over the role of acting Secretary General from beginning of January. “The PEFC global alliance is grateful for Mr Gunneberg’s outstanding service and commitment to PEFC, as well as his significant accomplishments over his distinguished tenure,” said Eduardo Rojas Briales, Chair of PEFC International. The entire PEFC alliance thanks him for his exemplary enthusiasm, commitment, and persistence in taking the vision of the PEFC founders, and creating, building, and shaping PEFC into an international organisation that enjoys respect globally. We all wish Mr Gunneberg the best in his future endeavours, which we are sure he’ll undertake with the same dedication and passion he gave to PEFC. Read More.
Managing Forest Renewal Now & For Generations to Come
In a new innovative partnership, Responsible Wood-certified Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Midway Tasmania - Australia’s largest high quality wood fibre processor and exporter - are working to bring technically advanced, smart forest-thinning operations to Tasmanian forests, which were previously subject to clear-cut silviculture in the 1970s and 1980s. Endorsed by PEFC internationally, ‘Responsible Wood’ is the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management with its forest certification demonstrating that forests meet social and environmental benchmarks. There's more.
When Shopping, Look Out For the PEFC Certification Label
Look out for the PEFC label. We're always looking for and finding products and packaging which have been appropriately labelled. At the German Market Place in Singapore, we found these "iglo" packaged frozen fish fingers from Germany, with the PEFC label clearly in place. Eco-labelling like this is so important as it enables PEFC to track the material from sustainable forests, down the supply chain, to the final product that you buy. The mechanism to track the material is called chain of custody certification. Beyond ensuring that the material comes from a certified forest, it also protects the rights of workers along the production process.Read all about PEFC certification here.
World Agroforestry Scales Up Trees Outside Forests in India
Trees Outside Forests India (TOFI), an initiative of the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) and PEFC, is going through a “sustainable scaling up” with the support of World Agroforestry, formerly known as the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and USAID. A major funding proposal submitted to USAID has been approved and an agreement was signed between USAID and ICRAF for the TOFI Project (in November, 2021). The three objectives of TOFI are: 1.Enabling environment strengthened for TOF expansion; 2. TOF expansion economically incentivised and risks reduced; 3. Improved access to quality and actionable TOF information. Go to NCCF’s December Newsletter for more on this.
Unlocking Furniture Prospects for 2022 Discussed at Webinar
PEFC's global campaign for wood furniture continues into 2022, as discussed in December's webinar “Unlocking PEFC chain of custody certification for the furniture industry”, led by Fabienne Sinclair. Here's the link to the recordings of the exclusive two-day webinar about PEFC chain of custody certification for companies who manufacture, trade, and sell wood and wooden furniture.You can also learn more about PEFC's Forests are Home campaign. And in case you missed it before, here's a link to a story about an Australian furniture company Oak and Hide.
Forests Inspire Photography, Work & Lots of Good Stories
In 2021, PEFC held its ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest for the fifth time. Taking place in eleven countries, 5000 fantastic forest photos were entered from around the world. The top 12 images were selected and PEFC will showcase these during 2022. We start the series with the overall winner of the photo contest: ‘The Man and the Forest’, taken by Vitalii Popkov in Zamagora Verkhovyna, Ukraine. In this interview, Vitalii tells us more about his photo, the story behind it, and how the forest inspires him. Read all about it.
Cork, Oils, Food & Medical Products Included in the Expanded Range of Categories for PEFC Chain of Custody Certification
The PEFC product categories are a key element in the implementation of the PEFC chain of custody by certified organisations and certification bodies. The revised list of PEFC product categories, as approved by the Chain of Custody Working Group on 15 October 2021, is now available. More than 200 categories go beyond forest products for buildings, furniture, paper and packaging, to cover a host of uses for the home and workplace. Resins, oils and honey (pictured), mushrooms and truffles. To learn more about this and see the range of product categories, go here.

Strategic Partnership Launched to Promote Sustainable Supply Chains for the Textile and Fashion Industry in Singapore

A three year strategic roadmap to promote fashion supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement is being launched in Singapore on Tuesday 30 November 2021 between the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).  
This partnership will drive greater awareness among TaFF members, partners and stakeholders, of the importance of legal and sustainable sourcing of forest-derived fibres for materials such as textile, packaging and natural rubber. 
Fashion supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement are critical to make sure that we all benefit from the many products that forests provide now, while ensuring these forests will be around for generations to come.
It is now widely recognised by the business community that consumers expect brands to be environmentally friendly. Across the world, the fashion industry is responding.
This is also in line with the UN Fashion Charter for Climate Action, committing the industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions through global supply chains by 30% by 2030.  
PEFC has been working with designers and the fashion industry for some years to show how fibre from sustainably managed forests can be turned into fashionable garments, demonstrating sustainability every step of the way.
The strategic partnership with TaFF makes perfect sense, as it draws on PEFC’s experience in managing a global campaign “Fashions Change, Forests Stay”, which recognises that forest fibre from responsible sources are already starting to be used in fashion design, In Europe and Asia.  
"It is important that fashion brands and retailers have the assurance that the wood-based fibres that they are using are indeed sourced sustainably. A discerning brand/retailer and consumer will look for international certifications. And such assurance can help consumers narrow the gap between the price premium for sustainable clothes and their willingness to pay," said Carolyn Poon, Director, Sustainability, Textile and Fashion Federation (Singapore).
APR/RGE and PEFC will be among the organisations exhibiting at Design Orchard for the TaFF event on Tuesday 30 November.  


Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific November 2021

PEFC & Experts Focus on Pulp, Paper & Fibre-based Packaging

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive Coalition released the Pulp, Paper and Fibre-based Packaging (PPP) Roadmap earlier this year. The document aims to guide Coalition members in their efforts to remove deforestation and conversion from PPP supply chains. PEFC invites brand owners and retailers - and media of course - to join its webinar on Thursday 4 November. An expert panel will discuss the Roadmap ambition and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), how PEFC traceability certification requirements are aligned with the guidelines, and how those are audited on the ground. Certification will continue to play an important role in the Coalition’s push to tackle deforestation, forest conversion and degradation, as well as traceability of materials and improved management of forests. PEFC also wants to ensure that all stakeholders with an interest in the forest are involved in its management. To learn more and to register, go here.

Training in Indonesia to Cover Chain of Custody Schemes

Auditors, reviewers, and certification decision makers are invited to register for a PEFC recognised chain of custody initial training in Indonesia on 29-30 November and 2 December 2021. Attending a PEFC recognised chain of custody initial training is a pre-requisite for any auditor, reviewer or certification decision maker wishing to issue certification against the 2020 PEFC chain of custody related standards, as required by PEFC ST 2003. Issuing certification against the 2020 standards is only possible after the completion of either initial or refresher training, and once you are accredited, against the 2020 versions of the standards. Read more.

MTCC Appoints Siti Syaliza Mustapha as CEO for Malaysia

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) has appointed Siti Syaliza Mustapha as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective 6 October. Siti Syaliza, who was MTCC Officer-in-Charge and Senior Manager (Forest Management), succeeds Yong Teng Koon who retired on 16 July. She is the first woman to helm the Council since it began its operations in 1999. She is also an Advisor to the Geneva-based Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) in the promotion of sustainable forest management and development of forest certification infrastructure in Southeast Asia. More from MTTC.

Still Time to Contribute to the Indonesia Market Survey

IFCC/PEFC survey for the Indonesian market has been extended so there's still time to contribute. How can IFCC/PEFC help the timber industry and its supply chain benefit from certification and help safeguard Indonesia's forests? Whether involved in the process or supply in the pulp & paper, timber, fashion, furniture or rubber sectors, everyone's opinion is valuable and IFCC/PEFC want to better understand how familiar everyone is with forestry certification in Indonesia. Read all about it here.

Thailand Promotes Certification for Economic Forest Industry

On Thursday 14 October, Mr Withi Supitak, Vice President of the Institute of Agricultural Industry (TISI) and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), led the Thai Economic Timber Certification Office (TFCC) team to meet Mr Sukit Chanthong, Acting Director of the Forest Industry Organisation (ODA). Together with the ODA executives, they discussed ways to promote the certification of economic forest plantations and wood products to align the national standards to the international PEFC standards. Read More.

How Forests Help People & the Planet Stay Healthy

Did you know that our forests have healing powers? Of the 3000 plants identified by the United States' National Cancer Institute as active against cancer cells, 70% come from rainforests. In total, more than 25% of the medicines we use originate in rainforest plants. Only if we use our forests, and manage them in a sustainable way, can we make sure they can stay forests, and we can continue to benefit from their healing powers. We also rely on forests to provide essential nutrients we need for our good health. So, as PEFC’s video series shows, people benefit greatly from healthy forests in more ways than one, as does the planet. Go to YouTube to see much more.  Learn more about the healing power of forests here.

New Standard for Chain of Custody & Tree Based Products

Taking place on Tuesday, 9 November (10.00am AWST, 12.00pm AEST and 1.00pm AEDT), a Responsible Wood webinar will introduce and explain the main changes in the AS 4707:2021 standard, providing the basis for the requirements that certificate holders can use in carrying Responsible Wood/PEFC claims in Australia. The workshop will be hosted by Responsible Wood CEO, Simon Dorries, and Peter Zed, Chair of the AS 4707 Standards Reference Committee. The reference committee and working group includes: the Association of Accredited Certification Bodies, Australian Forest Products Association, Australian Institute of Packaging, Omega Consulting, Timber Development Association, Tasmanian Forest Products Association, the University of Melbourne, the Victorian Forest Products Association, and the Women in Forestry Network. Read more & register here.

Forests in Kedah State Malaysia Granted Certification

MTCC is pleased to announce that the Kedah Forest Management Unit (FMU), managed by the Kedah State Forestry Department, has been granted certification against the requirements of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (MC&I SFM) standard on 1 October 2021. The certificate covering an area of 341,976 ha natural forests within the Permanent Reserved Forest in the Kedah FMU was approved by the Certification Panel of SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd. The certificate is valid for five years, subject to continued compliance based on yearly surveillance audits. It is one of the earliest FMUs in Peninsular Malaysia to be certified under the scheme, but lost its certification in 2019 due to failure to close a major non-conformity, raised during an annual surveillance audit. Read more.

Timber Buildings Go Beyond Net Zero to Whole Life Carbon

With COP 26 underway in Glasgow Scotland this week, it’s wise to remind ourselves that the built environment contributes close to 40% of global emissions of greenhouse gases. A large part of that comes from the energy used to heat, cool and light our buildings, but we should also be considering the embodied carbon incorporated in buildings, mostly from glass, steel and concrete. Timber helps on both counts, as you’ll read in Ken Hickson’s article in Wood in Architecture magazine.  He shares more about how buildings can go beyond Net Zero to achieve Whole Life Carbon (WLC) status. What is WLC all about and how does timber fit into the equation? He also referenced "Tomorrow's Timber", which was published with the support of PEFC Netherlands. Read and see more.

Finalists in the PEFC-WAF Best Use of Certified Timber Prize

Two finalists in the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize: a gymnastics centre and a research facility show the flexibility and robustness of timber. Have a look, above left, at the gymnastics centre that can be converted into an exhibition hall. The Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo was designed to function in two phases: initially as a temporary sports competition facility, hosting the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and later as a permanent exhibition hall. Then there's a research facility that chose timber for its robustness against corrosive sea air and cyclones. Pictured above right is the Turtle Centre in Queensland, a research facility at Mon Repos beach, Australia’s most important turtle nesting ground. It hosts key research into endangered turtles and the impacts of climate change. The building operates as an interpretive centre during the day. During the turtle nesting season it is a briefing hub for up to 300 visitors each evening.The winner will be announced at the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon, which runs from 1-3 December. Read and see more here.



PEFC to unveil global awareness campaign for sustainable furniture on 15 September

PEFC is helping all actors of the wood furniture supply chain and consumers embrace responsible sourcing of wood furniture with its latest awareness campaign. A global public launch will take place on 15 September at 10:00-11:00 CEST (GMT+2).

The one-hour program will feature a panel discussion on the Responsible sourcing of forest-based materials for wood furniture. PEFC will welcome four incredible panellists to share perspectives, and discuss the challenges to, and opportunities for, sustainability in the furniture sector. Our panellists are representatives from:

  • Youth/Consumer: Ms. Alina Lehikoinen, President - International Forestry Students' Association
  • Industry/Manufacturer: Mr. Nicolaas K. de Lange, Secretary-General - ASEAN Furniture Industries Council
  • Forest Certification: Mr. Alun Watkins, Executive Director - PEFC UK and Chairman of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme
  • Furniture retailer

Register now:

Get a taste of what is to come with this short video about our work, and our new focus on furniture:

The importance of sustainably sourced furniture

Growing by 65% over the last 10 years, the global furniture market is booming. The wood that makes this furniture comes from all over the world, from temperate woodlands of maple and oak to teak and mahogany from the tropics. 

Given the growing demand for the wood within them, how can these forests continue to thrive? And how can consumers make choices that will help preserve the world’s natural forests, sustaining their biodiversity and their essential contributions to climate change mitigation? 

Sourcing wood-based materials for furniture products from sustainably managed forests is part of the answer. When furniture manufacturers choose sustainably sourced wood, when furniture retailers sell responsible products, and when consumers live their values by choosing sustainable wood furniture, they all contribute to the preservation of our forests. 

It is a proven way to both incentivise forest management practices that keep forests standing, and to improve the livelihoods of millions of people who live in and around forests.

This is why we are unveiling a new furniture awareness campaign, targeted at focal countries in Europe and Asia. PEFC is committed to doing everything we can to help the global supply chain meet responsible procurement and sustainability standards, and help forest owners large and small achieve and demonstrate certification. 

Register now:

A whole-of-market campaign

PEFC’s newest furniture awareness campaign will address the entire value chain, with an audience of retailers, supply chain companies, trade associations, forest certification consultants, interior designers, architects, media, woodworking schools, and accreditation and certification bodies. Consumers, too, are part of this picture, with each of these audiences a consumer themselves.

An increase in public awareness and preferences for sustainably sourced materials, from fabrics to food products, shows that consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact their buying decisions have on the environment. 

Preferences for fair-trade labels further indicate that consumers are concerned about the livelihoods of the people who ultimately supply their goods and raw materials.

According to the first PEFC/GfK Global Consumer Survey, an overwhelming majority of consumers globally – more than 80% – want companies to use appropriate labels on products. 30% said they actively look for forest certification labels when purchasing wood products. That makes a label from PEFC, the most trusted name in global forest certification, a way for retailers to visibly communicate their commitment to responsible sourcing.

Join in the launch to show your support

We will launch our furniture campaign on Wednesday, 15 September, 10:00-11:00 CEST, as a Zoom webinar and live on Facebook and YouTube.

Register now:

Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific July 2021

Can't See the Wood for the Trees? Put on Your Sustainability Glasses

Don't let anyone tell you that the pandemic with its consequential health and economic impact is holding back the global timber, rubber, paper and packaging industries. What's more, the sustainability trend reigns supreme. Those who believe in the importance of responsible sourcing and sustainable supply chains are seeing widespread acceptance of change for good!. This issue has the latest on the natural rubber campaign and how PEFC is helping the fashion industry come clean. Mass Engineered Timber (MET) and Digitalisation for the Built Environment rate highly too. All with particular relevance to Media and its followers in Asia Pacific. Pictured above is International House, Sydney, Australia, which won the World Architecture Festival - PEFC Best Use of Certified Timber Prize in 2018.

Saving Lives. Saving Forests. With Natural Rubber.

Rubber helps save lives. If it’s produced sustainably, it can help save forests, too. Rubber is found in hospitals worldwide. From latex gloves to pacemakers, seals for controlled drug delivery devices, even your blood pressure cuff. Rubber isn’t the most obvious part of our modern medical infrastructure, but if it suddenly disappeared our hospitals would be in disarray. Most of this rubber starts its life in rubber trees – billions of them on small plantations all over the world. There the rubber is tapped by hand, and brought to market by millions of smallholders. PEFC works with these smallholders so that they can increase their yields, and produce rubber in a way that protects their plantations and nearby forests. This is one of the key messages in PEFC's Supporting Sustainable Rubber campaign, launched on 7 July. Read all about it.

PEFC Joins in "Making Peace with Nature" in Climate Week

The Virtual Thematic Sessions of Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2021 (APCW 2021) run from 6 to 9 July and is hosted by the Government of Japan. The sessions are designed to boost the climate change response of countries in Asia and the Pacific and build momentum for the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow. Taking part in the ‘Making peace with nature in the context of climate action’ session, Richard Laity, PEFC South-East Asia Manager, is on the ‘Strengthening governance and policy innovation’ panel discussion. Japan, as a country which pledged net-zero emissions by 2050, is hosting the Asia Pacific Climate Week 2021, in the hope of enhancing collaboration for redesigning our socio-economic system through decarbonisation.” Still time to participate in Climate Week

BuildTech Asia on Digitalisation for the Built Environment

Dealing with real live issues and coming up with solutions is not the easiest when its all online. But BuildTech Asia achieved that by going digital in more ways than one. PEFC was there - virtually of course - and came away with some very realistic answers. The digital edition of BuildTech Asia exhibition is running 7 to 8 July to facilitate the exchange of insights, knowledge and solutions towards accelerating the adoption of smart technologies, as well as strengthening Industry 4.0 capabilities for the built environment sector. This year, it has more than 50 key industry leaders speaking at 40 online webinars and also features over 100 exhibiting global brands. You can catch at least one important message from BuildTech Asia by listening to On Prime Time, with host Rachel Kelly who finds out how digitalisation is shaking up the built environment in a special interview with Dr Teo Ho Pin, Honorary Advisory, Singapore Institute of Building. Listen up.

It's in Fashion: Join for the Global Climate Action Initiative

For most large fashion brands, emissions from production, manufacturing and materials will all be higher than from direct operation. The 2021 edition of the organisation’s Transparency Index, published this week, analyses the reporting and other disclosure processes of the world’s largest fashion companies, covering information relating to human rights and environmental impact. This week PEFC is also proud to announce that it has joined the UNFCCC Fashion for Global Climate Action initiative as a signatory to the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. The Fashion for Global Climate Action initiative calls on the fashion industry to acknowledge the contribution of the sector to climate change and our shared responsibility to strive towards climate neutrality for a safer planet. PEFC also continues its own "Fashions Change, Forests Stay" campaign. Read all about it.

Metsa Group's "Sustainability Unfolded" for Forests

Responsible forest use does not cause climate change – but fights it. There is a genuine need to increase knowledge and create a positive attitude towards responsible forest management. When conducted correctly, it helps us preserve our planet’s viability for the future generations. Sustainable forest management plays a key role in the process of reforestation. Growing trees absorb more CO2 than mature ones, so how we manage to secure the healthy growth of forests is essential. If after regeneration felling, each felled tree is always replaced with three to four new seedlings, you can definitely call it reforestation. That's a clear message from Metsa Group - a long time PEFC International Stakeholder Member - whose business operations cover the entire value chain for wood, from wood products and forest services to tissue or paperboard. There's more here.

Responsible Wood: The Master & his Apprentice in Tasmania

Craig Howard and son Jack are two of Tasmania’s finest timber craftsman. They really are two of a kind… Two parts of the Heritage Furniture legacy, fourth and fifth-generation timber artisans alike, both have forged reputations as specialists in designing and manufacturing handcrafted masterpieces. Located in an elevated inlet overlooking Geilston Bay, the Heritage Furniture workshop contains a treasure trove of high valued specialty timbers including the iconic Tasmanian Huon Pine, King Billy Pine, Celery-top Pine, Blackwood, Blackheart Sassafras, Myrtle in addition to selected imported timbers such as cedar and mahogany. Read more about Heritage Furniture.

Unearthing the Delights & Insights in Tomorrow's Timber

Timber is in the news everywhere. For all the right reasons. And it's difficult to avoid running into tall stories about Mass Engineered Timber (MET) and buildings made entirely of wood. Of course, there will be the naysayers who come up with all the reasons why wood is not so good - for the environment, for fire safety, for its added cost. But when you believe in timber as the best material for building - as PEFC obviously does - its good to read what Pablo van der Lugt has to say, and show, in Tomorrow's Timber. No holding back. Page after page of case studies, plans, architects' ideas, drawings and photographs of some of the best examples in the world. It all goes to illustrate what the author calls "the next building revolution". Read Ken Hickson's review here.

Certified Paper Packaging & the Circular Economy

A 2020 Two Sides Survey on European Packaging Preferences found that paperboard packaging is favoured by consumers as being better for the environment and considered easier to recycle and home compost. If you are a brand owner or retailer looking to understand and learn more about how certified paper packaging affects you and how you can play a larger part in the circular economy, you can join in the PEFC webinar on Thursday 8 July or catch the recording of it. See how innovative certified paper-based packaging solutions are meeting the challenge for more environmentally friendly alternatives. Speakers include Christophe Jordan from Arjo Wiggins who will present Sylvicta (pictured) – a ground-breaking new sustainable alternative to plastic packaging using PEFC-certified wood pulp. Read more

Singapore's Six Garden Pavilions in PEFC Certified Timber

Beautiful wooden structures are taking shape at National Park’s Jurong Lake Gardens. It’s been 25 years since Venturer Timberwork built National Park’s Botanical Gardens Visitors' Centre. Since then Kevin Hill says there’s been a great deal of evolution, especially on the sustainability front. We visited the building site in Jurong last week to see how a PEFC audit is conducted and interview those involved in the assembly of the six timber pavilions. See more here.

Who Wants to Win the "Best Use of Certified Timber Prize"?

For the third time, PEFC is supporting the World Architecture Festival 'Best Use of Certified Timber Prize', rewarding architects and project teams for their use of certified timber as a main construction material for buildings outstanding in sustainability, innovation, quality or aesthetics. “In the two years’ dialogue with renowned architects at WAF, we have noticed an increasing interest in sustainable timber. Some architects even say it’s 'the only way forward'," said Fabienne Sinclair, Head of Marketing at PEFC International. "We are pleased to contribute to making both forests and construction more sustainable.” Read and see more here.