Spotlight on sector: reaching out to the construction sector

As we move out of the forest and down the supply chain, it’s quite amazing to see just how many sectors rely on timber and other forest-based materials. From construction and paper, to packaging, biomass, bamboo, rubber and furniture, even the fashion industry. Forest-based products are really all around us.

As sustainable consumption rises, and we increasingly look to renewable resources such as timber, it is vital that these forest-based products come from sustainable sources. PEFC certification provides a solution for this. By buying a product with PEFC certification and carrying the PEFC label, customers and consumers can be assured it came from a sustainably managed forest.

An important part of our work at PEFC is outreach to sectors relying on forest-based products, promoting the importance of them procuring and working with sustainable, certified timber. We reach out to brands and retailers, encouraging them to switch to sustainable, certified forest-based materials for their packaging. We are also working with the fashion industry to promote the use of sustainable forest-fibres to making clothing. Among many others.

PEFC and the construction industry

The construction industry is a major user of timber. Building with timber has numerous benefits: it’s renewable, requiring considerably less energy than concrete and steel to produce, and storing carbon, rather than emitting it. Timber also enables fast construction, is healthy for people living and working in the building, and allows for creative designs.  

However, the timber needs to come from a sustainable source, ensuring the forest is well-managed and will be around for generations to come, and that the people living in and around the forests are protected. This is what PEFC certification delivers.

Since 2018, we have run our ‘Designing the Future with Sustainable Timber’ campaign, bringing together a range of stakeholders to promote the use of certified wood in construction in general and project certification in particular. 

WAF and the Certified Timber Prize

A flagship activity of this campaign is our partnership with the World Architecture Festival (WAF). Since 2018, we have sponsored the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize, awarding architects and project teams for using certified timber as the main construction material for buildings outstanding in sustainability, innovation, quality or aesthetics.

By celebrating architects that have already chosen to use certified timber, and highlighting the amazing buildings that have been made from it, we aim to promote the use of this sustainable material to a larger audience, ensuring more architects turn to certified timber when choosing their building materials.

Submissions to WAF 2020 are running now, and architects have until 14 August to submit their projects for the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize. We can’t wait to see what stunning buildings are going to be entered this year! The shortlist will be released later this year, and the winner crowned on 5 December. If you can’t wait until there, check out the best entries from 2019 in the gallery below.


PEFC Webinar: Creating impact through responsibly sourced packaging

Sustainable consumption is on the rise. A Nielsen study found that 73% of global consumers say they would change their consumption habits to reduce their environment impact. This means it has never been more important to use sustainable materials, to know that your products come from sustainable sources and to prove that to your customers.

Increasing the use of sustainable, certified forest-based packaging has huge potential to not only help companies meet sustainability targets, but also to have a positive impact on the world’s forests and forest communities.

Join our PEFC Webinar: Creating impact through responsibly sourced packaging and learn more about PEFC certification and the advantages for your business and beyond! The webinar is free to attend and takes place 23 June at 11:00-11:50 CEST.

Please note that the webinar will be run in English, and you need to register in order to receive the dial-in details. For those of you that registered but can’t attend, we will be recording the webinar and will share it with you afterwards.

Register for the webinar!

Why should you attend?

This webinar will allow you to better understand what certification means on the ground. See what your choice of procuring or producing PEFC-certified packaging means for the health of our forests, for biodiversity, and for the people living and working in forests. And of course, how PEFC certification works to provide this assurance, throughout the supply chain to the final product.

For brand and retailer sustainability and sourcing professionals, the webinar will assist you in understanding how sourcing certified can meet your 2020 targets against environmental and social issues.

The value chain actors -  packaging manufacturers, converters and printers - will get an introduction to the value proposition of offering certified paper packaging to their customers and some tips to promote their sustainability efforts.  

What else? All attendees will come away with better knowledge of the actual processes behind certification that assure the credibility of certified materials – what we do so you can trust a product delivered with PEFC certification. 

You’ll also get an idea of how we continuously improve the PEFC system, ensuring it continues to meet evolving sustainability benchmarks and national and international expectations.

Register for the webinar!

Who should attend?

While everybody is welcome, the webinar will be particularly interesting for sustainability and sourcing teams of brands and retailers, both multinational and smaller national companies. It will also be valuable for sustainability and sales teams of paper packaging manufacturers, converters and printers.

Take the chance to learn first-hand about PEFC and sustainable packaging and ask your questions to sustainability experts! Register for the webinar now.

The agenda

11.00: Welcome

11.05: Discussion with Ben covering a PEFC update, and the value and evolution of forest certification in the context of forets protection and their contribution to the market

11.20: Discussion with Michael covering the new elements of the PEFC Sustainable Forest Management and PEFC Chain of Custody standards.

11.35: Q&A

11.50: Close 

The speakers

Ben Gunneberg

Ben is the CEO and Secretary General of PEFC International. A forester by education and training, he has gained experience in the forest, before becoming one of the founders of what is today the world’s largest forest certification system.

Michael Berger

Michael is the Deputy Secretary General of PEFC International and Head of Technical Unit. He holds a PhD in Forestry Economics and was recently leading the revision process of the PEFC International standards.

Fabienne Sinclair

Fabienne is the Head of Marketing at PEFC International and she will lead us through the discussion as the moderator. 

Register for the webinar!


Stakeholder engagement: Shaping the future together

PEFC provides a space for people to come together to jointly determine how our forests should be managed.

In our latest video, our CEO Ben Gunneberg explains why it is so important to get all the stakeholders around the table and make the important decisions together.

“We all love forests in one way or the other, and we all wish to be involved with them and feel ownership of them. There is a kind of moral ownership of forests by everyone in society,” Ben explains.

“That is why it's important to get everyone involved in a multi-stakeholder process in determining how a forest is managed.”

“By having everyone involved, it allows all of us to understand better the different needs of different stakeholders and to try and find the correct balance to meet all of those needs, in a way that allows those forests to be managed sustainably and to be supported by all of us.”


International benchmarks adapted to regional needs – our national standards

At PEFC we are convinced that one size does not fit all when it comes to forest certification. This is why we work through national forest certification systems, enabling our national members to tailor their sustainable forest management requirements to the specific forest ecosystems, the legal and administrative framework and the socio-cultural context in their countries.

MTCC National Secretary Yong Teng Koon highlighting the need for merging the two standards

National systems are developed locally, but they need to undergo rigorous third-party assessment to ensure consistency with our international requirements.

However, achieving PEFC endorsement of a national forest certification system is not the final step. National standards are reviewed regularly so we know they continue to meet our evolving benchmarks and national and international expectations.

The Malaysian national standard

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), our national member for Malaysia, walks us through the development and revision of their national standard over the last 20 years.

MTCC was established in October 1998 while the scheme that it implements – the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) – became operational in October 2001, using the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification (MC&I(2001)) as its first national standard. 

Due to the complex ecosystem and the challenges involved in managing the rich biological diversity in Malaysia’s tropical forests, MTCC decided to take a stepwise approach in implementing the MTCS. The Malaysian standard was subsequently revised and entered into force as MC&I(2002) in 2005.

“The successful transition of the forest management standard from MC&I(2001) to MC&I(2002) was a clear testimony that the adoption of a phased approach in applying the standard was successful,” said Yong Teng Koon, National Secretary of MTCC.

“The approach has enabled and encouraged forest managers around the country to improve their management practices and documentation and build the capacity of their human resources towards managing their forest resources in a sustainable manner.”

The MC&I(2002) standard obtained PEFC endorsement in 2009.

Keep becoming better

In 2009, MTCC started the next revision process, to make its standard reflect the latest developments, emerging issues and research findings. Besides revising the standard for natural forests, MTCC also developed a separate standard for forest plantations. Both standards, MC&I(Natural Forest) and MC&I(Forest Plantations) were assessed by an independent assessor and endorsed by PEFC, and came into force in 2012.

In 2015, MTCC initiated the next revision process. In this revision, MTCC began to explore the possibility of merging the two standards to make them more resource efficient. The enquiry draft of the revised standard titled Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (MC&I SFM) was finalized and adopted by the multi-stakeholder Standards Review Committee in December 2019.

The finalized standard will have to be approved by the MTCC Board of Trustees and undergo third party assessment before being endorsed by PEFC.


Revising our national standards – insights from Chile

PEFC national standards are developed locally. To make sure they continue to meet our evolving international requirements, they have to be reviewed every five years.

In our latest video, we hear from Andre Laroze, National Secretary of Certfor/PEFC Chile, who shares insights into the latest revision process of the Chilean Forest Management Standard.

“When we began the last revision of our Sustainable Forest Management Standard, we noticed how much the Chilean society and the forestry sector had developed during these years,” he explains.

“This meant that the expectations regarding the use of natural resources had achieved much higher levels that needed to be properly addressed. Many different stakeholders with different points of view participated in the discussion of the requirements.”

“Although the Certfor standard addressed the main issues of the day, sustainable development is a continuous process. New social, environmental demands arise over time. This implies that the standards must evolve, too, to address those new issues.”

Find out more about the revision process of national standards.