November / December 2018 • Issue 6 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA 26 PANELS MANUFACTURING PEFC: WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE? E asily picked out from a slew of international certification systems, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification boasts more than 300 million hectares of forests around the world, has awarded over 20,000 companies with the PEFC Chain of Custody certification, and offers thousands of PEFC-certified products globally. In other words, the unique and distinctive PEFC is the largest forest certification system in the world. HIGH STANDARDS As PEFC requires compliance from all ILO Conventions in forest management, while also managing to accommodate the individual needs of forests run by families or communities, thus contributing to livelihoods and development in rural areas dependent on forestry. On top of being in line with most of the governments around the world in terms of maintaining biodiversity; protecting and safeguarding workers’ rights; and prohibiting use of hazardous chemicals, to name a few, PEFC’s processes for group certification is also well-established and transparent, and in regards to their Chain of Custody certification, includes social, health and safety requirements. STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT PEFC ensures that standard-setting, certification and accreditation are completely separated to guarantee impartiality and also requires all national standards be separately created and requires that all standards be subjected to public consultation and evaluations by independent third parties while also regularly revising national certification systems, among others. GLOBALLY RECOGNISED Assembled on agreements between governments and processes recognised globally, it is no surprise that PEFC bases its understanding of sustainable forest management on social consensus as well as on governmental processes on top of following ISO guidelines accepted all over the world and even implementing governmental agreements on voluntarily and based on the market. ℗ Around the world, there are a number of forest certification systems, but PEFC has emerged as the system of choice. But why is that? Read on to find out.