Forestry Certification

Certification

The international timber products market is increasingly demanding assurance about the quality and environmental impacts of woodland management. One way to provide this assurance is through independent verification, or audit, against a published recognised standard.Woodland Management Certification together with Chain of Custody Certification provide consumers with the assurance that the timber or wood products they are buying come from well managed forests. Certification is voluntary.

Woodland Management Certification (for woodland owners/managers)

Woodland Management Certification demonstrates that the woodland conforms to the exacting standards of management required under the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) www.ukwas.org.uk. UKWAS sets out the requirements which woodland owners and managers and certification authorities can use to certify woodland management in the UK. The UKWAS standard is currently the central component of the forest certification programmes operated in the UK by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC UK) www.fsc-uk.org and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Programmes (PEFC UK) www.pefc.co.uk.

The costs for certification vary a great deal depending on the size and complexity of the woodland. Certification bodies, who will undertake the necessary audit, will be able to provide more detail on this directly.  A list of Certification Bodies, both UK based and international, can be found here.

Many sawmills and timber processors in the UK and Europe now require certification as a condition of purchase.

Only timber from certified woodlands can carry the FSC or PEFC logo.

Chain of Custody Certification (for businesses that work with wood)

Chain of Custody Certification is a timber and timber products traceability system that ensures that certified products come from a well managed source. Chain of Custody can be defined as "the path taken by raw materials, processed materials or finished products from the forest to the consumer including each stage of transformation, manufacturing, storage and transport where progress to the next stage involves a change of ownership of the materials or products".

Demand for Chain of Custody Certification has grown dramatically in recent years to the extent that, for many companies, the ability to prove that a timber product has been derived from a well managed source is now a key factor in the specification of timber products.

Certification bodies will be able to give detail on costs as for Forest Management Certification above.