The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification.
PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Thanks to its eco-label, customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests.
With about 30 endorsed national certification systems and more than 230 million hectares of certified forests, PEFC is the world's largest forest certification system.
Each national forest certification system undergoes rigorous third-party assessment against PEFC's unique Sustainability Benchmarks to ensure consistency with international requirements.
These Benchmarks have been developed based on internationally-recognized, ongoing and long term, intergovernmental processes and guidelines for the promotion of SFM to ensure compliance with globally agreed requirements.
The Benchmark criteria are regularly revised through multi-stakeholder processes involving participants drawn globally from civil society, business, governments, labour and research institutions to take account of new scientific knowledge, societal change, evolving expectations and to incorporate latest best practice.
Today, PEFC includes 34 national certification systems among its membership, which is also open to international stakeholders such as civil society organizations, businesses, government entities and intergovernmental bodies.
PEFC is the certification system of choice for small forest owners including family- and community-owned forests.
Some 25% of the world's forests are managed by 2 billion families and community members, with 40% of forests in the North owned by 30 million families and 25% of forests in the South owned or managed by communities.
Through innovative mechanisms for group and regional certification, PEFC supports small land owners to gain recognition in the market place thereby making a lasting contribution to livelihoods and rural development.
To date, several hundred-thousand family- and community-owned forests have acquired PEFC certification.
PEFC certification is also favoured by numerous public and private timber procurement policies worldwide.