Concerns about climate change mean that the environment remains high on the news agenda. Hardly surprising then that momentum to increase the use of sustainably produced products is still gathering pace in the
Consumers, public authorities and those charged with corporate procurement decisions are increasingly seeking assurances regarding the environmental provenance of the products they buy.The only way that a company may demonstrate that they are passing on the sustainable credentials of their suppliers is to implement their own chain of custody. Once implemented, the system will need to be certified by an independent certification body to ensure that it meets the criteria set by the relevant PEFC standards.
For a product to qualify for certification, all entities along the supply chain must possess a PEFC Chain of Custody certificate. Only then are companies eligible to use the PEFC label on their products and in product marketing to highlight the responsible sourcing of the raw material.
Currently over 1300 certificates have been issued to UK companies keen to provide customers with such assurances. Chain of Custody certification is awarded by accredited certification bodies and details of those companies that can conduct audits for the
PEFC Chain of Custody certification offers benefits to a range of business-sector stakeholders.
For the wood-processing industry, PEFC Chain of Custody certification can improve efficiency and production systems through enhanced traceability and accounting.
Selling certified materials through a Chain of Custody system also improves the image of the sector and can promote products to consumers, particularly as an alternative to other less sustainable or more energy-intensive materials.
PEFC Chain of Custody certification offers important advantages to retailers and traders (who purchase from the wood-processing industry), which can improve their licence to operate and enhance their image by promoting wood and non-timber forest products from sustainable sources.
In addition, it can open up new markets and increase the customer base as more and more consumers demand wood from certified sources. Public and private procurement policies increasingly require wood and wood-based products to originating from sustainably managed forests, and often specify PEFC certification as evidence. Certification is likely to become part of a companies' license to operate in many countries.