Forests area: 311 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): 20,000
All woodland certified to PEFC in the UK will meet the requirements of the PEFC UK Certification Scheme, the details of which may be found below.
The PEFC United Kingdom Certification Scheme for Sustainable Forest Management (the Scheme) was first adopted by PEFC UK Ltd in 2001 and then subsequently endorsed by PEFC Council in 2002.
Since 2002, PEFC UK has incorporated a number of amendments to the original Scheme. This ensures that the current version meets the requirements of the latest standards and guides set by the PEFC Council.
The revised Scheme is based on two national United Kingdom published documents namely, the United Kingdom Forestry Standard (the Government's Approach to Sustainable Forestry), which was last revised in 2017, (4th edition), and the Forest Management Certification Standard, which is known as the United Kingdom Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) (the Standard). UKWAS has also undergone a major review and thorough public consultation exercise between 2014 and 2016. The current version of UKWAS (UKWAS 4) has now been endorsed by PEFC Council and is effective from 1st April 2018.
The Scheme is based on the subsidiary principle of the PEFC Council regarding the establishment of national certification schemes and will permit forest producers in the UK to comply with minimum requirements ensuring sustainable forest management. Its aim is to provide consumers with guarantees that any product with a PEFC certificate or logo is derived from forest management wherein there is consistent application of principles of sustainability founded on three basic pillars of social, environmental and economic understanding.
The UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) is a certification standard which sets out the requirements which woodland owners and managers and certification bodies can use to certify woodland management in the United Kingdom. The standard is the product of an inclusive and transparent process which has involved a balanced representation from the UK forestry and environmental community. It has been designed to ensure that it reflects the requirements of the Government’s UK Forestry Standard and through this the guidelines adopted by European Forestry Ministers at Helsinki in 1993 and Lisbon in 1998.
The PEFC UK Scheme has been constructed on the basis of the Pan-European Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management and the Pan-European Operational Level Guidelines for Sustainable Forest Management adopted as Resolution L2 at the 3rd Ministerial Conference for the Protection of Forests in Europe.