This new and updated online tool is designed to help Group Scheme Managers and forest owners to gain and/or maintain certification. The new online forest certification tool aims to provide a simple and cost-effective solution to assist the UK’s woodland owners to become PEFC-certified. We hope that it will help increase the UK’s certified forest area, boost the supply of certified material to the UK primary processing sector and make certification easier for everyone.
While PEFC forest certification has been established in the UK since 2010, it has long been recognised that a cost-effective certification solution was required to enable all woodland owners to participate in certification. Certified materials are now increasingly requested by a growing number of forest product users including retailers, the construction sector, energy suppliers and public sector specifiers.
More than one and a half million hectares of UK forests have been certified to PEFC’s sustainable forest management standard since the first certificate in 2010. This covers all the state-owned forests in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and many privately owned forest estates, managed through the large Group Certification schemes.
We are confident that the online forest certification tool will assist Group Scheme managers, to ensure these schemes function more efficiently, reduce costs and become a user-friendly method of assessing the compatibility of existing forest management plans and procedures with those required by UKWAS and improve audit consistency through a series of easy to follow online checklists. Elements of the tool are specifically designed to assist Group managers to compare and identify where their members may be having compliance issues, so that these can be dealt with in a timely manner.
Alun Watkins, who heads up PEFC in the UK commented: “There is an ever-growing demand for homegrown timber and we will see an increasing amount of UK wood products entering the supply chain across a range of sectors. It is important that certification is a viable option for forest owners of all sizes as the market is increasingly demanding evidence of responsible sourcing. Our new online tool will help streamline the evidence required by the sustainable forest management audit process. It has been designed in consultation with forest management professionals to be user-friendly and provide straightforward path to PEFC certification.”
You can register for the certification tool at www.forestrytool.pefc.co.uk
Forest owners or Group Scheme managers wishing to learn more about the on-line tool should contact Alun Watkins on 0114 3072334 or firstname.lastname@example.org