Issue PEFC recognized accreditations

As an accreditation body you play an important role in assuring the independence and performance of certification bodies issuing PEFC certificates.

You may have been requested by a certification body to provide an accreditation against a PEFC endorsed forest management standard and/or the PEFC Chain of Custody standard. Having a PEFC accreditation program enables you to provide services to certification bodies seeking to carry out PEFC certification in your country.

We only accept accreditations from ABs that are members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), or one of the regional accreditation groups such as the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) of the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC).

We then have specific additional requirements, depending on the type of certification for which the accreditation is provided.

For forest management certification, our PEFC endorsed national forest certification systems will include specific performance requirements based on our Technical Document Annex 6. This includes for example the public availability of summary audit reports and stakeholder consultations in the certification process.

For PEFC chain of custody certification, the certification body will need to comply with our PEFC ST 2003. Additionally, your AB needs to be a signatory of the Multilateral Recognition Agreement for product certification (MLA). PEFC ST 2003 provides all technical details for the accreditation.

To find out more, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Training requirements

As you are assessing the performance of certification bodies issuing PEFC certificates, it is important to have sufficient expertise on the PEFC system and the PEFC Chain of Custody standard within the assessment team. We find it equally important that, like the auditors, you are kept up to date on our expectations, clarifications and interpretations to the standard.

Many accreditation bodies have solved this by using external technical experts with proven knowledge of the PEFC standard. Others have ensured that their personnel received sufficient training. 

We offer different options to have your personnel or technical experts trained. As a first option they could attend an auditor training course. A second possibility is to send them to one of the dedicated accreditation body trainings that we organize periodically.

Technical calibration training for accreditation bodies

In January 2020, we published the revised international standards for PEFC Chain of Custody (ST 2002), PEFC Trademarks (ST 2001) and Certification Body Requirements for Chain of Custody (ST 2003). These three standards entered into force on 14 February 2020, with a 24-month transition period.

In order to support accreditation bodies, we are offering technical calibration training to update your representatives on the key changes to these three standards. This technical calibration aims at providing you with the technical background necessary to conduct your accreditation tasks. 

You can find all the upcoming training for accreditation bodies on the training section of our website. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter (at the bottom of this page) to ensure you get all the latest training news and dates, or follow us on Twitter.

You can also contact us for more information at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Promote your sustainable material

If you are sourcing PEFC-certified products, you need to tell your customers about it! You can do this through the PEFC label. As a brand owner or retailer, there are several options for how you can use the PEFC label.

With the publication of our 2020 standards, we made it easier for brands and retailers to use our PEFC label to promote their procurement and sale of PEFC-certified products. 

With our previous standard, if you wanted to highlight your products were PEFC certified, you needed to include the PEFC licence number of each individual supplier. With the 2020 standards, this is no longer necessary. See the next section to see how you can do this!

Highlighting your certified products

If you procure PEFC-certified finished products and sell these finished products directly to consumers, without manipulating them in any way, you can use the PEFC label indirectly on‑product for promotional purposes. To do so, you simply need to hold a PEFC trademarks usage licence for Group D users (see how to get this at the bottom of the page).

This is designed to help you make it easy for your customers to identify your PEFC-certified products within catalogues, brochures and prices lists (digital or paper based). You need to clearly place an off-product label with the message “The products marked with the PEFC trademarks can be provided as PEFC certified” and then can put the PEFC label next to all your PEFC-certified products.

The aim of this process is to make it easier for you as a retailer to demonstrate to your customers which of your products are PEFC certified, without needing to use the specific licence number of every supplier. To find out exactly how you can use the PEFC trademarks in this way, see clause 6.3.4.4 of the PEFC Trademarks standard.

https://cdn.pefc.org/pefc.org/media/2020-02/d1ad5a21-0267-4db4-a41b-07fd577ffdea/3abf07e8-b7f9-5f42-ba2a-9ca608ee415f.pdf

Promoting your responsible sourcing

You can use the PEFC off-product label to enhance your communication about your responsible sourcing, including on your website, annual and CSR reports, marketing materials, catalogues and brochures and in-store materials. It's important to note, that this label cannot be used to claim that products are certified.

To help promote your sale of PEFC-certified products to your customers, you have a range of off-product label messages to choose from:

  • Promoting Sustainable Forest Management
  • [Company name] offers PEFC certified products
  • By sourcing PEFC, [we/company name] are/is supporting sustainably managed forests globally
  • By sourcing PEFC [wood/paper/packaging/products][we/company name] are/is supporting sustainably managed forests globally
  • The PEFC logo on our products ensures that our [wood/paper/packaging/products] comes/come from sustainably managed forests, recycled and controlled sources. Every purchase of a PEFC-labelled product makes a difference for forests and forest communities across the world.

You can also use these messages without the label, under the same requirements. When using them, you must either have the PEFC label close to the message, or put your trademarks licence number next to the message.

Putting the PEFC label on your products

If want to use the PEFC trademarks on products you are producing under your brand, you need to be PEFC certified in order to ensure they comply with the PEFC requirements. 

If your products are produced by third parties, then your suppliers need to be PEFC certified and label the finished products with their PEFC trademarks licence number.

Only PEFC certified companies can use the PEFC trademarks directly on-product. For more information, please check the PEFC label and how to get certified sections of our website or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Accessing the labels

You can create off-product labels using the PEFC Label Generator. Your account will automatically give you the label messages suitable for your business. You can also give your designers access to your Label Generator account, so they can directly download the labels to use within your promotional materials, catalogues, etc. 

To get access to the Label Generator you need to get a PEFC trademarks usage licence by signing a PEFC trademarks usage contract. If you already have a trademarks usage licence, you may need to sign a new contract, or accept an amendment to your current contract. But don’t worry, your PEFC trademarks licence number won’t change. 

Get in touch

To find out more, or to request a trademarks usage licence, please contact the national PEFC member for your country. If you’re country isn’t on the list, please contact PEFC International at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

source: https://pefc.org/for-business/brands-and-retailers/promote-your-sustainable-material

How to get PEFC chain of custody certified

To earn PEFC chain of custody certification, you must develop and implement procedures to account for the purchasing, tracking, manufacturing, sale and recordkeeping of certified materials.

We base PEFC chain of custody certification on best practice guidelines for certification. We use globally accepted ISO guidelines to ensure independence, transparency and impartiality of the certification process.

Preparing for certification

Which certification is right for you?

First, you’ll need to determine the scope of your certification. Which products do you want to sell with a PEFC claim or label? Are you looking at certifying a one-off project? What parts of your organization carry out chain of custody activities? Does your organization have chain of custody activities in multiple locations?

You can decide on the exact scope of your certification and we provide several tailored certification solutions if necessary, such as individual, multi-sitegroup or project certification.

Check the PEFC Chain of Custody standard version

In January 2020, PEFC published the latest versions of the PEFC Chain of Custody (ST 2002) and PEFC Trademarks (ST 2001) standards. These standards entered into force on 14 February 2020, with an 24-month transition period. This means that until 14 February 2022, there are two versions of the PEFC Chain of Custody standard: the latest version from 2020 and the older version from 2013. At this time, it is possible to be certified against either standard version.

Before starting to fulfil the PEFC chain of custody requirements, you need to choose which standard version you wish to be certified against. When making this decision, please take into consideration that certification bodies cannot provide certification services for the latest version until they have trained their auditors and adapted their procedures.

Fulfil the requirements

In order to obtain PEFC chain of custody certification, you need to fulfil certain key requirements.

Your management system outlining procedures must comply with the PEFC International Chain of Custody standard (PEFC ST 2002). You can integrate this information into the existing systems your company may have already implemented, such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 procedures.

You need to identify, brief and train the personnel responsible for performing the tasks that will affect the implementation and maintenance of the chain of custody; this includes buyers, marketing and sales personnel, among others. It is vital to ensure that everyone involved has appropriate knowledge of the purpose and requirements of chain of custody certification.

You will need to implement the necessary checks to verify that sourced material is PEFC certified – production of certified goods requires procurement of certified material. Our online database is a good resource for identifying suppliers of certified material.

You must implement processes to ensure that you have separated the production or handling of certified goods from non-certified goods, and that you have accurately accounted for the certified content in a product that contains both certified and non-certified material. Proof may be required at any stage of the process. You also need to keep records to prove that all systems comply with the requirements.

You will then have to conduct periodic reviews of your system and internal audits on an annual basis. These internal audits are in addition to external third-party audits.

The certification process

Once you have gone through all the preparatory work and set up your chain of custody system, you are ready to apply for PEFC certification.

The certification body

First, find a PEFC-recognized certification body in your country and get in contact with them. You can search for certification bodies using our online database. You will need to make an application for chain of custody certification with the certification body of your choice. 

If you have set up your chain of custody system in line with the requirements from the 2020 Chain of Custody standard, ask your chosen certification body if they are able to offer certification against this standard. Due to the 24-month transition period, some certification bodies may not yet be able to offer this certification.

Based on this application, you will receive a proposal, including a cost estimate. Certification bodies set the cost of PEFC chain of custody certification, so prices may vary by country and certification body. Most certification bodies establish their fees based on the time needed to carry out the audit. Audit time depends on a number of variables, including company size and complexity of the chain of custody. This averages between half a day and two days.

The audit

Arrange for the certification body to assess your chain of custody system against the Chain of Custody standard, checking that you have fulfilled all requirements. This will include a site visit by auditors from the certification body to assess your compliance. 

As part of the normal auditing process, the certification body may identify aspects of your chain of custody that may not comply with the requirements of the standard. Before granting you the certification, the certification body will request you to solve them within certain period of time.

The certificate

If the certification body finds your chain of custody system to be compliant with the certification requirements, they will issue you a PEFC certificate. The certificate is valid for a period of maximum five years. During that time, the certification body will carry out annual surveillance audits to confirm that your operation continues to comply with chain of custody requirements.

In order to renew your certification upon expiry of the certificate, you will be required to undergo a re-certification audit.

source: https://pefc.org/for-business/supply-chain-companies/how-to-get-certified

Use the PEFC label

Are you selling PEFC-certified products? Then you need to tell your customers about it! You can do this through the PEFC trademarks. As a PEFC chain of custody certified company, you have the right to use the PEFC label on both your PEFC-certified products and your promotional materials, such as brochures and websites. 

The PEFC label enables you to communicate your responsible practices visibly to your customers. This is becoming ever more important as consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact of their buying decisions.

The PEFC label also enables you to demonstrate your commitment to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, as well as highlighting your engagement with sustainable forest management. Furthermore, by generating awareness and demand for products from PEFC-certified forests, you are helping to increase the value of forests and therefore reduce the risk of deforestation.

PEFC labels are created quickly and easily through the online PEFC Label Generator. By using the Label Generator, you can customize the label to suit your needs, while being assured that the label remains in line with our graphic requirements.

 

The latest PEFC Trademarks standard

In January 2020, PEFC published the latest versions of the PEFC Chain of Custody (ST 2002) and PEFC Trademarks (ST 2001) standards. The PEFC Trademarks standard replaces the PEFC Logo Usage Rules standard (ST 2001:2008). These standards entered into force on 14 February 2020, with a 24-month transition period. Find out more about how the 2020 standards affect your certification.

If your company is still certified against the older PEFC Chain of Custody standard, you must continue to follow the requirements from the PEFC Logo Usage Rules standard. Once you are certified against the 2020 Chain of Custody standard, you will need to follow the requirements of the PEFC Trademarks standard. 

Companies certified against the 2020 Chain of Custody standard will gain access to the new PEFC Label Generator once they have signed a new trademarks usage contract (or accepted an amendment to their existing contract). But don’t worry, your PEFC trademarks licence number won’t change. The new Label Generator will ensure the creation of labels in line with the graphic requirements of the PEFC Trademarks standard. 

If you still have material that you produced while you were certified against the 2013 Chain of Custody standard, you can sell this remaining material using the PEFC trademarks according to the 2008 PEFC Logo Usage Rules. 

During the transition period, the current version of the Label Generator will remain online to enable companies to produce PEFC labels in line with the requirements of the 2008 PEFC Logo Usage Rules standard.

For more information, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://cdn.pefc.org/pefc.org/media/2020-02/7c414b9b-43ab-4b07-9d83-ed3aa384303b/6443f822-2c03-58ce-a0ae-9e4867c07127.pdf

https://cdn.pefc.org/pefc.org/media/2020-02/d1ad5a21-0267-4db4-a41b-07fd577ffdea/3abf07e8-b7f9-5f42-ba2a-9ca608ee415f.pdf

The PEFC trademarks

The PEFC trademarks cover the PEFC initials and the PEFC logo. PEFC chain of custody certified organizations have the right to use these trademarks on-product (directly, or indirectly to refer to the certified material included within a product) and off-product (for promotional purposes).

Note: This page covers the features of the PEFC trademarks as defined in the PEFC Trademarks standard published in 2020. If you are still following the requirements from the older PEFC Logo Usage Rules standard, please refer to the standard and Logo Usage Toolkit for more information.

The PEFC on-product labels

The PEFC on-product labels are only available for PEFC-certified products. They provide consumers with assurance that the forest and tree based materials within your product come from a sustainably managed forest.

You can use these labels directly on a product, as well as on the packaging of products that are PEFC certified. You can also use it on documentation associated with, or referring to, a particular PEFC-certified product, such as adverts and brochures. 

We offer two on-product labels: the PEFC certified label and the PEFC recycled label.

PEFC certified label

You can use this label on-product when at least 70% of the forest and tree based material included in your product is PEFC certified. Any remaining material must be from PEFC controlled sources, ensuring there is no forest and tree based material from controversial sources in your product.

If the product does not include recycled material, you can remove the word 'recycled' from the label message. If your product includes only forest and tree based material sourced directly from PEFC certified forests and delivered with the 'PEFC 100% Forest Origin' claim, you can remove 'recycled and controlled sources' from the label message.

You can also replace the text 'This product is' with the name of the product that is certified, for example: 'This table is...', helping to provide clear information about your certified products to your customers. If you're short on space, you can remove the label message and website, and replace the label title with the name of the product.

PEFC recycled label

If your product includes only recycled forest and tree based material, you can use our recycled label.

You can also replace the text 'This product is' with the name of the product that is certified, for example: 'This paper is...' Helping to provide clear information about your certified products to your customers. 

If you're short on space, you can remove the label message and website, and replace the label title with the name of the product.

The PEFC off-product label

As a certified company, you can use the PEFC off-product label to enhance your communication about your responsible practices, including on your website, annual and CSR reports, marketing materials, catalogues and brochures and in-store materials. It's important to note, that this label cannot be used to claim that products are certified.

This label includes the standard text ‘Promoting sustainable forest management’. However, you can use the messages listed below as alternatives (modify text in italics with appropriate term):

  • [Company name] has a PEFC certified chain of custody
  • [Company name] offers PEFC certified products
  • By sourcing PEFC, [we/company name] are supporting sustainably managed forests globally
  • By sourcing PEFC [wood/paper/packaging][we/company name] are supporting sustainably managed forests globally
  • The PEFC logo on our products ensures that our [wood/paper/packaging] comes from sustainably managed forests, recycled and controlled sources.
  • Every purchase of a PEFC-labelled product makes a difference for forests and forest communities across the world.

Note: If you are still following the requirements from the older PEFC Logo Usage Rules standard, there are two possible alternative messages:

  • “[Name of company] has a certified Chain of Custody”
  • “[Name of company] offers PEFC-certified products"

How to get the label?

 

Certified organizations with a valid PEFC trademarks usage licence can use the PEFC Label Generator to create the PEFC label. Companies that have not yet received login details for the Label Generator should contact their national PEFC member or PEFC International for more information. Certified companies that are interested in using the PEFC label but have not yet obtained a licence are encouraged to contact their national PEFC organization or PEFC International.

The legal part...

The PEFC logo and the initials "PEFC" are the exclusive property of PEFC and are internationally registered trademarks. They must be used with correct reference to the PEFC Council, PEFC members and their systems.

They cannot be used as part of, or integrated into, other trademarks or labels, within product brand names, company names or website domain names. They cannot be used together with other claims, messages or labels that can be misunderstood or misleading with regard to the qualities, characteristics, content, production process, etc. of the product they are accompanying, PEFC certification or PEFC in general.

PEFC reserves the right to refuse the use of any PEFC trademarks which does not align with PEFC’s strategic vision and mission.

Abuse

As the trademarks are a visual cue that consumers are increasingly looking for, it is vital to correct misuse of the PEFC trademarks, even if it is unintentional. We encourage anyone to report improper uses to allow us to investigate the matter.

For further information about PEFC trademarks and to report suspected trademark or label misuse, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

source: https://pefc.org/for-business/supply-chain-companies/use-the-pefc-label

The 2020 Chain of Custody and PEFC Trademarks standards

You may have noticed that in February 2020, PEFC published the latest versions of the PEFC Chain of Custody (ST 2002) and PEFC Trademarks (ST 2001) standards. But what does this mean for you as a PEFC chain of custody certified company?

Firstly, there is nothing you need to do in the short-term, as both standards have a 24-month transition period. You can continue business as normal with your certification against the 2013 version of the PEFC Chain of Custody standard – your certificate remains valid and you don’t need to change how you use the PEFC trademarks (the label).

The date you need to remember is 14 February 2022. Until this date, your audits (both annual and recertification) can continue to be done against the 2013 standard. However, your next audit after this date will need to be against the requirements in the 2020 standard. 13 February 2022 is the last date that you can be audited against the 2013 Chain of Custody standard. 

In order to be certified against the 2020 version of the standards, you will need to adapt your chain of custody management system and procedures to the revised requirements. You can see a summary of the main changes below:  

https://cdn.pefc.org/pefc.org/media/2020-02/aaae8a0f-0975-48f9-9ef2-c0b41f9aff3f/9fe878bd-f381-5951-b6ed-b2204ccc2cb0.pdf

Once your management procedures are in line with the 2020 requirements, you should contact your certification body (or choose a new certification body) and inform them that your next audit will be against the 2020 Chain of Custody standard. 

After you have successfully passed your audit, the certification body will present you with a PEFC certificate. You will then be contacted by the PEFC national member in your country, or PEFC International, in order to sign a PEFC trademarks usage contract. If you already have one, you may simply be asked to accept an amendment to your existing contract. But don’t worry, your PEFC trademarks licence number won’t change.

Unlike the previous standard, it is now mandatory for you to sign a trademarks usage contract, even if you don’t plan on using the PEFC trademarks (though we hope you do!).

Once your trademarks usage contract is signed, you can request access to the new PEFC Label Generator, in order to start producing PEFC trademarks in line with the 2020 PEFC Trademarks standard.

Using the PEFC trademarks

The 2020 versions of the Chain of Custody and PEFC Trademarks standards are linked. This means that while you are still certified against the 2013 Chain of Custody standard, you need to continue using the PEFC trademarks in line with the 2008 PEFC Logo Usage Rules. 

Once you are certified against the 2020 Chain of Custody standard, you will need to use the PEFC trademarks in line with the 2020 PEFC Trademarks standard.

To make it easier for you, while you are certified against the 2013 Chain of Custody standard, you will continue to have access to the current version of the PEFC Label Generator (LG V1). This ensures you create PEFC labels in line with the correct graphic requirements.

Once you are certified against the 2020 Chain of Custody standard, and have signed a new trademarks usage contract (or accepted an amendment to your current contract), you can request access to the new version of the PEFC Label Generator (LG V2). LG V2 will produce PEFC labels in line with the graphic requirements on the 2020 PEFC Trademarks standard.

If you still have material that you produced while you were certified against the 2013 Chain of Custody standard, you can sell this remaining material using the PEFC trademarks according to the 2008 PEFC Logo Usage Rules. 

Please find a summary of the main changes to this standard below:

https://cdn.pefc.org/pefc.org/media/2020-02/7c414b9b-43ab-4b07-9d83-ed3aa384303b/6443f822-2c03-58ce-a0ae-9e4867c07127.pdf

Choosing a certification body

In order for certification bodies to be able to provide certification services against the 2020 Chain of Custody standard, they need to undergo training and adapt their procedures, and get accredited against the 2020 version. For most certification bodies, this process will be ongoing throughout 2020. 

If you do decide to move to the 2020 Chain of Custody standard soon, please ensure your chosen certification body is able to provide certification against this version of the standard.

source: https://pefc.org/for-business/supply-chain-companies/moving-to-the-latest-standards