Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific April 2021

Chain of Custody Training Reinforces Transparency & Traceability in Supply & Sourcing from Sustainable Forests
 
Nothing stands still for PEFC in Asia Pacific, its fastest growing region of the world. This week auditors, reviewers and certification decision makers are going through the PEFC Chain of Custody training with the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) from 6 to 8 April. This provides an introduction to the revised 2020 PEFC Chain of Custody standard - which is applied consistently around the world - and exists to reinforce the importance of transparency and traceability in the supply chain, as well as provide assurances that wood products originate from sustainably managed forestsRead more about PEFC-IFCC training here.
 
Sustainable & Legal Forest Trade in Lower Mekong Region
 
 
A new PEFC-FOR-TRADE project, in collaboration with the UN-REDD Programme’s initiative for the Lower Mekong, will promote trade and sustainable forest management (SFM), and at the same time reduce pressure on forests through improved governance in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. PEFC’s Forestry and Trade for Development in the ASEAN region aims to strengthen trade through improved forest certification infrastructure, supporting the reduction of trade barriers, promoting sustainable wood trade, improving livelihoods, and contributing to biodiversity protection. The UN-REDD Programme involves working with key institutions in these countries, and in China, to reduce the opportunities for forest crime by strengthening forest governance, particularly by increasing the effectiveness of systems designed to ensure legal and sustainable trade in timber. There’s more.
 
Sustainable Apparel: Forest Fibres for Fashion Textiles
 
 
Forest fibres for fashion textiles was featured in the first issue of PEFC’s Pulse newsletter last month – issued for International Day of the Forests - which also drew attention to PEFC’s participation, as sponsor and speaker, in Sustainable Apparel and Textiles Conference on 27 – 29 April 2021, exploring how brands can transform factories, engage consumers, drive circularity, and reduce climate impacts across fashion and textile supply chains. Also speaking at the virtual event Cherie Tan, vice president, communications and sustainability for Asia Pacific Rayon, a member of the APRIL Group, which is a PEFC International Stakeholder Member. Listen to what Ben Gunneberg had to say about the benefits for the apparel sector from switching to forest-based fibres.
 
Profiling Values & Virtues of Sustainable Timber Sourcing
 
 
PEFC's latest interview in the series ‘Meeting our certified companies’, Kevin Hill, CEO of Venturer Pte Ltd is featured. Amid the construction works on Changi Chapel, Singapore’s first PEFC certified project, he spoke about the beginnings of his company and the meaning of PEFC certification to him and his customers. "Project certification is an important link in a valuable narrative about the virtues of sustainable timber sources," Kevin insists. "Without project certification, the story stops with the manufacturer, not at the project itself. This means that the effort of sourcing timber responsibly cannot ultimately be proven and therefore claimed by the project owner. Without it, the public cannot engage in a meaningful way when entering a beautifully built PEFC-certified timber structure." Read the full story.
 
Do-It Yourself with SGEC-PEFC Certified Materials in Japan
 
 
 
A Do-It-Yourself store in Japan has started to sell PEFC-certified goods. Cainz Home, a popular retailer for DIY goods, opened Cainz Asaka as the first domestic home centre/DIY store where forest certified materials are available. Among goods on display are SGEC/PEFC-certified European spruce plywood, using Russian conifer (larch) material, SGEC-certified domestic thinned wood and board (Japanese cedar). Asaka Lead Town, where the DIY store is located, has been engaged in various initiatives, such as promotion of sustainable “Kotozukuri (value creation)” and contributing towards achieving other Sustainable Development goals. Read more in the SGEC Newsletter.
 
Sustainable Timber Supply Chain for Patina Maldives Resort
 
 
A new resort in the Fari Islands, Patina Maldives is putting sustainability front and centre. Not only is the resort using PEFC-certified timber, but the onsite James Turrell Skyspace is PEFC Project Certified by Venturer TimberworkDouble Helix Tracking Technologies and SourceMap were engaged to verify the timber supply chain for the featured Skyspace from the European forest to Indian Ocean island. The Patina resort developer Pontiac Land of Singapore also insisted: "During construction of the Fari Islands, energy consumption was reduced by an estimated 12% through sustainable practices such as the use of prefabricated materials, which significantly reduced waste and carbon emissions versus conventional construction methods. Locally sourced, biodegradable and reusable materials were used wherever possible; all timber is PEFC-certified and sourced from 100% transparent supply chains. Read all about its sustainability features.
 
New University Building in PEFC Certified CLT by Stora Enso
 
 
One of the largest wooden buildings in the world is being built in Singapore with PEFC-certified Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) by Stora Enso. The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is adopting sustainable materials and innovative construction methods to develop its campus. The latest project, Academic Building South (ABS), is a true showcase of sustainable construction and largely utilising Stora Enso CLT, and will to be the new home for Nanyang Business School. At 40,000 m2, it will be one of the largest wooden buildings in Asia upon completion later this year. “Following the SMU campus completed in 2019, this is the second significant learning environment with wood to Singapore,” says Erkki Välikangas, Stora Enso Building Solutions Sales Director in Asia. There's more.
 
Japan's First Office Building Project SGEC-PEFC Certified
 
 
Nomura Real Estate Development has gained SGEC/PEFC Project Chain of Custody certification - a first for real estate developers in the office building sector - for a brand new property in the heart of Tokyo. Named “H¹O Hirakawa-cho”, the building meets the emerging trend for small-sized offices catering to less than 10 employees. The upper floor of the building commands a fine view of the green of the Imperial Palace. The timber used for this project was Japanese cedar grown and produced in a certified forest located at Tama District of Tokyo. SGEC/PEFC project certification has been already awarded for the roof of the club house in Ariake Tennis Forest and the Upside Down Fuji Monument of The Mt. Fuji World Herritage Centre in Shizuoka. Read More.
 
Unicharm Meets 2 SDG Goals with PEFC Certified Products
 
 
In another first for Japan, the PEFC mark will be shown on the packages of the highest quality premium paper diapers produced by Unicharm Products, a subsidiary of Unicharm Corporation, which has acquired Chain of Custody (CoC) certification for its five domestic plants. The Unicharm group is committed to using materials (paper and pulp) derived from wood grown in managed forests, so the certification provides proof of using sustainable resources, demonstrating that it is achieving two of the Sustainable Development Goals: SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 15 Life on Land. Read more.
 
PEFC Answers Greenpeace on Certification & Deforestation
 
 
“Forest certification is an important part of the toolbox needed to stop deforestation, protect biodiversity, safeguard livelihoods, and provide society with wood as a sustainable, renewable raw material,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “Forest certification is not designed to solve issues like deforestation by itself. This is because many of the factors causing deforestation are outside forestry, such as the demand for land for agricultural production. We need to employ multiple tools, ensure the support of all stakeholders, and work collaboratively to achieve our common objective: safeguarding our forests,” added Mr Gunneberg. He was commenting on the Greenpeace report on forest certification. Read more.
 

Managing the Social Risks for Six Million Farmers

Rubber plantation in Vietnam. The Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCO) is the first national member to supply PEFC-certified natural rubber and rubberwood. (Photo credit: Dr Tran Lam Dong)

How to make sure the natural rubber
sustainable supply chain is fair and inclusive:
 
Managing the Social Risks for
Six Million Farmers
 
Climate resilient growth for natural rubber production depends on how well hard risks and soft risks are managed, PEFC’s CEO Ben Gunneberg said in the online panel discussion organised by the International Rubber Study Group earlier this month (March).
 
He pointed out that as 85% of natural rubber is produced by six million farmers – mostly in the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia - there’s a need to have partnerships in place to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to foster a sustainable raw material supply chain.
 
“Risks to Economic Activity in 2021: Implications for Future Growth and Sustainability” was the title of the global natural rubber industry event.
 
A sustainable approach to natural rubber production demands that we take account of all the hard risks, which Mr Gunneberg identified as relevant legal rights and land ownership, as well as human rights and labour issues.
 
Recognising the rights of indigenous people and as well as communities that are dependent on rubber, are equally important, he said.
 
No less important are what he describes as the soft risks: socio-economic and market conditions, including gender inclusion, practical issues like clean water and sanitation, as well as vital access to health and education services. 
 
To mitigate and manage these social risks, PEFC is applying its Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Group certification approach, which it has been making available for smallholders in the forestry sector for the past 20 years.
 
He also explained how PEFC’s Chain of Custody certification process can also be called on by all those in the natural rubber supply chain to provide independently verified assurance to end users that the rubber materials or products come from well-managed certified plantations.
 
Mr Gunneberg also called for the application of SDG 17, as Partnerships are crucial in the natural rubber production and supply chain. He saw four categories where partnerships were essential to develop:
 
·     Company led procurement policies
·     Local capacity and infrastructure building
·     Public policies to enable legal frameworks
·    Transformation of production to improve yield and quality, as well as living incomes.
 
He drew special attention to Vietnam as it provides a relevant case study where smallholders feature in the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) process. 
 
“The Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCO) is the latest member to achieve PEFC endorsement of its national forest certification system,” Mr Gunneberg pointed out. “It’s also the first national member to supply PEFC-certified natural rubber and rubberwood."
 
In 2020, Vietnam produced 16,000 tons of certified natural rubber from its 11,300 hectare plantation. In 2021 that will increase to 61,000 tons of natural rubber coming from another 60,000 hectares which have been certified. Vietnam will also produce 300,000 cubic metres of rubberwood this year.
 
To see and hear a full recording of the online panel discussion organised by the International Rubber Study Group, go to:
 
 

Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific March 2021

Talking about

- it is Real & Virtual!

While PEFC believes strongly in maximising the responsible use of tangible materials from sustainable forests, like timber, pulp, paper, wood-chips and even fibres for fashion, we also accept the reality these days to communicate in a virtual fashion! Hence Webinars and Zoom events – past, present and future - are the order of the day. Where-ever you are, you can participate in Tomorrow’s Timber Talk on 11 March when architectural engineer Pablo van der Lugt gives a deep insight into the principle of bio-based construction, as well as the latest developments in prefabrication options and construction process advantages of Mass Engineered Timber. There’s more.

PEFC Collaborates with ASEAN Furniture Industry Members

PEFC is collaborating with the ASEAN Furniture Industries Council (AFIC) to promote responsible sourcing of timber in the region and Chain of Custody certification for the furniture industry. This important collaboration will be announced by Emmanuel Padiernos, Chairman of AFIC, at a forum in Manila on 9 March, the first day of the ASEAN International Furniture & Furnishings Show 2021 which runs until 18 March. PEFC’s CEO Ben Gunneberg will be speaking at the forum about Sustainable Forest Management in the region and how ASEAN furniture industry members can join the global movement to meet consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products and services. Photo by Harith Green Carpenter, Malaysia. More on AFIC here.

PEFC on Managing Social Risks for Natural Rubber

Climate resilient growth for natural rubber production depends on how well we manage the hard risks and soft risks, PEFC’s CEO Ben Gunneberg said in the online panel discussion organised by the International Rubber Study Group on 3 March. He pointed out that as 85% of natural rubber is produced by 6 million farmers – mostly in Southeast Asia – there’s a need to have partnerships in place to meet Sustainable Development goals and to foster a sustainable raw material supply chain. Go here for the full recording of the webinar.

Vietnam First to Certify Natural Rubber & Rubberwood

The fact that 12 000 hectares of Acacia and Rubber plantation has been certified by Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCS) before the endorsement of PEFC has shown substantial Vietnamese stakeholders’ determination to make the national system work. “We are also delighted to be the first and only member so far to supply the first PEFC certified natural rubber and rubberwood," said Dr. Bui Chinh Nghia, Chairman of VFCS. Meeting - and even exceeding - the global benchmark in sustainable forest management has strengthened Vietnam’s belief that it’s moving in the right direction in building a national forest certification system. Read more.

First PEFC Controlled Source Indonesian Merbau Shipped

The first shipment of the prized Merbau roundwood to go through such an intense PEFC certification and verification process started its journey from Indonesia to New Zealand late last month. This year DoubleHelix started switching Certisource customers to PEFC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, the first two being PT Forest Indo Perkasa and PT Larasati Multisentosa. Auditor Teguh Dwi Pambudi, who is responsible for overseeing due diligence and verification processes in Indonesia, says: “PEFC controlled sources claims provide the confidence that consumers need, so they know they are getting wood products from non-controversial sources”. Go to DoubleHelix for more.

Australia & New Zealand Cooperate On Responsible Wood

Australia's forest sustainability champion Responsible Wood will present at the New Zealand Green Building Council webinar series at 12noon (NZST) and 10am (AEDT) on 10 March. The webinar on “Sustainably Sourced Engineered Wood for a Low Carbon Future” will feature a panel of experts discussing PEFC certification and the future of engineered wood products. Sustainable architect at Scion, Andrea Stocchero, will tackle the question ‘can sustainably-sourced engineered wood be one of New Zealand’s shovel-ready answers for a sustainable future?’. Read more

Photographer Committed to Preserve & Protect Forests

Award winning photographer, Keril Chairil, tells us why he loves, but also worries about, the forest and what makes the place where he took his photo so special. He knows PEFC works very hard to protect forests and hopes it will be able to solve the concerns of people like him, who also wants to preserve and protect forests. "I hope that this competition can be a way for PEFC to give people a sense of care and love for forests". That from Keril Chairil, the winner of our 2020 ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest, who tells us more about his winning photograph and his love of forests. See more.

Forest Files: How Malaysia Manages Sustainable Forestry

Last year, local environmental portal Macaranga.org published four in-depth articles based on their investigation into forest-use changes in Peninsular Malaysia. Called Forest Files, the series explored issues such as forest-use policies, key drivers of forest loss and also how citizens could influence forest use. Siti Syaliza Mustapha, Senior Manager (Forest Management) at the Malaysian Timber Certification Council, talks about the role of the MTCC, which promotes the certification of forestry and timber products in Malaysia that meet international standards of practice, and whether this can promote sustainable logging and sustainable forestry. Listen to the latest report here.

PEFC Joins APEC Experts on Illegal Logging & Trade

Seventeen economies from Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) participated in the 19th meeting of EGILAT - Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade - held virtually on 19 and 20 February 2021. Participants shared updates on the implications of COVID-19 and exchanged information on combating illegal logging and promoting trade in legal forest products. They also discussed the progress regarding the EGILAT policy theme on “Advancing the Trade and Distribution of Legally Harvested Forest Products.”  Siti Syaliza Mustapha from MTCC reported on how PEFC has continued to manage certification, audit and compliance activities during the pandemic. More on EGILAT here.

World Furniture: How Consumers Buy Furniture Online

Chain of custody certification is vital for a furniture company to advance its sustainability credentials. If it can also show that it’s using certified sustainable packaging materials and it’s taking care to be carbon-conscious with its shipping method, that’s the additional sort of assurance an online shopper needs. That's the essence of the PEFC article by Ken Hickson in World Furniture Magazine March 2021 issue. It mentions an online retailer in Singapore selling European-made furniture with wood sourced from Asia, that goes out its way to tell the sustainability story and proudly shows the PEFC certification labels. For Soul and Tables, sustainability and responsible sourcing is at the heart of its business. See the World Furniture article here.

PEFC/IFCC Chain of Custody Training for Auditors

To maintain the highest possible standards for issuing PEFC's Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification, intensive training courses are conducted throughout the Asia Pacific region. Auditors, reviewers and certification decision makers are invited to register for the next PEFC recognised CoC initial training, which is being conducted in Indonesia on 6-8 April 2021. This training is a pre-requisite before anyone can issue certification against the 2020 PEFC CoC related standards. The training will be given by PEFC International Technical Experts Nurcahyo Adi and Rudy Setyawan from Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC). There's more here.

MTCC Debuts at the MIFF Virtual B2B Furniverse 2021

In line with its continuous effort to reach out to timber industry players and increase awareness on forest and timber certification, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) is making a debut at the virtual B2B furniture fair, MIFF Furniverse 2021 which takes place from 8 until 12 March. This is the latest digital event experience by the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), one of the top furniture fairs across the globe, especially in Southeast Asia. MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon said such virtual trading experience is the go-to in today’s business sphere and an ideal platform for the council to consistently connect and update industry players in these challenging times. Read more.

 

Why Certified Eco-Labels are important for Consumers, Retailers, Industry & Governments

Products from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas, one of the biggest paper packaging companies in Asia. It proudly shows the PEFC label on its products, which verifies that they are Chain of Custody certified and come from Sustainably Managed Forests.

Feature article from the
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
2 March 2021
 
"Ecolabels are usually awarded by an impartial third party for specific products or services that have been independently determined to meet transparent criteria based on life cycle considerations, in contrast to other ‘green’ symbols, or claim statements developed by manufacturers and service providers." (Australian Government 2020 Sustainable Procurement Guide)
 
Why Certified Eco-Labels are important for Consumers, Retailers, Industry & Governments
 
What does an eco-label tell you about a product before you buy it?
 
If it has the PEFC label, it gives you the assurance that it comes from a sustainably managed forest and it's gone through a Chain of Custody certification process, with third party verification.
 
But more than that, national sustainable forest management requirements for PEFC, have 15 important criteria, including:
  • Maintenance, conservation and enhancement of ecosystem biodiversity
  • Protection of ecologically important forest areas
  • Climate positive practices such as reduction of GHG emissions in forest operations.
 
PEFC has been recognised by the Australian Government as a 'trusted eco-label' in the 2020Sustainable Procurement Guide released by the Department for Environment. Whilst this publication is designed for government entities, it will ultimately have utility beyond government as large corporates often pick these up to reform or inform their own procurement guides and requirements.
 
Responsible Wood, representing PEFC in Australia and New Zealand, says this guide provides step-by-step guidance on how to consider sustainability in the different stages of the procurement process, from identifying the business need to the end of the contract, including review and reporting.
 
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that with “eco-labels, we can select products and services according to specific environmental and social criteria:
 
“What this means is that as consumers, eco-labels guide our purchasing decisions by providing information about the ‘world’ behind the product. For businesses, eco-labels are a means of measuring performance and also communicating and marketing the environmental credentials of a given product. And for governments, crucially these tools encourage the behavioural change of producers and consumers towards long-term sustainability.”
 
When you see the PEFC label on a product, it means that it comes from a PEFC-certified forest. A PEFC-certified forest is a forest that is managed in line with the strictest environmental, social and economic requirements. A forest that will be around for generations to come.
 
Through PEFC certification, we can track the material from these forests, down the supply chain, to the final product that you buy. The mechanism to track the material is called chain of custody certification. Beyond ensuring that the material comes from a certified forest, it also protects the rights of workers along the production process.
 
Indonesia's leading pulp and paper producer Indah Kiat, for example, is one of that wisely displays the PEFC label on its paper products. Committed to preserving the environment and to contributing to the fight against global warming, Indah Kiat Serang's environmentally friendly operations are complemented by an extensive tree planting programme for the mill and it's vicinity.
 
Recognition of the PEFC label goes beyond procurement to investment decisions. PEFC achieved the highest ranking in the 2020 assessment against ASEAN’s Guidelines for Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (ASEAN RAI), thanks to its coordinated national and regional approach. The ASEAN RAI Guidelines offer guidance on food, agriculture and forestry investments to agribusinesses, governments, financial institutions and producers.

Indonesian forest certification system submitted for endorsement

The Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) recently submitted their national forest certification system to PEFC for re-endorsement. The public consultation, your chance to give your feedback on this revised system, will run from 8 March until 7 May.

 

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IFCC, the PEFC national member for Indonesia, revised the country’s national forest certification system following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard.

The revised IFCC Forest Certification Scheme is also one of the first national systems submitted to PEFC for endorsement that includes a Trees Outside Forests (TOF) standard. TOF certification was one of the innovative developments of the 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard.

To provide you with additional information about this revised national system and the new TOF standard, we are holding a webinar on 9 March, at 8:00 CET (14:00 WIB). The webinar is free to attend, and everyone is welcome. 

Register for the webinar

 

The endorsement process

After revising the national system in line with PEFC requirements, IFCC submitted the revised system to PEFC for endorsement. The national system is now undergoing the PEFC assessment process, carried out by an independent PEFC Registered Assessor. It must pass this process and be approved by the PEFC General Assembly before it can achieve endorsement.

An important aspect of the assessment process is the public consultation. Over the sixty-day consultation, stakeholders from around the world can give their comments and provide feedback on any aspect of the system. The Registered Assessor will use the information received from this consultation in their assessment of the system.

Want to know more? Join us for the webinar on 9 March – register now! 

Source: https://pefc.org/news/indonesian-forest-certification-system-submitted-for-endorsement