France and Sweden were two of the founding members of PEFC back in 1999, and this re-endorsement marks the fourth time that these systems have successful achieved PEFC endorsement. Between them, the two countries account for almost 20 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest.
Italy joined the alliance in 2001 and achieved endorsement of their system in 2004. This re-endorsement is the third time the Italian system has been endorsed by PEFC. Alongside the certification of more traditional forest-based products, PEFC Italy is also leading the way for certification of other products, such as honey and clothing!
Continuous commitment and improvement
“These re-endorsements show both the commitment of our members and underlines PEFC’s leadership in the continuous improvement of forest certification,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “We appreciate their continued commitment, as well as the contributions of all the stakeholders who have participated in the standards revision and assessment processes.”
PEFC International is the only global forest certification system to limit endorsements of national systems to five years, requiring standards revisions before a system can re-apply for endorsement. Endorsement is only granted after a comprehensive, third-party assessment of compliance with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.
Revisions are required to ensure that latest scientific research, practical experiences and best practices from the field, but also evolving values, expectations, and aspirations of society towards sustainable forest management, are systematically incorporated in these national systems, and then implemented at national, regional and local level.