Important things are happening in the field of forestry certification these days. Recently, I participated in an event commemorating the endorsement of the China National Forest Certification Scheme (CFCS) by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The endorsement, which means CFCS certified products are now automatically eligible for PEFC certification, was officially announced in February this year. Following this, the two certification schemes organized a workshop in Shenzhen, China to discuss with experts what this means for the forestry and pulp and paper industry sectors.
Forest certification has great growth potential in China, as the country is both the largest forestry products producer and one of the five largest countries in terms of forest area in the world. Director of PEFC China Initiative Benson Yu (pictured below) stated at the Shenzhen event that this endorsement will bring positive impacts for both the domestic and international certified product markets. Companies will not just get a “green label” for the international market, but more importantly, they will start to realize the significance of practicing sustainable management in their own businesses.
Furthermore, with China’s high demand for wood imports, strong certification requirements will drive the development of certification in supplier countries too.
Among the speakers at the Shenzhen event was Wang Wei, Chairman of CFCC (pictured below), who emphasized that with CFCS’s integration into the PEFC system, China can now participate in the development of global forest certification systems and learn from the experience of others regarding how to develop and protect local forests.
Buyers of forest and paper products can now find suitable certified materials in the Chinese domestic market, leading to cost cuts and the healthy development of domestic companies. Additionally, the endorsement eliminates barriers for local products to enter international markets and helps enhance overall competitiveness.
As one of the leading pulp and paper companies in the world, APP is among the first to be certified by CFCC / PEFC in China and is a strong advocate of the benefits of forestry certification around the world. For us, certifications represent important milestones on the journey towards zero deforestation and long-term sustainable business.
Up to now, 10 production facilities of APP-China have completed PEFC-COC (chain-of-custody) certification; APP-China’s five forest plantations have passed CFCC-FM (forest management) certification; and APP’s certified woodland in China accounts for 60% of all certified plantations in the country.
I am proud to see such progress in APP and I am also excited to witness China’s forestry certification system being integrated into the PEFC system, which development will provide greater opportunities for all Chinese industry stakeholders in the future.