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If you are a member of the EcoChoice community, you have probably noticed that we frequently mention the PEFC alongside the FSC. But what is the PEFC? For many people, it is the lesser-known of the two and does not carry the same weight as FSC-certified timber – even though it should! That is why we have put together a quick introductory guide with everything you need to know, helping you make the right choice with your sustainable timber.

What is PEFC?

PEFC stands for the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Like the FSC, it is a leading name in forest certification which works to protect our world’s natural woodland. PEFC is:

  • Non-profit
  • Non-governmental
  • Internationally recognised

It is also good to note that the PEFC is a membership group. Large organisations such as businesses, NGOs, land owners and labour unions may all become members of the PEFC if they show their commitment to sustainable forest management. 55 countries are also PEFC members, working alongside the organisation to implement the principles of the PEFC on their land.

What Does the PEFC Do?

The PEFC works with local organisations to bring into place forest certification systems. Tailored to the needs and conditions of the land and the people around it, they have a community focus when it comes to responsible forestry. What one forest owner needs to prioritise to create a sustainable system, for example, might be different to a forest on the other side of the world.

The main aim of the PEFC is to give forest owners the knowledge and tools to upgrade and demonstrate sustainable practices. This ties in with their objective to give consumers more information on where their timber products are sourced, helping people and businesses to make eco-friendly choices.

The History of PEFC

The PEFC put down its first roots in 1999. Just before the turn of the millennium, a group of family-run forest owners in Europe joined forces to build a forest certification system which they could apply to their own woodlands and show the world how they are working towards a more sustainable future. Now the non-profit group is shaping responsible forestry practices around the globe.

What’s the Difference Between FSC and PEFC?

Did you know that there are actually over 50 forest certification groups in the world? Without a doubt, though, the FSC and the PEFC are the most well-known and reputable.

Both the FSC and the PEFC work to maintain sustainable forestry and protect woodlands around the globe. The FSC uses ten key principles to define responsible forest management, while the PEFC takes a more tailored approach to their regulation

The PEFC is a mutual recognition scheme rather than a standards agency, and it looks at the ethics of not only the growth of timber and forest management (as the FSC does) but also the processing of the timber. This actually gives it a better overview of the entire timber supply chain, ensuring that the good work does not drop off once the wood is taken from the forest.

The PEFC was a European answer to the FSC. When created, the FSC was only working with tropical forest land, and Europe and North America did not have a similar system for regulation. Now both the PEFC and the FSC work worldwide to bring sustainability to forests and protect our natural resources.

Find PEFC and FSC at EcoChoice

At EcoChoice, we work with forests which are FSC and/or PEFC-approved to bring our UK customers the very best in sustainable timber. To learn more, take a look around our website at our sustainable timber products or get in touch with our team. We will be happy to tell you more about our timber accreditations and match you with the perfect species for your project.

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