30 Aug 2013

Submissions open for new forestry certification system

6:35 am on 30 August 2013

Submissions have opened on a proposed new environmental certification system for the forestry sector.

The voluntary standard would set rules for participating foresters and would act as a guarantee that their wood was ethically and legally sourced.

The international Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification may endorse the system.

secretary general Ben Gunneberg said it's important New Zealand develops its own national standard - as international customers are increasingly demanding their wood is sourced sustainably.

Mr Gunneberg says the Consumer Goods Forum is a body which represents about 400 companies collectively worth about $US3 trillion including Nestle, Colgate and McDonalds.

He says the forum is now looking to ensure all its supply chains are legal and preferably sustainable as well.

Mr Gunneberg says that is where certification systems such as PEFC can ensure that anybody exporting materials from New Zealand or importing them to those companies in New Zealand, can provide evidence that they are only being sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Submissions can be made through the Standards New Zealand website and close on 22 October.

Nineteen of New Zealand's largest forest companies, representing more than 1 million hectares of plantings, already belong to another international certification system run by the Forestry Stewardship Council, which provides similar guarantees.