Certification initiatives, promoters and service providers

BM TRADA Certification (Chain of Custody)
Originally established to develop quality assurance schemes in the construction industry, BM TRADA has since expanded into many other sectors including manufacturing; distribution, local authorities, nursing homes and residential care, printing, software, legal and professional services, and agriculture and food. TRADA-Trak is the name that BM TRADA Certification has given to its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certification program. The Forest Stewardship Council does not itself conduct the certification, but instead accredits certification bodies to undertake the assessment of forests and timber processing operations and licenses them to issue its label to certificate holders. BM TRADA Certification is accredited by FSC for wood product certification or, as it is more familiarly known, chain of custody certification. Certification provides evidence that the certified product originates from certified, well managed forests, and verifies that these products are not mixed with products from uncertified forests at any point in the supply chain, except under strict controls when percentage labeling is being used.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
The Forest Certification section of the Programme Office for Social and Ecological Standards supports the process of forest certification internationally in selected developing countries. Forest certification is a development-policy tool that enables the vision of sustainable development to be put into practice in the forestry sector. The section works on the participatory development of standards for sustainable forest management. It cooperates with the responsible institutions and other key players to ensure that the standards are implemented at the forest enterprise level.

Forest Certification Watch
Forest Certification Watch is an international newsletter offering factual reporting and an analysis of key forest certification developments world-wide. The newsletter also covers topics closely related to forest certification, such as the ongoing boycott campaigns of 'old growth wood.' Forest Certification Watch demystifies these subjects, covering them both from a forestry and a marketing perspective.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1993 to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. It is an association of members consisting of a diverse group of representatives from environmental and social groups, the timber trade and the forestry profession, indigenous people's organizations, community forestry groups and forest product certification organizations from around the world. Membership is open to all who are involved in forestry or forest products and share its aims and objectives. FSC is introducing an international labeling scheme for forest products, which provides a credible guarantee that the product comes from a well managed forest. FSC also supports the development of national and local standards that implement the international Principles and Criteria of Forest Stewardship at the local level.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards-setting bodies. It was established in 1947 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO's mission is to facilitate the international exchange of goods and services. It pursues this mission by defining technical specifications, rules, and guidelines to ensure that materials, products, processes and services fit their purpose. The ISO 14000 series is a set of environmental management systems and environmental management tools that are designed to enable companies to define and implement environmental objectives. ISO does not have forest management standards. However, ISO 14001, together with ISO 14004, constitute an approach to an environmental management system. In 1998, an ISO working group finalized guidelines known as ISO 14061 to assist interested companies in applying ISO 14001 to forest management operations. ISO certification assessments are conducted by independent third party entities. ISO certifies are not accredited by ISO, but rather by their respective National Standards Bodies.

Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia (LEI)
The LEI was founded in February 1998 as an independent, non-profit institute. LEI is developing a certification system for Indonesian forest products based on sustaining economic, ecological, and social values. The LEI criteria for sustainable forest management at the management unit level involve issues of land tenure, timber production and regeneration, financial feasibility of the management unit, efficiency of forest resource utilization, and evidence of professional management.

Malaysian Timber Certification Council
The Malaysian Timber Certification Council is an independent non-profit organisation established to plan and operate a voluntary national timber certification scheme to provide assurance to buyers of Malaysian timber products that the products have been sourced from sustainably managed forests. It has a Board of Trustees comprising representatives from academic and research and development institutions, the timber industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government agencies.

Pan European Forest Certification (PEFC) Council
The Pan European Forest Certification (PEFC) Council was officially launched in Paris on 30 June, 1999. The PEFC scheme, a voluntary private sector initiative, provides assurance to the customers of woodland owners that the products they buy come from independently certified forests managed according to the PEFC Criteria as defined by the resolutions of the Helsinki and Lisbon Ministerial Conferences of 1993 and 1998 on the Protection of Forests in Europe. The PEFC scheme is intended as an internationally credible framework for forest certification schemes and initiatives in Europe. It facilitates the mutual recognition of such schemes in PEFC member countries. The basic requirements of PEFC forest certification standards and schemes are defined in the Council's statutes and technical documents negotiated at Pan-European, national and sub-national levels. Timber from certified forests that meet the PEFC criteria can have access to a PEFC logo through a certified chain of custody.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) is a neutral, third-party testing and certification organization evaluating a wide variety of food safety and environmental claims. Since its inception in 1991, the SCS Forest Conservation Program (FCP) has certified more than 15.5 million acres of forestland throughout the world through the Forest Management Certification Program. In its Chain of Custody Program, SCS has audited and certified over 220 manufacturers, distributors and retailers who make or carry certified wood products. SCS is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council.

SGS QUALIFOR is a forest certification program with more than 500 chain of custody and 90 forest management certificates covering over 15 million hectares of forest world-wide. The program is currently active in more than 60 countries around the world. Forest management and chain of custody certification by SGS QUALIFOR allows clients to use the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Trademark on certified products and to communicate to their customers that these products originate from well-managed forests (see http://www.sgs.com/ for more information on the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS)).

Based in Zwolle in the Netherlands, Skal is an independent, internationally operating organization, inspecting and certifying sustainable agricultural production methods and products. Skal's mission is to promote the proper and appropriate use of text and symbols that refer to sustainable production methods. Skal strives to attain this goal by performing independent and objective supervision, inspection, testing and certification. Skal's Sustainable Forest Management Certification Program is in accordance with the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Certification is carried out for forest management as well as wood and non-wood forest products.

SmartWood is a program of the Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit environmental group based in New York City. Though the program initially focussed on tropical forests, today SmartWood works in all forest types worldwide. SmartWood is managed by a headquarters staff of experienced forestry specialists based at Rainforest Alliance offices in New York and Vermont, in collaboration with the growing number of cooperating non-profit organizations in the SmartWood Network. The purpose of SmartWood is to provide independent, objective evaluation of forest management practices, forest products, timber sources and companies, enabling the public to identify products and practices that do not destroy forests. Through certification, and use of the SmartWood label, the program provides a commercial incentive for forest managers to adopt sustainable forestry practices. SmartWood certifies forest products that come from 'sustainable' or 'well-managed' forests. Candidate sources may include a natural forest, a plantation, a large commercial operation or a small-scale community project. SmartWood also certifies companies that process, manufacture or sell products made from certified wood, through 'chain of custody' certification (see http://www.smartwood.org/network/index.html for more information on the SmartWood Network).