The potential consequences of misleading marketing claims – from negative public relations and customer dissatisfaction to legal action and financial penalties – make rigorous factual and legal scrutiny of product and service claims a fundamental step in today’s corporate marketing process. So why do so many otherwise diligent companies skip this step and shoot from the hip when it comes to making environmental claims about the use of print and paper? In part, the answer lies in the fact that the “go paperless, save trees” mantra has been repeated so often over the years that it is accepted as gospel by many corporate gatekeepers. If paper comes from trees and we use less paper, we save trees and protect our forests, the reasoning goes. And since using less paper is good for the environment, the electronic bills, statements and other customer communications that replace it must be a better environmental choice, right? Wrong. But lots of big-name North American companies are making this unsubstantiated leap as they encourage their customers to switch from paper to electronic communications, ironically sidestepping best practices for environmental marketing under the banner of going green.
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) has become the latest national forest certification system to seek PEFC endorsement, and stakeholders globally are invited to provide feedback on its compliance with our Sustainability Benchmarks by 7 January 2017.
ATFS is one of the oldest initiatives for certifying sustainable forestry in the world. It was first launched in 1941 as a private initiative to address concerns that America’s forests were being cut at unsustainable rates without reforestation.
It now represents 74,000 tree farmers sustainably managing more than 7.7 million hectares of PEFC-certified forestland.
ATFS first achieved PEFC endorsement back in 2005, and this latest revision of the standard will mark the fourth time the national standard has been submitted to PEFC.
Revising the standard
PEFC International ensures that national systems are revised regularly in multi-stakeholder processes by limiting the validity of endorsements to five years, after which they can apply for re-endorsement to continue benefitting from PEFC recognition.
As part of the endorsement process, PEFC seeks comments and feedback from all interested parties to ensure full compliance of the national systems with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmark during a 60-day global public consultation.
All comments received during the global public consultation will provide valuable information for the third-party assessor in determining whether the respective national system is in compliance with international requirements.
All stakeholders are invited to use PEFC’s Online Consultation Tool to provide comments on the ATFS by 7 January 2017.
more at: http://pefc.org/news-a-media/general-sfm-news/2298-american-tree-farm-system-seeks-pefc-re-endorsement-public-consultation-open