Finland Achieves PEFC Endorsement for a Record Fourth Time

The Finnish Forest Certification Scheme has become the first ever system to achieve PEFC endorsement for the fourth time. This confirms that Finland continues to meet PEFC’s globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks and ensures that Finnish certified forest owners continue to benefit from the global acceptance of PEFC.

“For us the next step is to organize training for organizations, contractors, forest owners and all other stakeholders involved in implementing the revised PEFC requirements in Finnish forestry,” highlighted Auvo Kaivola, Secretary General of PEFC Finland. “This will begin in October as we travel the country holding meeting with PEFC-certified organizations.”

Finland was one of the first countries to achieve endorsement of its national forest certification system back in 2000, followed by two successful re-endorsements of the system in 2005 and 2010. Fifteen years later, most of Finland’s forests are PEFC-certified – and as one of the most heavily forested countries in the world, only Canada and the US have more PEFC-certified hectares.

For these fifteen years, PEFC has defined the level of Finnish forestry, setting the most demanding criteria for forestry in the country. PEFC sets the conditions for forestry operations that are implemented in practice, going way beyond the new forest law, which only provides a framework of minimum requirements.

According to a recent report by Gaia Consulting, PEFC has had a far-reaching impact on Finnish forestry. PEFC has contributed to a change in attitudes, competencies and procedures.

The PEFC re-endorsement of the Finnish system highlights that Finnish forestry is among the most sustainable, productive, responsible and best studied in the world.

“We were impressed with the precision with which the PEFC assessment was carried out,” said Mr. Jan-Erik Enestam, the Chair of PEFC Finland. “These outcomes act as a source of inspiration for us on how to further develop our system in the coming years in wide co-operation with the stakeholders of Finnish society.”

PEFC remains the only global forest certification system to limit endorsements of national systems to five years, requiring standards revisions before a system can re-apply for endorsement, which is only granted after a comprehensive, third-party assessment of compliance with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.

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