You want to order online but hate the non-recyclable packaging material used in e-commerce in addition to cardboard? You are a restaurant owner and want to cut down on the dozens of Styrofoam boxes that your fish is delivered in every day? You are thinking of building a house but worry about the carbon emissions linked to using concrete and steel? It can seem difficult to find adequate alternatives for these seemingly ubiquitous, carbon-intensive materials, but alternatives do exist. Recyclable packaging and wood-based construction materials are already here and ready to be used on a much bigger scale. The exhibition Forests and the Circular Economy. A future without plastics, opened yesterday at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. It showcased some of the many renewable and sustainably sourced products that the forest sector can offer, providing solutions to global challenges as part of a circular economy.
This year saw our members smash through past records for new PEFC-certified hectares!
In Australia alone, more than 16 million hectares of forest became PEFC-certified – an achievement that won Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) the top prize for growth during our PEFC Forest Certification Week award ceremony.
“I am both ecstatic and delighted to have received this award today,” said Simon Dorries, National Secretary of AFS. “These new hectares are in fact from just one certificate holder, bringing over 16 million hectares of additional forest within Australia.”
“What is really interesting is their motivation to gain PEFC certification – to demonstrate responsible land management to society, not simply the ability of produce certified wood for the market. This shows the great flexibility and multi-faceted nature of the PEFC system to be able to deliver such outcomes.”
Second and third place did not do badly either, with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and PEFC Russia adding 8.2 million and 8.1 million hectares of certified forest, respectively – an amount that in previous years would have easily given them first place!
“It is fantastic to see such brilliant growth this year,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, following the certificate awards ceremony. “As the world’s leading forest certification system, with 300 million hectares of forest certified to PEFC, we normally experience more steady growth, with any large increases due to newly-endorsed members.”
“This year was different, with all three of the winning countries in fact being long-established members. This shows the true strength and dedication of our organization: we never stand still, all of us throughout the PEFC alliance are constantly striving to do better, to reach more people, and get more forests managed sustainably.”
We also award the top three members to grow their Chain of Custody certificates.
This year the honor went to PEFC Germany, which added 91 Chain of Custody certificates. In second place came PEFC Spain and China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) in third.