The forest is not only a habitat for animals and plants but a retreat for people as well. It is also the economic basis for Mercer Timber Products and all companies in the Forestry sector – thus a driver of value creation, especially in rural areas. The industry is exemplary in showing that this is not a contradiction: through the sustainable management of German forests and the efficient use of our resource, wood, the timber industry is making an important contribution to climate protection and ultimately a sustainable future for us all. Wood is the most important renewable raw material in Germany. It plays an outstanding role in climate-neutral value creation and energy generation. Thanks to its sustainable management, the forests in Germany have been supplying wood for a wide variety of purposes for over 300 years. Every year, more wood grows in Germany than is used. Around 32 percent of Germany’s total area is covered with forest, making the country one of the most densely forested areas in Europe. As a PEFC-certified company, Mercer Timber Products supports this sustainable management. After all, forest management is the basis of our existence. In addition, Mercer’s use of wood takes an important step in the shift from fossil fuel energy. The bark from the harvested logs is used directly in the biomass cogeneration plant, which generates green electricity and heat for the drying process.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), an independent North American forest certification program, has applied for re-endorsement by PEFC. The public is invited to comment on the documentation submitted by the SFI Program for their SFI 2015-2019 Standard and Rules by 3 January 2016.
In 2001 the SFI program became a PEFC National Member and in 2005, the SFI Forest Management Standard was endorsed by PEFC after a detailed examination by a PEFC-approved assessor. This endorsement adds international value to SFI Inc.’s position as a highly respected, third-party certification program in North America. The SFI program has grown to cover more than 100 million hectares of forest area in both the United States and Canada – nearly 40% of all PEFC-recognized certified forest worldwide.
SFI is not only the largest national forest certification system in the world, but also the one with the most comprehensive requirements for forestry research. These include improving forest health, productivity and sustainability. Better management of forest resources and enhancing the environmental benefits and performance of forest products are also central to the SFI research mission.
SFI’s application for PEFC endorsement of the SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules is now under global public consultation as part of the PEFC re-endorsement process. PEFC’s sustainable forest management criteria are founded on internationally recognized criteria and indicators developed by government agencies around the world. Its endorsement process takes place every five years and includes a detailed application, an independent assessment, 60 days of public comment and a report by an independent assessor with recommendations for the PEFC board.
PEFC now seeks comments and feedback from all interested parties to ensure full compliance of the national systems with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmark during the 60-day global public consultation.