Singapore set to expand chain of custody certification and responsible sourcing of forest products

As a big consumer of imported materials, Singapore is being encouraged to become a centre of influence, committed to responsible procurement from the Asian region’s forests and plantations.

This was the message from Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International CEO, speaking at a Roundtable and Lunch at Grand Copthorne Hotel on 19 September. The event was attended by 50 representatives from government agencies, think tanks, industry bodies, certification bodies, private sector companies and media.

It also marked the launch of PEFC’s Chain of Custody certification scheme, now recognised by the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC), which is managed by Enterprise Singapore.

Deputy Director of Enterprise Singapore Ms Lee Ham Eng told the gathering that this scheme provides greater support to the industry to meet the Green Mark requirement for Mass Engineered Timber (MET) to be sourced from sustainably managed forests. It also facilitates recognition and acceptance of certified wood products from Singapore’s key trading partners, notably Indonesia, Malaysia and China, all of which have PEFC endorsed forest certification systems.

Mr Gunneberg gave an overview of PEFC’s work and stressed that sustainable forest management can contribute to meeting social, economic and environmental challenges, as well as help countries and companies address all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

With 17 million hectares of forests certified in Asia, it’s the fastest growing region for PEFC. However, Mr Gunneberg pointed out that there’s a lot of room to grow responsible sourcing in countries like Singapore, which currently has only 22 Chain of Custody certificate holders out of a total 1421 throughout Asia.

Mr Gunneberg said there’s greater value in expanding Chain of Custody certification in Singapore by incorporating it into private and public sector procurement policies, demonstrating support for sustainably managed forests and meeting UN Sustainability Development Goals.

It also enables companies to meet legality issues and customer expectations as well as introduce traceability solutions into the supply chain.
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