The PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue

Sustainability and Certification: from Niche to Mainstream

The PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue

What are the next steps towards moving sustainability and certification from niche to mainstream?  What are the options of forest certification to improve accessibility, expand scope and increase impact in forest management and beyond?

These were some of the questions tackled at the 2019 PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue, based on feedback, input and expectations by forest owners and land managers. Together, we discussed the potential impact, also heard from companies along the supply chain about their expectations and approaches to sustainability certification.

Want to read more about what the speakers presented? Then make sure you check out their presentations.

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The agenda at a glance

The Stakeholder Dialogue opened with sofa discussion between Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International and Peter Holmgren of FutureVistas Inc. Then through the three main sessions, we moved from the consumer, along the supply chain, and back to the forests.

Session 1: The marketplace - companies and consumers

  • Wendelin von Gravenreuth, Manager, Global Forest Investments, MEAG
  • Mikhail Tarasov, Global Forestry Manager, IKEA
  • Vesa Junnikkala, Director, Sustainability, Metsä Board

Session 2: Verifying conformity and impact

  • Julia Young, Director, Global Forest Sector Transformation, WWF
  • Steve Germishuizen, South African Forestry Assurance Scheme
  • Tom Facklam, International Accreditation Forum
  • Sven-Erik Hammar, LRF Sweden and CEPF

Session 3: Forests, forest management and landscapes

  • Jerg Hilt, Secretary General, Chamber of Forests - Baden Württemberg (Germany)
  • Tom Martin, President and CEO, American Forest Foundation (United States)
  • Sachin Raj Jain, Convener-Treasurer, Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF – India)


A little background

Forest certification is a success story. As of 2019, in total about one-third of the wood used in products, packaging or construction originates from sustainably managed forests.

PEFC has been instrumental to this success. With innovations such as group certification, a mechanism that makes certification accessible to small- and family forest owners, we expanded the accessibility of certification and took forest certification from niche to mainstream. Nowadays, it is estimated that about one million forest owners have obtained PEFC certification.

With our latest sustainable forest management standard, we expanded the scope of certification by enabling the certification of areas of land with Trees outside Forests, extending the impact of PEFC certification beyond the boundaries of the forest.  

This innovation has the potential to move sustainability certification from niche to mainstream, beyond the traditional forest sector, making PEFC certification practical and affordable to farmers or other land managers who grow trees as just one of their many crops.

But where next? 

PEFC Forest Certification Week

The PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue is public section of PEFC Forest Certification Week, 11-15 November. PEFC Week is when the whole PEFC family, including our 51 national members and 30 international stakeholder members, gather in one place to discuss the key issues and opportunities facing our organization. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, this PEFC Week is set to be extra special!

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