Industry News

PEFC issues its Annual Review 2016

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has released its Annual Review 2016 featuring the most recent achievements of the organization.

2016 saw 300 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest and several new national certifications schemes - from Ghana, Hungary, Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Romania and Thailand - joining PEFC.

Moreover a dozen countries - including Cameroon - are now developing national systems and preparing for PEFC membership.

PEFC also launched the revision process of its Sustainability Benchmarks – the standards that form the basis for nearly all PEFC activities.

"As the world changes, best practices and knowledge evolve and society’s expectations grow, we must make sure our standards are the best they can be. The process that will take more than two years, affect the majority of our standards, and involve hundreds of experts and thousands of stakeholders", the organization highlights.

Download the PEFC Annual Review 2016 here.


[News URL:]

FSC national forest stewardship standard for UK gains conditional approval

At the beginning of May, the draft of FSC national forest stewardship standard for the UK (aka UK Woodland Assurance Standard or UKWAS) was conditionally approved by FSC International’s Policy and Standards Committee (PSC).

The conditional approval of the standard means that there is no further requirement for it to be considered by the PSC. All subsequent discussions about the contents of the standard will be with FSC Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) staff in Bonn, who will have the final say over when conditions have been met. 

The standard has undergone a thorough revision process which began in 2013 and was not approved in first instance by FSC International. Therefore it was resubmitted in February this year.

In terms of the contents of the revised standard, the main condition set by the PSC is that general references to compliance with the law, such as health and safety or workers’ rights legislation, must be replaced with readily auditable, outcome-oriented requirements. 

The PSC has also stipulated that changes be made to the UK standard development group before the next revision of the standard, to ensure representation of economic, environmental and social interests is chamber-balanced in accordance with FSC requirements. 

“This is terrific news,” said FSC UK Forest Standards Manager Dr Owen Davies. “This positive decision from the PSC has been made possible by the hard work and commitment of the UKWAS Steering Group, whose members responded so constructively to FSC feedback on the previous draft. There are still challenges to overcome, but I’m confident that, with continuing constructive collaboration between FSC UK, FSC International and the UKWAS Steering Group, the outstanding conditions can be resolved.”

UKWAS Steering Group chair, Peter Wilson, said: “The revision exercise has been a long haul but the completion of our work is in sight and the steering group will meet shortly to work on closing out the remaining concerns raised by FSC. The revision process has been thorough and radical and, once these conditions are met, we hope that users will find the updated version to be more logical in its approach and much easier to use than earlier versions. Praise is due to steering group members for their tenacity and the dedication they have brought to the task of revising and improving the UKWAS”.

For more info, it is possible to contact Owen Davies at [email protected].


[News URL:]

PEFC International launches '2017 Experience Forests' photo contest

PEFC International has launched a photo contest, '2017 Experience Forests', aimed at promoting the importance of forests worldwide.

Photographers can enter a wide variety of pictures: from forest landscapes to close ups within the forest, also including people living, working or playing in woodlands.

The competition - open for entries until Monday 5th June 2017 and limited to 5 photos per person - can be joined on Instagram, Facebook or by accessing

The best photos from the contest will enter the international contest and compete for the 2017 PEFC Photographer of the Year Award!

The winner will receive a trip to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week or a cash prize of 3000 CHF.

The top 12 photos will be publicly exhibited at the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week at the Scandic Park hotel in Helsinki, Finland in November 2017 and potentially in other places around the world throughout 2017/2018.

Moreover, the top 12 photos will be featured in the 2018 PEFC ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo calendar

For more info, click here. Follow the trend on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at #PEFCUKIRE. 


[News URL:]

PEFC opens public consultation on Cameroonian national forest certification system

PEFC stakeholders around the world are invited to comment - through the Online Consultation Tool and by the 9th July 2017 - on the Cameroonian national forest certification system.

This is the first time Cameroon submits its national forest certification system to PEFC, joining Gabon as the second African country to seek PEFC endorsement.

The public consultation is also open for Canada and Uruguay national forest certification schemes with a deadline set for 3 July 2017. This is the third and second time, respectively, that these countries have applied for endorsement by PEFC. 

The global public consultation is a vital part of the PEFC endorsement process. All comments received during the 60 day consultation will be provided to the independent organization carrying out the assessment. This valuable information will help determine whether the national system is in compliance with PEFC international requirements.

To ensure that the national systems continue to meet best practices, scientific advances and society’s expectations, PEFC limits the validity of endorsements to five years. After this period, national systems can apply for re-endorsement to continue benefitting from PEFC recognition.

View the open PEFC stakeholders' consultations here.


[News URL:]

BWF launches new guide on design and specification of Timber Stairs

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme has launched a new guide to assist stair designers, manufacturers and building professionals involved in the design and specification of common timber stairs for the UK market.

The new ‘Design Guide 2: Common Timber Stairs’ was launched at the ‘Stair Flair with Due Care’ CPD seminar on Wednesday 3 May 2017 in London.

It is estimated that there is a fall on stairs every 90 seconds in the UK, and a further estimated 250,000 non-fatal accidents which are serious enough to merit a trip to A&E. An understanding of tiny details and dimensional limitations within the design of the stair is critical to ensuring that it is safe for all users and compliant to relevant regulations.

Critically, the rules for the manufacture and installation of common stairs are different from stairs for private dwellings and take into account other factors such as fire safety, increased loadings and accessibility for all users. The new design guide provides comprehensive industry advice and covers the minimum requirements for the manufacture of safe and well-designed common timber stairs for the UK construction market.

The launch event at the Building Centre, London featured BWF Stair Scheme Manager Hannah Mansell and structural engineer Dr Luke Whale, Managing Director of C4Ci, presenting on the key findings of the new guide, covering regulatory compliance and the design of safe timber stairs for communal settings such as blocks of flats or non-domestic buildings.

‘Design Guide 2: Common Timber Stairs’ is available to download on the BWF Stair Scheme Website at:

[In the picture on the left: BWF Stair Scheme manager Hannah Mansell and structural engineer Dr Luke Whale, managing director of C4Ci]


[News URL:]