Proof of origin PEFC and FSC.
Wood from sustainable and near-natural forestry.
Sustainable forestry has been practised in Germany for more than 200 years and is legally stipulated in the so called „Bundeswaldgesetz“ (Federal law of forests). Sustainable forestry generally means, that only that amount of wood in terms of volume may be removed from the forest which is regrowing in the same period of time. This is the prerequisite for permanently preserving this valuable source of raw materials for future generations. Nowadays however, nowadays forests are not any longer regarded only as a raw material source, but also as a very important area of recreation for humans as well as habitat for a multitude of plants and animals. That is why, since the eighties, near-natural methods of sylviculture have been implemented which allow for forestry use, conservation of nature and recreation in the same area.
During the nineties, certification schemes for wooden products startet to establish themselves, which guarantee raw material from exemplary forestry and supervise the complete value-added chain of a wooden product with the help of independent certifying institutions. The original idea was to curb ruthless exploitation of the tropical rain forests. But in the meantime, also large parts of the European forests are certified. Apart from sustainability in forest management, certification also ensures that ecological and social aspects are taken into consideration.
In Europe, the two certification schemes FSC and PEFC are most widely used. In general, it can be assumed that both proofs of origin equally make sure, that the raw material made of European wood is sourced from exemplary forestry. However, in the central-European regions so rich in beech trees, the forest areas certified by FSC are rather marginal compared to the ones certified by PEFC, which is why the PEFC proof of origin is mainly used with sawn beech lumber.
It is also worth knowing, that the certification schemes are using national standards. In this respect, the forest standards of certification schemes in Germany count among the strictest in the world. Therefore, it is assumed that German hardwood is a particularly valuable hardwood in ecological terms.
Certification according to PEFC standards is a transparent and independent monitoring system for securing sustainability in forestry and thus an exemplary forestry use. All the forest owners may voluntarily participate in it.
PEFC is furthermore a verification system for proving the origin: From certified forests over wood processing industries up to finished products on the shelves. With a certified forest area of more than 200 million hectares, PEFC is the largest forestal label of proof in the world. Since the foundation of PEFC Germany in 1999 more than
7 million hectares or roughly two thirds of the German forest area have been certified. The most important standards are: Promotion of mixed forest stands with appropriate tree species according to location and soil conditions. Ban on clear-cutting. Ban on the use of herbicides. Periodic monitoring of the compliance with these regulations by independent certifying bodies.