Private firms demonstrate their commitment to sustainable management of forests and agricultural lands by adhering to sustainability standards and voluntary certification programs. Voluntary forest certification allows companies and consumers to differentiate products in domestic and global markets while benchmarking a company’s performance to international standards for environmental and social responsibility.
International institutes, industries and investors mitigate risks in their operations by requiring conformance (compliance) with minimum sustainability standards. Voluntary certification provides assurance that the certified activities are environmentally and socially acceptable, with various certificates signifying different standards met. Forest certificates, for instance, are evidence of the legal origin of timber, while chain of custody certificates demonstrate that companies in the value chain have robust traceability systems in place to support claims on the share of certified fibre in a product and the exclusion of illegal or controversial (uncontrolled) wood in the value chain.
At Indufor, we support our clients in developing a thorough understanding of the implications and opportunities associated with different forms of sustainability standards and certification benchmarking. Our experts know well the wide array of international standards and certification arrangements developed for forests and timber production (e.g. FSC and PEFC certification programs), biomass (e.g. the Sustainable Biomass Program and applicable regulations), palm oil (e.g. RSPO and related national standards), and cocoa and other agricultural commodities. Drawing on this expertise, Indufor helps clients strengthen their compliance and social license to operate within their local settings and also assists clients by assessing their compliance with the minimum standards or safeguards required by development banks, e.g. the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and the European Investment Bank.
Our team includes expertise in:
- Sustainable forest management certification development and benchmarking
- Legality verification for timber plantations and agribusiness plantations
- Sustainable biomass and bioenergy production and related regulations.
Our services in this area include:
- Global analysis and benchmarking of certified forests
- Conformity analysis for clients seeking certification against specific standards
- Conformity analysis of national certification systems against international requirements
- Development and strengthening of certification standards and procedures
- Assisting clients to understand the wide array of wood tracking systems and technologies
- Impact analysis and due diligence services including environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts
- Training and capacity building.
Our project references include:
- Technical assistance and facilitation support for companies seeking forest management certification in Australia (2018)
- Finnpartnership’s Environmental and Social (E&S) Voucher Consultancy (2017-2018)
- Screening of Sustainability Risks in Biomass Procurement and Imports for an Energy Utility Company (2016)
- Technical assistance and facilitation support for companies seeking legality verification for sawn timber products in the Solomon Islands (2015-2016)
- Technical assistance and facilitation support for companies seeking legality verification for sandalwood products in Australia (2015-2016)
- Appraisal of Wood Supply Due Diligence System of a Softwood Sawmill Company (2016).