Besides ecologically responsible forest management, the PEFC calls for compliance with social standards as well. It is therefore totally understandable that timber from Russia and Belarus is currently excluded from PEFC certification. We too have scrutinised our supply chain: no timber from Russia or Belarus is being used for burgbad furniture at the present time.
All burgbad furniture is PEFC-certified. PEFC* is an international standard used to monitor the timber supply chain for sustainability via independent testing institutes such as the technical inspection association TÜV. Thanks to the PEFC certification, all the sources of timber we use are traceable. This enables us to ensure that we only use wood that comes from sustainably managed forests.
And that’s not all: the certification also monitors whether due consideration is given to economic, ecological and social aspects in accordance with PEFC standards, both with regard to forest management practices and by all companies along the chain of custody. In order for a product to obtain (and retain) a PEFC label, companies who are involved with its production, processing, packaging and distribution must be certified in accordance with the standards that apply to the chain of custody
It’s precisely this function that has recently become a problem for many makers of wood products. Because on 4 March, i.e. very soon after the war in Ukraine began, the PEFC excluded timber from Russia and Belarus from its certification system until further notice. In the announcement of its decision, the PEFC refers to the UN General Assembly Resolution “Aggression against Ukraine” during the 11th Emergency Special Session (2.3.2022). Because according to PEFC standards, timber that originates from “controversial sources” cannot be used.
The PEFC defines “conflict timber” as “timber that has been traded at some point in the chain of custody by armed groups, be they rebel factions or regular soldiers, or by a civilian administration involved in armed conflict or its representatives, either to perpetuate conflict or take advantage of conflict situations for personal gain.” (PEFC ST 2002:2020, 3.6)
As a result, many companies have had to scrutinise their supply chains for wood from Russian and Belarusian sources. In view of the current conditions, burgbad too has checked to ensure that no wood-based materials from Russia or Belarus are being used.
This development once again illustrates that sustainability is an ongoing process that calls for constant vigilance. We are more than willing to accept the effort this entails and benefit from it as well: the PEFC certification has enabled us to monitor our sources and commercial ties quickly and reliably.
* PEFC stands for Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes.