News and topics around our activities

Wednesday, 30 May 2018
An Update on Controlled Wood

We realise there have been many changes to the controlled wood system recently, including the release of a revised standard.

At the same time, many new digital tools and training platforms have been made available. We would like to update you on all the elements we’ve been putting in place in the last few months.

Certificate Holder Transition to Revised Standard

As you’re likely aware, we launched our revised controlled wood standard in July 2016. Since then, more than 60 per cent of all certificates that were expected to transition to the new version of the controlled wood standard have already done so. Initial data suggests that there may be a 1% drop in the total number of chain of custody certificates due to some certificate holders not transitioning.

To make the transition easier, we’ve put in place an online training course; a webinar (EN) detailing the changes introduced by version 3-1 of the standard; a podcast (EN + ES slides) demonstrating how controlled wood contributes to the FSC Mix label; and most recently two webinars about implementing the controlled wood standard, and the data available about controlled wood and its importance.

Controlled Wood Survey Results

Many of you took part in an online survey and series of case studies to estimate the total volumes of controlled material, and to better understand the main barriers certificate holders faced when implementing the standard. The results will soon be publicly available, and they show that the top three challenges are:

  • Obtaining information from suppliers and sub-suppliers;
  • Stakeholder consultation as control measure; and
  • Lack of clear benchmark for what is sufficient to achieve risk mitigation

These results will shape our approach as we move forward.

Ongoing Development of Risk Assessments

FSC risk assessments are a never-before-attempted feat that aims to assess risks of sourcing unacceptable material from 59 countries around the world. To date, 22 countries’ FSC risk assessments have been fully approved. You can find the complete risk assessments on the FSC Document Centre. We also keep an overview of the FSC risk assessment risk designations and [url=mailto: […]]timeline of FSC risk assessment development[/url] updated weekly.

We recently produced a quick-reference FAQ about controlled wood risk assessments (EN). We’re also working with a wide range of stakeholders on a joint control measures project. The goal of this project is to develop a database of environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable control measures that may be applied in an FSC risk assessment.

Controlled Wood Strategy

The ongoing controlled wood strategy process will incorporate all the topics addressed above, in addition to other feedback and data, and provide a clear direction for the future of FSC controlled wood. To this end, FSC hosted a global meeting in 2017, and the resultant perspectives summarised in the discussion paper (EN+ES) and consultation (EN) will inform the second global workshop this June in Lisbon, Portugal.

All steps in the strategy process have been deliberately designed with the goal of increasing transparency, legitimacy, and reliability of the standards, and strengthening the FSC system overall.

We encourage our stakeholders to stay involved in the ongoing developments in controlled wood through our controlled wood consultative forum (click here to register by e-mail).

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000231