Chain of Custody for forest products – Connecting consumers with the sustainable origins of products.

The link from sustainably managed forests to the market is established through Chain of Custody certification, which tracks forest-based products from sustainable sources to the final product.

It closely monitors each step of the supply chain through independent auditing to ensure that certified, sustainable material reaches the consumer while unsustainable sources are excluded.

Explained - Chain of Custody certification

Chain of Custody for companies in the supply chain is a verified mechanism for tracking certified materials from the sustainably managed forest to the final product.

Each step of the supply chain is closely monitored through annual independent auditing to ensure that certified, sustainable material reaches the consumer while unsustainable sources are excluded.

Step 1 - Forest Certification

Forest certification assures that forests are conserved and managed responsibly to ensure they deliver social, environmental and economic benefits now and in the future. Balancing people, planet and profit.

Certification includes requirements to:

  • Safeguard ecologically important forest areas
  • Protect and enhance biological diversity
  • Prohibit deforestation
  • Prohibit forest conversions
  • Prohibit the most dangerous chemicals
  • Prohibit genetically modified trees
  • Respect rights of workers and indigenous peoples’
  • Encourage local employment
  • Provide consultation with local people and stakeholders
  • Respect traditional land rights and local customs
  • Provide a voice for those who depend on forests for their livelihood

Step 2 - Responsible Sourcing

It is essential for companies in the supply chain to implement and demonstrate responsible sourcing.

This includes recording:

  • Supplier identification
  • Forest materials supplied
  • Quantity of delivery
  • Date of delivery
  • Proof of certification
Companies are also required to keep a list of all suppliers and check the validity of their certification claims via the Responsible Wood database.

Step 3 - Traceability

Companies must clearly identify certified material and keep it separate from non-certified material.

Inventory control systems and records must clearly track the certified forest materials at every stage of the supply chain.

Step 4 - Controlled Sources

When certified material is mixed with non-certified material to make wood products, the percentage of certified Australian raw material must be 70% or more, and the non-certified material must originate from a controlled source.

Controlled sources are not certified forests, but meet the following requirements:

  • Legally harvested
  • Legally exported
  • No GMO materials
  • No native forest conversions

Step 5 - Workers Rights

Chain of Custody certification also includes requirements protecting workers’ fundamental social, health, and safety rights.

Step 6 - Labelling

Labelling must comply with Responsible Wood requirements and clearly communicate the origin of the wood used to make the final product.

This can include:

  • 70-100% certified wood
  • Up to 30% wood from a controlled source - And recycled wood

Step 7 - Final Products

You’ll find the Responsible Wood Shield logo on a wide range of wood and forest products including:

  • Timber to build our homes and infrastructure
  • Furniture
  • Copier paper and envelopes
  • Printed materials
  • Packaging
  • Fuel
and in many other places as more and more businesses recognise the benefits of Responsible Wood certification.

Step 8 -Responsible Purchasing

Buying products that carry the Responsible Wood label is an assurance that the product comes from an Australian forest that has been responsibly managed for environmental, social cultural and economic values.

By choosing Responsible Wood, you demonstrate your support for the sustainable management of Australia’s forests.

Chain of Custody certification provides assurances that wood contained in a product originates from certified Australian forests, and requires all companies along the supply chain to be Responsible Wood Chain of Custody certified. As long as this is the case, products can carry the Responsible Wood mark which assists consumers, businesses, governments, forest owners and managers, and other stakeholders in identifying, buying and promoting products and goods from forests that are managed sustainably. Increasingly, governments and companies from around the world require such certification within their procurement policies.