How to specify sustainably-sourced timber with Mortlock
At Mortlock, our dedication to sourcing sustainable forest products is more than a commitment—it’s a responsibility. We proudly hold a chain of custody certification for forest products that meet the rigorous standards of AS 4707 and PEFC ST 2002. This certification is not just a badge; it signifies our unwavering focus on economic, social, and ecological sustainability across our production chain.
Here is what we will cover about our PEFC Chain of Custody certification:
- What is responsible forestry?
- What is PEFC
- What is FSC
- Mortlock Timber’s PEFC certification
- What timbers can we provide with PEFC chain of custody?
- What timbers we cannot supply with PEFC chain of custody
- The process for your project to get PEFC certified.
What is responsible forestry?
Responsible forestry means taking care of forests by considering nature, people and money. It’s about using trees in a way that keeps the forests healthy for the future. This involves harvesting trees carefully, planting new ones, and making sure nearby communities and ecosystems benefit. It also means following rules and getting certifications to prove that forests are looked after well.
In Australia, Responsible Wood manages the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management, which is internationally endorsed and mutually recognised by PEFC, the world’s largest forest management certification scheme. Mortlock Timber is now listed as a certificate holder.
Worldwide, there are two internationally recognised systems for the certification of sustainable forest management and its supply chain – the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
In Australia, both PEFC and FSC claims are made on a wide range of products that use wood as a raw material: timber for the construction industry, energy and DIY sectors as well as paper and packaging products.
Both systems focus on conserving the natural habitats of plants and animals and respecting the rights of forestry workers and local communities. Growing and harvesting timber sustainably provides valuable income and work opportunities whilst conserving forests for future generations.
Responsible Wood is often asked about the similarities and differences between the two global forest management certification schemes – the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and the Forest Stewardship Council.
What is PEFC?
PEFC is an alliance of national forestry standards. For example, Responsible Wood manages the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (AS 4708) and its Chain of Custody (AS 4707).
PEFC was set up as an endorsement process, to assess independent national forestry management standards against internationally recognised criteria for sustainable forest management. These benchmarks are based on well-accepted principles set by worldwide groups. To get PEFC’s approval, national systems must go through a tough evaluation, including public feedback. The results are shared openly.
Every five years, these systems must reexamine their rules. PEFC uses internationally recognised requirements for certification and accreditation defined by the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Based on the recommendation of an independent consultant, the assessment, is submitted to the PEFC Board of Directors and the General Assembly for final endorsement.
What is FSC?
FSC created global rules for forests, covering all types from warm to cold climates, whether natural or man-made. Many think all national FSC standards are identical because of these global rules, but FSC supports making local standards that match each place’s unique conditions. This means things like geography, climate, who owns the land, types of trees, and the laws in a country all affect how these rules are used. Different types of forests, like plantations versus natural ones, also need their own specific standards.
FSC was also originally established as an accreditation body, i.e. it accredited the independent certification bodies that conduct forestry and Chain of Custody audits against the FSC standards. This is no longer the case: Assurance Services International (ASI), a subsidiary of FSC, now oversees the accreditation function. ASI is a member of ISEAL (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance). Please not that Mortlock Timber does not have FSC certification.
Mortlock’s PEFC certification
What is PEFC’s Chain of Custody certification?
The Chain of Custody is the universally adopted system that ensures the sustainable sourcing of timber. This system ensures that suppliers like us at Mortlock Timber, do not sell non-sustainable timber as certified sustainable timber.
Chain of Custody certification ensures that the consumer can trust that the purchased item originates from a sustainably managed forest. PEFC operates a Chain of Custody process that traces material through the supply chain from the forest to the end-user in a robust and transparent way.
This makes a key contribution to sustainably managed forests worldwide. PEFC applies rules for the use of their labels on products. PEFC recognises the Certified label to be used on Mortlock Timber’s product, and to use the PEFC label, at least 70% of the material must be certified.
For instance, if a product is labelled as “70% PEFC certified,” it means that 70% of the timber used to manufacture that product comes from forests that have been certified by the PEFC. The remaining 30% may come from non-certified sources or sources with a different certification.
As a part of our certification, we are audited each year to ensure we are sourcing sustainable forest products from trusted and transparent supply chains.
What timbers can we provide with PEFC chain of custody?
Mortlock Timber offers five different timber species on request, that fall under Chain of Custody.
What timbers we cannot supply with PEFC chain of custody
The process to get PEFC certified timber
Contact Mortlock Timber during project design to discuss which options are available, PEFC must be specified in Architectural & Tender Documents and Mortlock should be notified prior to providing supply proposal that the project requires PEFC Certified timber. Please note – PEFC Certified timber may have a longer lead time.
Our Commitment to the Environment with PEFC Certification
Our approach goes beyond responsible forest management—it encompasses the entirety of the supply chain. Each year, our practices undergo stringent audits to ensure we uphold the promise of sourcing from transparent and trusted supply chains.
Choosing our certified timber products is not just about quality; it’s a choice to actively support sustainable sourcing practices that benefit our environment and communities.