WWF engages BSI to develop best practice standard to help business stop trade in illegal timber

Press release - 13 December 2011

WWF-UK is working with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop a fast-track guidance standard to help the timber industry meet the new European Timber Regulation (EUTR) which comes into effect on 03 March 2013.

The development of a new Publicly Available Specification (PAS) will further support the work of the Global Forest & Trade Network set up by WWF in 1991, to promote sustainable forest management.

Despite work to promote responsible forest management and trade, reliable supplies of credibly certified wood are still limited, and trade in wood and paper from illegal or controversial sources continues.

The PAS will build on GFTNs methodology for responsible sourcing of forest goods, and is expected to help business in the UK affected by the regulation to identify and meet the requirements of the new EUTR legislation; to improve traceability of timber and provide a framework for robust verification; and to mitigate the risk of illegal timber in supply chains.

“The need for organisations to undertake voluntary measures remains critical to changing the trends of global forest loss and degradation” said Julia Young, manager of WWF’s GFTN in the UK. “We want to extend our work with business by taking this activity a stage further as the new regulation approaches. The new PAS will provide effective guidance, based on industry-wide consensus, for effective due diligence for forest goods and give confidence to stakeholders that the industry is meeting its legal obligations and able to understand the need to commit to responsible forest trade.”

“BSI is delighted to be working with WWF-UK,” said Katherine Hunter, Head of Market Development, Sustainability Portfolio at BSI. “The world’s forests perform a number of critical functions both globally and locally. The new PAS will provide a good practice guide for the assurance of legal origin of forest products and help diverse business develop the market for environmentally responsible forest products.”

A draft of the PAS is expected to go out for public consultation in the early summer next year and published by October 2012.