About Us

Coillte100608_235The world’s forests are being depleted at an alarming rate – deforestation is directly responsible for about 20% of global carbon emissions, greater than the combined output from the entire transport sector.    Timber and wood-based products have potentially one of the lowest environmental footprints of any of the materials in common use, but when not sustainably sourced they can also be associated with catastrophic levels of environmental damage.

Credible certification schemes provide an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they have been produced legally and in accordance with internationally agreed principles of sustainability.

The PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) is the largest such scheme in the world.  An independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999, it promotes sustainable forest management through independent third party certification. PEFC is a global umbrella organisation for the assessment of and mutual recognition of national forest certification schemes developed in a multi-stakeholder process. These national schemes build upon the inter-governmental processes for the promotion of sustainable forest management, a series of on-going mechanisms supported by 149 governments in the world covering 85% of the world’s forest area.

PEFC has in its membership 35 independent national forest certification systems of which 25 to date have been through a rigorous assessment process involving public consultation and the use of independent consultants to provide the assessments on which mutual recognition decisions are taken by the membership.  These 25 systems account for nearly 225 million hectares of certified forests, producing millions of tonnes of certified timber for the market place, making PEFC the world’s largest resource of certified timber. The other national members’ schemes are at various stages of development and are working towards mutual recognition under the PEFC processes.

PEFC (Ireland) Ltd became a full member of the PEFC Council at the General Assembly held in Canberra, Australia, in October 2008.