Since the early 1990s, Finnish forest industry companies have consistently worked to ensure the legality of imported timber and this means knowing the origin of wood. The companies abide by the legislation and official regulations of source countries and official documents are always filed.
Certification means that an independent third party has verified the functioning of the system
Verification of wood origin is based on certified quality and environmental management systems that include, for example, the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and EMAS systems. The industry also uses the PEFC and FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. The basic premise in these systems is that players in the wood procurement chain abide by the current legislation of each country. Adherence to laws and regulations is monitored by officials in each country.
Companies have supply contracts with suppliers of import timber
In contracts with suppliers of import timber, the supplier agrees to provide the buyer information about the origin of the wood they will supply. The contract also requires the supplier to follow the environmental requirements defined by Finnish forest industry companies.
The supplier provides the buyer information about the exact source location and terrain of each timber delivery. Special attention is paid to the location if the harvesting site is near a protected area. A logging permit issued by the authorities ensures that imported timber is legal.
Forest industry companies verify the accuracy of information provided by suppliers with on-site visits
Visits are focused on logging sites and related silviculture operations. Information about timber deliveries is saved into the buyer’s database and mapping system, which includes information about conservation areas. On-site visits ensure that harvesting has been carried out legally and in accordance with the logging permit.
On-site visits and inspections are conducted at the logging sites of the most significant suppliers and especially of new suppliers. Inspections are intensified if any shortcomings are detected in the wood supplier’s operations. On-site visits are carried out not only by Finnish forest industry company representatives but also by impartial certification organisations auditing the functionality of verification of origin systems.
Systems developed together with interest groups
The Finnish forest industry is engaged in dialogue with Finnish and Russian environmental organisations to promote legal timber procurement. The parties are concerned about illegal logging worldwide and aim to promote international trade in sustainably produced timber. The Finnish forest industry continues to invest in the constant improvement of origin verification systems.