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What does "controlled wood" mean?

The basic idea of certification is to protect forests and to prevent the access of timber from unsustainably managed forests to the markets. This is what the certificate stands for, but often not enough certified timber is available for the proposed products: Either certain components or qualities are lacking or the required volumes are not available. Certified material is used for the production, but a product cannot be declared as certified as far as the smallest quantities of a product are not certified.

The solution for this issue is the introduction of "controlled wood"/"controlled sources" as an additional quality between „certified“ and „non certified“ material. In this case „controlled“ means that even if the material does not come from „exemplary forest management“, certain minimum criteria have been controlled.

Therefore, first FSC® and later also PEFCTM have developed additional guidelines. The EU legislation for the proof of origin is based on the same idea, too. For the so called European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) legality is, however, the only criterion for evaluation. Both FSC and PEFC also require legality, but in addition to this, different requirements exist for both systems concerning the criteria for „controversial“ or not acceptable material. The protection of virgin forests is important, but also the prevention of social conflicts; FSC and PEFC vary in these definitions. There are also different requirements concerning the framework of the control system.

The objective of all these attempts is, however, to meet the demand of all participants of the market for a guaranteed sound origin of timber and timber products. For companies this is also important in view of their risk management (i.e. to avoid the loss of reputation).

Please find further information on FSC Controlled Wood under: 


Department of Forestry & Timber
Fon +41 (0) 71 626 0 628 and
        +49 (0) 7531 9429130 (FM)
wood& (COC)

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