PEFC Welcomes Two New Members at 2023 General Assembly

PEFC International and SFI Boards combine for historic meeting

Sun 21 May 23


PEFC, the world’s largest forest certification scheme, has welcomed two new international stakeholder members (ISM).

Mayr-Melnhof Holz and Mercer International were accepted during the 28th PEFC General Assembly held in Vancouver, Canada.

PEFC’s CEO and Secretary General, Michael Berger, warmly welcomed the new members, citing their “great expertise and longstanding experience” as valuable assets to benefit the alliance.

Mercer International, a leading producer of market pulp, expressed its satisfaction with the “symbiotic relationship” between Mercer and PEFC, which is based on their shared commitment to sustainable forest management, forest certification, and ESG objectives.

Lee Rueb, the Forest Certification Coordinator at Mercer International, praised the conference as a platform to address critical issues such as nature-positive solutions, indigenous rights, and reconciliation.

“This symbiotic relationship is a pragmatic approach to demonstrating sustainable development verified by credible check and balances. In turn, this leads to supply chain assurance, investor confidence and an increased social licence to practice sustainable forestry,” Rueb said.

Mayr-Melnhof Holz Holding AG is one of the leading timber-processing companies in Europe, a major producer of glued laminated timber, and a driving force in advance of cross-laminated timber.

As International Stakeholder Members of PEFC, Mercer International and Mayr-Melnhof Holz Holding AG, will have the opportunity to participate in PEFC working groups and committees on topics like standards revision, marketing, and regional promotions and to partner with other PEFC members on global projects.

For the first time the PEFC and SFI conferences were hosted together

This year’s assembly marked the first time the PEFC and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) National Conferences have been hosted together. The combined event welcomed 36 international speakers who addressed a range of topics, from nature-positive solutions to indigenous rights and reconciliation, over a four-day period.

From May 14 until 18, the conference featured 36 international speakers addressing various topics ranging from nature-positive solutions to indigenous rights and reconciliation. A copy of the 2022 PEFC Annual Report is now available from the link below:

“On behalf of PEFC, we wish to acknowledge our appreciation for being welcomed as guests by the indigenous communities to their territory,” said David Ford, Vice Chair of the PEFC International Board, as he opened the second day of the joint SFI Conference and PEFC Week in Vancouver, Canada.

PEFC Vice Chair David Ford addressing the joint PEFC and SFI conference of attendees (Photo credit: PEFC International)

Ford, who has held leadership positions in various forestry-related organisations including the American Tree Farm System (one of PEFC’s national governing bodies in North America), emphasised the importance of open and collaborative engagement.

“We have been touched by the beauty of this place, humbled by the warmth and kindness of our hosts, and inspired by the open and collaborative engagements.”

Representatives from Australia, including Dr. Tony Bartlett, Simon Dorries, Katie Fowden, Mark Guthier, and Beth Welden, are giving live updates from Vancouver to Wood Central.

The Australian representatives: Wood Central has set up a dedicated article with live updates from the Conference.
A historic meeting of the PEFC and SFI Boards

On Tuesday morning, the PEFC and SFI Boards held a historic joint meeting to explore opportunities for collaboration.

“Our discussions brought into clear focus that the PEFC and SFI strategies are in alignment. Now we must seek and enhance common ground on our tactics to achieve our organization’s visions and missions,” according to Ford.

The PEFC 2030 Strategy

The conference resulted in the PEFC formulating a new 2030 strategy which will shape the future of the organisation and National Governing Bodies (which includes Responsible Wood and the NZFCA in Australia and New Zealand) in the coming seven years.

“Our new 2030 strategy is built on a strong framework of four strategic pathways and fourteen key performance indicators. It illustrates our dedication to healthy forests, healthy forest communities, healthy forest workers, and a healthy forest economy,” according to Ford.

The PEFC 2030 Strategy will be published on the PEFC website next week. 


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    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.


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