CERTIFICATION AUDITORS AND ACCREDITORS
Tech Update Editor: Helen Johnson
Forest certification is taking place around the world as a method of assuring consumers that the products they buy are from sustainably-managed forests. Certification, also referred to as registration, provides an avenue for forest companies to prove that their harvesting methods do not damage forest health or the stability and livelihoods of local communities.
Certification has several other goals, including maintenance and enhancement of forest ecosystem health, setting management goals for the forest industry and other forest landowners and improving company performance. Certification is voluntary. The benefits to certification include opportunities to increase profitability, enhance credibility and identify shortcomings.
As of December 31, 2002, more than 115 million hectares of forest in Canada were certified to at least one standard, set out by the accrediting bodies that include the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Sustainable Forestry Board (SFB) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The ISO Quality Management System (ISO 9001) standard and the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) standard have been adopted by forest industry organizations around the world. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) was launched by the American Forest & Paper Association in 1998 and represents a formalizing of the industry’s commitment to sustainable practices.
The ISO 14000 series provides organizations around the world with a set of voluntary standards that serve as a framework for EMS. Both large and small organizations receive guidance on how to manage the environmental aspects of their activities, products and services more effectively. The Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) standard, CAN/CSA Z809, is an internationally recognized SFM system based on ISO 14001. This Tech Update has been compiled to further reader understanding of the certification process, following a very positive response to a wall chart on forest certification accreditation, which was contained in the June, 2002 issue of Logging & Sawmilling Journal. To obtain copies of this document, please fax your request to 604-990-9971.
A certification guidebook for BC wood product manufacturers is now available through the Canadian Mill Services Association website, www.canserve.org . Titled Chain of Custody Certification—Guide for BC Wood Product Manufacturers, the 38-page guide compares the principal chain-of-custody programs and helps companies investigate options for further differentiating their products.
Further information about certification is available online at: the Canadian Sustainable Forest Certification Coalition’s website: www.sfms.com ; BC Ministry of Forests website: www.growingtogether.ca ; and the Sustainable Forestry & Certification Watch websites: www.sfcw.org and www.certificationwatch.org .
The following descriptions provide information on the accredited bodies that are assisting organizations through the certification processes. Following that is some detail on the accrediting bodies themselves.
KPMG Performance Registrar Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KPMG, offers environmental management system assessment, training and registration services to help companies meet the requirements of nationally and internationally recognized standards. It provides certification for ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO 14001 EMS, OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z809 Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Standard and the American Forest & Paper Association (AFPA) Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). To improve efficiency, forest companies can use one integrated management system to manage environmental, quality and health and safety risks in both woodlands and mills.
Working with forest companies of all sizes in Canada and around the world, KPMG’s auditors, foresters and environmental systems specialists provide an understanding of resource management issues and how to resolve them. The company identifies shortcomings that need to be addressed for certification, enhances credibility through independent verification and discovers opportunities to improve performance and/or profitability.
SFI certification addresses potential risk areas and verifies that opportunities for improvement relating to forestlands, log-buying programs, public reporting and chain-of-custody are identified and implemented.
KPMG Forest Certification Services Inc, another wholly-owned subsidiary of KPMG, is accredited to carry out all Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications. It employs a range of services taking businesses from the initial investigation of the feasibility of certification through to final certification audits and subsequent annual monitoring. Procedures include pre-certification preparation and assessments, accredited forest management and chain-of-custody certification audits. For further information, contact Mike Alexander, president, KPMG Performance Registrar Inc at 604-691-3401. www.kpmg.ca Reader Service Card #460
Founded in 1989, the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program lays claim to being the first and now the most extensive program to certify responsible forestry practices. To date, the Rainforest Alliance has certified more than 800 operations on more than 13.3 million acres worldwide. The organization’s sustainable forestry program works in tropical, temperate and boreal forests and, in addition to SmartWood, includes the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) and Training, Research, Extension, Education and Systems (TREES) programs.
Rainforest Alliance certifications—whether of large forest companies, indigenous landholders, community operations or public lands—are carried out by trained staff and consultants in collaboration with non-profit conservation organizations around the world. Its chain-of-custody certification process assures customers that the wood and wood products they purchase come from sustainably-harvested forests, managed to conserve biodiversity and benefit local communities.
Consumers are increasingly looking to non-profit groups for credible, third-party verification of responsible corporate conduct, the organization says, and that increased awareness is fuelling the demand from major wood and wood product retailers for products stamped with a seal of approval from a qualified third-party source.
Rainforest Alliance encourages and rewards the reuse of wood by awarding the SmartWood Rediscovered seal of approval to acceptable reclaimed wood products. The program certifies salvaged and recycled wood.
Rainforest Alliance is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the only internationally recognized accreditation organization for forest certification operating on a global scale and which the Rainforest Alliance was instrumental in founding. For further information, call W Robert Beer, SmartWood’s director, at 802-434-5491. www.smartwood.org Reader Service Card #461
Scientific Certification Systems
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) developed its Forest Conservation Program in 1991 is now a leading certifier of forest management operations and wood product manufacturers. Accredited by the FSC in 1996, SCS offers timely and cost-effective certification services around the world through a network of regional representatives and contractors. Over the past 12 years, SCS has certified more than 14 million acres of natural forests and plantations in North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Certified operations have ranged from small 100-hectare parcels to 2.5-million hectare forests. SCS also offers a group certification, such as certified resource managers, as a means to lower the cost of certification for small landowners. An interdisciplinary evaluation team of experts in forest science and management addresses each certification audit.
Since the mid-1990s, SCS has also offered FSC certification to wood product manufacturers. The chain-of-custody certification division has audited and certified more than 500 manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Six principles of chain of custody must be met—such as maintaining adequate inventory control systems that allow for separation and identification of certified product—to become certified.
In addition to FSC certification, SCS offers a range of independent certification services to clients seeking to find an alternative to existing, potentially polarizing certification schemes. SCS also offers wood product manufacturers the option of pursuing single attribute (eg recycled, recovered, salvaged wood, etc) claims certification. For further information, contact Dr Robert Hrubes, RPF, at 510-452-8007. www.scscertified.com Reader Service Card #462
Since 1992, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has been auditing forest practices and advising the forest industry on environmental strategy in North America. A team of experienced auditors, professional foresters and other specialists conduct internal and independent third-party audits to lend external credibility to environmental initiatives. The company has performed hundreds of certifications and field audits for forest and paper companies in Canada and the US.
One of the sustainable business solutions offered is gap analysis and system design, which includes EMS strategy, system design and system gap analysis, and independent assessments in accordance with criteria established by the CSA SFM system standard (Z809), ISO 14001, the AFPA’s SFI standard and the FSC.
Another business solution is EMS development and implementation, which includes risk analysis and mitigation strategies; development of environmental and SFM principles and performance measures; performance evaluation tracking systems; benchmarking against industry best practices; external stakeholder consultation; EMS training; standard operating procedures development and review; design of annual performance reports and EMS manual; and implementation of chain-of-custody systems.
PWC’s environment/forest management audit services include audit training; pre-certification forestry and environmental audits in preparation for certification/registration audits; internal auditing; independent third-party audits to CSA (SFM), ISO 14001 and SFI; independent third-party product label audits; and third-party attestation of annual environmental and sustainability report data. For further information, call Bruce McIntyre at 604-806-7000. www.ca.pwcglobal.com Reader Service Card #463
Quality Management Institute
By providing registration and qualification services, Quality Management Institute (QMI) helps companies demonstrate commitment to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM). A division of CSA Group, QMI is a leading third-party SFI verifier with clients throughout North America. QMI has helped more than 7,000 companies achieve management system registration. The organization helps companies achieve chain-of-custody qualification for forest products coming from sustainably-managed forests, under CAN/CSA Z809. Established in 1984, QMI also offers an integrated management system that links SFM with ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001, allowing companies to manage all aspects of quality, occupational health and safety, environmental and SFM requirements in one system.
QMI also offers on-site training services on ISO 14001, ISO 9000 and OHSAS 18000, as well as root cause problem solving. It also offers registration services for corporate registration programs, integrated audit services, dedicated project management, interpretation assistance, on-site document reviews and localized auditor base, client service support and training services. For further information, contact Guillaume Gignac, forest products market sector manager, at 514-428-2438. www.qmi.com Reader Service Card #464
Bureau Veritas Quality International
Bureau Veritas Quality International (BVQi), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bureau Veritas Corporation, is a global company with a full range of value-added, third-party registration and auditing services for international quality, environmental, health and safety standards. BVQi has a worldwide client base of 45,000 and a network of offices in 60 countries, providing a “global reach with a local touch.” Established in 1987, BVQi has demonstrated significant benefits to clients through its use of a single registrar approach, including increased consistency, efficiency, continual improvement, bench marking and trend analysis within the company.
BVQi’s Forest Industry Services Division provides third-party inspection services to forest management and wood procurement organizations to the SFI standard and ISO 14001 EMS standard. Its regionally based foresters and technical experts understand the complex nature of the biological and technical aspects of forest management. BVQi has verified more than 14 million acres of forest land to the SFI standard and ISO 14001 EMS standard. For further information, call 716-484-9002. www.bvqina.com Reader Service Card #465
Intertek Testing Services
Intertek Testing Services (ITS) is ITS ETL SEMKO’s quality management systems registration business unit. ITS has developed comprehensive and innovative programs in the industry for quality management systems registration. ITS was the first ISO 9000 registrar and the first ISO 14001 registrar (accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service) in the US and was among the first QS 9000 approved registrars. The organization provides registration services in any of the major industry standards and offers extensive expertise in environmental auditing, testing and regulatory compliance through a team of experienced professionals.
ITS provides a streamlined ISO certification process, prompt and professional value-added services, experienced auditors who understand the industry and effective marketing of a certification. A company that has achieved compliance with ISO 14001 may realize direct gains, such as lowering energy and raw material use, reducing waste and pollution, avoiding accidents and emergency situations and lessening the threat of legal actions, fines and other penalties. Other benefits include a positive corporate image, increased shareholder satisfaction, a positive relationship with government and environmental organizations, improved employee health and goodwill and a healthier environment.
SGS Forestry Services
SGS Forestry Services is an international company specializing in independent testing, inspection and certification. SGS has been involved in forest management certification since 1993 through its forest certification program, SGS Qualifor. This program was FSC accredited in 1995 and today, through its regional offices, operates in more than 50 countries.
More than 15.8 million hectares (39.5 million acres) are SGS Qualifor certified worldwide. With its North American office in Montreal, Quebec, SGS Qualifor has certified the largest public forest ever certified with the FSC principles and criteria. SGS Qualifor also carries out FSC chain-of-custody certification and issued its 1,000th SGS Qualifor chain-of-custody certificate in the US in 2002. SGS also offers process-based environmental management systems certification (ISO 14001) for the forest industry, which can be combined with a Qualifor audit.
In the context of the Kyoto Protocol, SGS has developed a Carbon Offset Verification service for forestry, which aims to validate forest carbon sequestration projects. SGS has already performed the validation of seven forestry-based projects and verified Green House Gases Credits arising from these on behalf of private and institutional clients.
Quality Certification Bureau Inc
Quality Certification Bureau (QCB) is a management system registrar specializing in ISO 9000, QS 9000, AS 9000 and ISO 14000 registrations. Accredited by the Dutch Council of Accreditation (RvA) and by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), QCB currently has more than 1,100 clients globally, in diverse industries, and provides environmental and quality management system registration services, as well as training. Its head office is located in Edmonton, Alberta, with branch offices around the world.
QCB offers its clients international recognition, with accreditation by the RvA and SCC, a customer-driven focus to registration and qualified auditors familiar with various industries. Audits are performed according to an agreed upon schedule and marketing support is available.
QCB’s quality policy ensures professional environmental and quality management system registration services, carried out in a timely manner. QCB’s auditors are committed to continuous improvement through ongoing education as well as independent and client-performance evaluations. For further information, call 780-496-2463. www.qcbinc.com Reader Service Card #468
NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd (NSF-ISR) provides ISO 9000, AS 9100, QS 9000, TE Supplements to QS 9000, ISO/TS 16949and ISO 14000 management systems registration, as well as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). It is accredited under the joint program operated by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Registrar Accreditation.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of NSF International, NSF-ISR provides third-party standardization services in environmental quality and public health safety. For further information, call 888-673-9000. www.nsf-isr.org Reader Service Card #469
Standards Council of Canada
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is a federal Crown corporation that promotes efficient and effective voluntary standardization in Canada. The SCC is involved in coordinating Canada’s participation in the development of international standards and, as Canada’s national standardization body, oversees the National Standards System.
Although the SCC doesn’t develop standards or verify the conformity of products or services to standards, it accredits the organizations that do. It also coordinates Canada’s contribution to the ISO and accredits EMS registrars.
The SCC plays a key role in bringing international credibility and confidence to the implementation of the ISO 14000 series in Canada through its Environmental Management System Accreditation Program (EMSAP). The program was established in 1996 to enable the accreditation of organizations registering clients to the ISO 14000 series.
The voluntary SFM standard, CAN/CSA Z809-96, was approved by the SCC as a National Standard of Canada in 1997. Companies interested in obtaining the SFM registration can identify accredited EMS registrars on the SCC’s website. For further information, call 613-238-3222. www.scc.ca Reader Service Card #470
Canadian Standards Association
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is an accredited standards development organization, which works using national and international standards protocols. In 1996, CSA published Canada’s National Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)—CAN/CSA-Z809.
Since then, nearly 15 million hectares (36 million acres) of Canadian forests have been certified to the standard, making CSA the leading sustainable forestry certification scheme in Canada. CAN/CSA-Z809 is the only SFM standard in North America to be developed according to an internationally recognized and accredited standards development process.
In order to enable consumers to make responsible purchasing decisions, CSA responded to requests and created the Forest Products Marking Program (FPMP), a chain-of-custody system which tracks certified forest products from when they leave the forest to their final destination on retailers’ shelves. After a company undergoes a successful third-party audit, verifying they are in conformance, they have the opportunity to apply the CSA SFM product mark.
CSA International has been in the product certification and testing business for more than 80 years and its insignia has been applied to billions of consumer products around the world for more than 40 years. Its FPMP combines decades of product marking knowledge and experience with sustainable forest management. For further information, contact CSA manager Peter Johnson at 866-CSA-WOOD or 905-275-0284. www.csa.ca and www.certifiedwood.csa.ca Reader Service Card #471
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1993 to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. It supports the development of national and regional standards to be used to evaluate whether a forest is being well managed.
The FSC Canada Working Group, created in 1996, is an FSC national initiative responsible for developing regional standards and recommending them for endorsement by FSC International. FSC Canada is designed to promote good forest management across the country and increase the level of market participation through outreach, education and communications. For further information, call Jim McCarthy, executive director of the national FSC office, at 416-778-5568 or Evan Stewart, regional director at the FSC-BC chapter office, at 604-687-0212. www.fsccanada.org and www.fsc-bc.org Reader Service Card #472
Pan European Forest Certification Council
The Pan European Forest Certification Council (PEFC) is a framework for mutual recognition of credible national or regional forest certification schemes, which have been developed to meet internationally recognized requirements for SFM. Since its launch in 1999, PEFC has become the largest forest certification umbrella organization covering national schemes from all over the world. It has chain-of-custody rules for tracing products back from consumers to the woods. For further information, call +352 26 25 90 59. www.pefc.prg Reader Service Card #473
International Organization for Standardization
Established in 1947, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies. Its original objective was to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards. The ISO has published more than 13,500 standards to date and has a goal of providing the elements of an effective environmental management system to achieve environmental and economic goals such as reducing pollution, conserving resources and continually improving the environmental performance of organizations. It comprises the national standards for more than 110 countries. For further information, call +41 22 749 01 11. www.iso.org Reader Service Card #474
Sustainable Forestry Board
Chartered in 2000, the Sustainable Forestry Board oversees the development and continuous improvement of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program Standard (SFI), associated certification processes and procedures as well as program quality control mechanisms.
The SFI program was launched in 1994 as a commitment by participants to sustainable forest management under a rigorous system of principles, objectives and measures of performance. In 1998, SFI added a verification program for those participants wishing to confirm conformance to the standard. Successful independent third-party verification may lead to certification and use of an on-product label.
The SFB has 15 members representing program participants, the conservation and environmental community and the broader forestry community. For further information, email may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. www.aboutsfb.org Reader Service Card #475
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