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PEFC certified wood: what is it and why is it important?

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The wood of a piece of furniture can tell a lot about the origin of the product. It FSCquality mark stands for wood from sustainable forests and the PEFC quality mark for wood from managed forests. But what exactly is that?

The PEFC quality mark stands for 'European Forest Certification' and is issued by an international organisation. The social and economic requirements of forest management are checked.

In this article you can read all about the importance of the PEFC quality mark for forest management.

What is PEFC wood

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The unique properties of PEFC certified wood

PEFC is an international quality mark that ensures that wood products come from sustainably managed forests. When you see a product with the PEFC logo, you know that the wood comes from a responsibly managed forest. This takes into account social, economic and ecological aspects. More than 300 million hectares of forest worldwide have already been certified with this quality mark.

Who are behind PEFC?

PEFC is supported by companies, hardware stores, wholesalers and other organizations that consider sustainable forest management important. The PEFC Council, an international organization, manages the program and works with national PEFC organizations. The quality mark is an endorsement of the European Forest Certification Program (EFCP).

How is the PEFC label verified?

Before a product receives the PEFC label, it is thoroughly checked. PEFC not only looks at forest management, but also at the processing of the wood into products such as solid wood, wood fibers and paper. This ensures you of a sustainable and responsible product.

Why choose PEFC certified wood?

PEFC is a sustainable alternative to tropical logging and contributes to the conservation of natural value and biodiversity in vulnerable forest areas. Some of the benefits of PEFC-certified wood are:

  • Minimum requirements for the conservation of natural value
  • Prohibition of felling trees along watercourses, on steep slopes and in other places where erosion can occur
  • Guarantee that no illegal logging takes place
  • Minimizing the risk of biodiversity loss

The differences between FSC and PEFC unraveled

The main difference between PEFC and FSC is in the way of certification. PEFC works with local inspections to determine whether a forest can be PEFC certified. FSC, on the other hand, looks at the policy per country and what is needed to obtain the certificate.

Economic and social demands

Both labels aim to promote sustainable forest management, but they have different economic and social requirements. For example, FSC puts more emphasis on involving local communities and forest owners in forest management, while PEFC focuses more on supporting local economies.

Products and choice

When you are looking for certified wood products, you will notice that there is a difference in the range of FSC and PEFC certified products. FSC has a larger market share and is therefore often better represented in the range of shops. Nevertheless, it is important to know that both quality marks offer a guarantee for sustainably produced wood.

Logo and claims

There are also differences between FSC and PEFC in terms of logos and claims. For example, an FSC-certified product must contain at least 70% FSC-certified material, while PEFC uses a minimum of 70% certified material, of which at least 30% must be PEFC-certified. The rest may consist of reused or recycled materials.

Composite wood products

Composite wood products, such as furniture or toys, can have both quality marks. It is good to know that FSC and PEFC have different requirements for the origin of the wood. FSC requires all parties involved in the chain to be certified, while PEFC offers more flexibility in the design of the certification.

In short, there are several aspects in which FSC and PEFC differ from each other. Depending on your own preferences and priorities, you can choose between these two quality marks. The most important thing is that you consciously choose sustainably produced wood, regardless of the quality mark.

Recognition of PEFC certified wooden toys

If you want to buy toys made of PEFC certified wood, it is important to know what to look out for. First of all, it is useful to know that companies that work with this material are proud of their positive contribution to the environment and social aspects. That is why they will clearly state the PEFC label on their products. So take a good look at the packaging or the toy itself, and you will easily find the quality mark.

Percentage of responsible wood

As mentioned earlier, the PEFC label guarantees that at least 70% of the wood comes from responsibly managed forests. Although it is not mandatory to state the exact percentage, some companies will do so to provide additional transparency. Keep in mind that the rest of the wood must also meet minimum requirements to prevent illegal logging.

Ask the seller any questions

If you have any doubts whether the toy is actually made of PEFC wood, do not hesitate to ask the seller questions. They can give you more information about the product and the origin of the wood. In addition, they may also be able to point you to other sustainable and responsible products in their range.

Look up information online

Today it is easier than ever to find information about companies and their products online. Find the company and learn more about their approach to sustainability and responsible forest management. There is a good chance that you will find out more about their PEFC certification and the steps they take to meet the requirements on their website.

Note the price and quality

Although price and quality do not always go hand in hand, it is often the case that more sustainable and responsibly produced products are slightly more expensive. This is because more attention and care is paid to the production process and the material. If you come across a toy that is remarkably cheap, it is wise to be extra critical and check whether it is actually made of PEFC wood.

Keeping these tips in mind will make it a lot easier to recognize toys made of PEFC certified wood and make a conscious choice. In this way you not only contribute to a healthy future for our forests, but you also give your children safe and responsible toys to play with.

Conclusion

It is important to know that the PEFC certified wood label is a way of guaranteeing sustainable forest management. It supports companies, hardware stores, wholesalers and organizations that consider sustainable forest management important.

If you are looking for certified wood products, it is important to know that the PEFC certified wood label is a way to ensure sustainable forest management, while the FSC label pays more attention to the communities involved and the local economies.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.