International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme

The International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme is an independent, not for profit International Certification Programme based in Australia. It is already approved to certify products in Australia & the United Kingdom with applications pending in 14 other countries.  

Each product displaying our international palm oil free certification trademark has been thoroughly researched via our palm oil free certification accreditation programme’s certification process and has been certified palm oil and palm oil derivative free.

For more information, click here.

[NEPCon] Fake documents: how to spot them and what to do about them

Your supplier has given you some documents that appear to show that the timber they’re selling to you was legally harvested. But how do you know if the documents are genuine or not?

Today, NEPCon published an article that provides some hints and tips on how to spot if any of the documents in your Due Diligence System are fakes. The article is part of a series about the EU Timber Regulation that NEPCon is publishing as part of our project ‘Support Legal Timber Trade’.

The article includes some examples of forged documents, some practical ways to distinguish between genuine and fake documents, and some advice on what to do if you think you have been given a fake document.

To read the article, click here.

Innovation Forum: Investors demand better social impact data

Rana Plaza shocked business into action (IF)

Environmental awareness took long enough, but is the investment community developing a social conscience?

Long-disinterested in the climate change debate, investors everywhere have been slowly waking up to the realisation that environmental impacts equal poor corporate returns and increased exposure to risk on their investment.

Impetus will no doubt come from the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures, a newly established group set up by G20 nations. It offers a voluntary framework to help business disclose the financial impact of climate-related risks and opportunities, drawing on the support of 100 companies worth a collective $11tn.

It is yet another tool to help investors, lenders and insurers better understand how firms manage climate risk – and help companies work out how to present the right information that will best explain their climate strategy.

Making Certification Smart – PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue 2017 (16-17 November, Helsinki)

You are cordially invited to attend the 2017 PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue which will take place on the 16th & 17th November in Helsinki, Finland.

Under the theme “Making Certification SMART” this year’s event will explore and discover new and emerging technologies which show promise for supporting forest certification. It will bring together forest sector stakeholders and leading technology providers & innovators to exchange views on what’s needed, what’s working and where are the opportunities for scaling up application.

Whether it is hardware, software, services or tools, the incorporation of technology within forest certification can overcome many barriers. Wide ranging applications provide solutions for everyday challenges such as:  improving transparency in complex supply chains, enhancing the ability to map, monitor or manage forest resources, or establishing new ways to engage stakeholders & improve cooperation. The backdrop of Finland and the PEFC Forest Certification Week provides a ripe moment to exchange experiences and challenge each other to re-imagine how forest certification should re-equip for the next decade.

The two-day event will combine one day in conference setting with a one day field trip to enable optimal exchange, demonstration and in-depth discussion on the topic. We will kick off the event with a cocktail reception at 6:30pm on the 15th.   The event is well-positioned to equip participants with new insights and ideas for implementing and maximizing the benefits derived from forest certification!


Participate!  Register online before 31 October

Innovate!  Pitch your innovative solution at the event – apply here 

Partner!  Engage and contribute to shaping the event by becoming a sponsor

To access further information, including updates to the agenda, please refer regularly to the event website.

We hope to see you in Finland!


Thorsten Arndt

Head of Communications, PEFC

Gold Standard: Invitation to Gold Standard Health Impact Assessment Methodology Training

The Gold Standard cordially invites you to attend Capacity Building workshop on the Gold Standard’s Averted Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) methodology being held in Bangkok, Thailand on 25 and 26 July, 2017.

ADALYs methodology:

The Gold Standard has recently introduced a pioneering quantification and monitoring methodology for health benefits for household thermal energy requirements and lighting interventions that reduce indoor air pollution exposures and associated risk of health impacts. The methodology uses Averted Mortality and Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) as the impact metric to estimate the health benefits. The methodology has been designed concurrently with the development of the Gold Standard for Global Goals, a new standard that allows for the consolidation of existing Gold Standard scopes and for the quantification of multiple impacts based on the Sustainable Development Goals.

This workshop is part of a series of regional workshops being organized by the Gold Standard and supported by the World Bank to train stakeholders on the application of the methodology and its requirements. The workshop has been specifically designed to introduce the methodology and associated requirements in addition to providing interactive training on different components of the methodology. The workshop is specifically targeted towards project developers, auditors, development sector organizations, testing agencies, government agencies working in health and environment sector and other practitioners.

Participation in the workshop will be free. However please note that due to space constraints, the number of attendees will be restricted. We cordially ask you to register and indicate your interest for participation by emailing us at –

For further information on the ADALYs methodology and our latest Standard, please visit –

[BOOK] Standards and Biodiversity

Percentage of Standard Compliant Metric Tonnes for Selected Agricultural Commodities (2014)

Standards and Biodiversity, the latest report by the State of Sustainability Initiatives examines the intersection between voluntary sustainability standard and the conservation of biodiversity. The study identified several opportunities to leverage the impact of voluntary sustainability standards to prevent and slow biodiversity losses. There is a clear rationale for policy-makers to support the evolution of voluntary sustainability standards in ways that can help ensure that they play a constructive role in meeting biodiversity targets. Voluntary sustainability standards offer an opportunity to reduce the biodiversity impacts of agriculture while promoting best practices, which can also improve yields and help to feed a growing population.

Read more here.

New forest certification map out now

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is pleased to present the first ever global map of certified forest areas. The map which is based on a participatory and collaborative mapping approach, is available freely online and described in a new publication by Kraxner F, Schepaschenko D, Fuss S, Lunnan A, Kindermann G, Aoki K, Dürauer M, Shvidenko A, et al. (2017): Mapping certified forests for sustainable management – A global tool for information improvement through participatory and collaborative mapping. Forest Policy and Economics 83: 10-18. DOI:10.1016/j.forpol.2017.04.014.

Global certification map by FSC (a), indicating the relative shares of certified forest area with the help of a light green color ramp. Global certification map by PEFC (b), indicating certification shares of countries (numbers) and membership status (darker green color ramp). Data for the year 2015 are also available at the respective websites. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

The new global map was developed by researchers at IIASA together with the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). It combines country-level statistics with modern remote sensing products and crowdsourcing and shows certified forest areas at 1 kilometer resolution—far more detailed than currently available maps. This high resolution approach allows a large range of users including policymakers, non-governmental organizations, researchers, forest organizations, private investors, and the general public to zoom into the area of their interest. This is a significant step forward in consumer transparency and credibility.

To support data validation, the researchers used the interactive online crowdsourcing platform Geo-Wiki as a participatory and collaborative mapping tool where the different users can give feedback to improve the map.

Please find the map here.

[LINK] In complex palm industry, “certified sustainable” falls short

Aerial view of an oil palm plantation near Douala, Cameroon. (Photo: M. Edliadi/CIFOR)

As global demand for palm oil has grown in recent years, so has consumer concern over deforestation caused by expanding plantations. In response, the industry devised systems for certifying “sustainably produced” palm oil, but they haven’t been as effective as expected.

Certification systems, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, aim to address the environmental, social and economic factors that are commonly considered the three pillars of sustainability.

The idea behind certification is that palm oil produced according to certain standards can command a higher price in the market, creating an incentive for growers to implement measures that will ensure sustainable production systems and notably reduce deforestation.

But global certification falls short, because it takes a one-size-fits-all approach to a complex industry that varies not only between countries, but also within countries and among types of producers, according to a new study by researchers from the International Center for Forestry Research (CIFOR), the French Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), and the French agricultural research center CIRAD.

Read more here, Infobrief here.

[BOOK] 6 tahun ISPO

Pada bulan Maret 2011, Pemerintah Indonesia melalui Kementerian Pertanian, meluncurkan Pedoman Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil-ISPO). Melalui ISPO, Pemerintah Indonesia ingin mendorong usaha perkebunan kelapa sawit memenuhi kewajibannya sesuai peraturan perundang-undangan, melindungi dan mempromosikan usaha perkebunan kelapa sawit berkelanjutan sesuai dengan tuntutan pasar, juga untuk mendukung komitmen Presiden Republik Indonesia mengurangi emisi gas rumah kaca. Sebagai sebuah peraturan Pemerintah Indonesia, ISPO berlaku wajib (mandatory) bagi perusahaan perkebunan (tapi bersifat sukarela bagi usaha perkebunan kecil). Ini membedakannya dengan Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) yang bersifat sukarela (voluntary). Pada bulan Maret 2015, Kementerian Pertanian melakukan pembaharuan dengan mengeluarkan peraturan tentang Sistem Sertifikasi Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification System-ISPO).

Kajian ini menunjukkan bahwa selama enam tahun berlakunya, sejak 2011, ISPO belum menunjukkan kinerja yang memadai dalam kaitan pencapaian tujuan pembangunannya sebagai sebuah sistem sertifikasi menuju perkebunan kelapa sawit yang berkelanjutan. Penerapan ISPO ternyata belum mampu merespon dampak-dampak negatif yang ditimbulkan akibat pembangunan kelapa sawit selama ini, terutama pada aspek lingkungan dan sosial. Sistem sertifikasi yang diharapkan menjadi pintu masuk perbaikan tata kelola kebun dan lahan, dirasakan hanya sebatas sebuah instrumen untuk mendapat pengakuan di pasar internasional. Bahkan sampai saat ini pun, para pemangku kepentingan masih terus memperdebatkan apakah ISPO mampu menjadi jawaban terhadap tuntutan pemenuhan prinsip-prinsip keberlanjutan atau tidak. Dalam konteks yang lebih luas, sebagian pihak juga meragukan ISPO akan mampu menyentuh akar persoalan demi mendorong perbaikan tata kelola hutan dan lahan di Indonesia.

Read more here.