UPM to begin parallel certification field testing in three countries

This summer, UPM will begin parallel certification field testing of forest certification schemes in three different countries: Finland, the UK and Canada. Testing will be done on company owned and managed land between national schemes and international PEFC and FSC schemes. WWF International will act as an observer in the project.

The results of the test will open an opportunity to improve different national certification standards and to get them accepted by a broad base of stakeholders. With this initiative, UPM wants to promote the increase of certified fibre globally. Based on these test results, UPM will further develop its worldwide forestry and wood sourcing practices and promote the development of credible certification schemes in the countries it operates.

"Through parallel certification field testing we can evaluate the benefits of different schemes," says Jaakko Sarantola, Senior Vice President, Forestry and Wood Sourcing. At the moment there is strong competition between the schemes and this has caused confusion in the international market. Testing will tell of our willingness for continuous improvement and at the same time will provide an opportunity to compare the different schemes equally".

"WWF welcomes this initiative. Together with the recently announced other ongoing assessments of certification systems at national level in Europe, the results of this test will form a solid basis for defining thresholds for credible certification which are understandable by all stakeholders in the certification debate. We are particularly keen on this initiative, which will allow us to learn and develop the certification processes further," says Duncan Pollard, the Head of the European Forest programme at WWF International.

In Finland and the UK, the testing will be carried out on company owned land which is currently certified to national forest standards (FFCS and UKWAS). In Canada, the testing will be carried out on provincially owned forests managed by the company. The Canadian forests are certified according to the North American SFI scheme. In all countries the comparisons will be made with PEFC and FSC, and in Finland with both the Swedish FSC and draft Finnish FSC.

There are currently more than 50 different certification schemes worldwide, but only less than 5% of world's forest resources are certified. UPM is committed to several national and international certification schemes through its own guidelines. UPM strongly supports the mutual recognition of forest certification schemes that have comparable standards for sustainable forest management. UPM sees that forest certification is one tool to confirm that the fibre used in its products comes from well and sustainably managed forests.

 

For more information, please contact:
Ms Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, Director, Environmental Forestry Affairs, tel. +358 204 16 3862
Finland: Mr Hannu Vainio, Vice President, Wood Procurement Finland, tel. +358 204 16 3800
UK: Mr Martin Gale, Vice President, International Forestry, tel. +44 207 800 7663
Canada: Mr Paul Orser, Director, Forestry and Wood Sourcing, North America,
tel. +1 506 627 3412
Mr Duncan Pollard, the Head of the European Forest programme, WWF International,
tel. +41 79 477 3336


UPM
Corporate Communications
June 23, 2004