UPM harmonises its chain of custody globally

Archive 28.2.2005 0:00 EET

UPM will globally implement a generic chain of custody covering all forest certification schemes. It will allow UPM to show the real share of certified fibre in its products.

"UPM's Nordland paper mill is a good example of the restrictions of the present chain of custody systems. The mill uses pulp from both PEFC and FSC certified sources, but the Nordland mill's PEFC chain of custody means that the FSC material is classified as non-certified. With this new model UPM will be able to tell its customers the real percentage of certified fibre in their products. Furthermore it offers them the chance to use the chain of custody of their choice", says Jaakko Sarantola, Senior Vice President, Forestry and Wood Sourcing.

UPM's mills use about 30 million cubic metres of wood annually and over a million tonnes of pulp purchased from external suppliers. As there are more than 50 different forest certification schemes worldwide, UPM is buying wood and fibre material from forests certified according to several schemes.

There are only two internationally recognised chain of custody systems, PEFC and FSC. The lack of mutual recognition has caused problems in reporting the real share of certified wood. Therefore deciding which chain of custody to choose is difficult for the customers.

During recent years, UPM has developed systems so that almost all of UPM's mills have either a PEFC or FSC certified chain of custody in place. Additionally Caledonian paper mill in UK has dual certification for its chain of custody.

The use of the new model will begin at UPM's Nordland and Rauma paper mills and Pietarsaari pulp mill with help of experience gained during the dual certification of Caledonian paper mill. This phase will be completed by the end 2005. The generic chain of custody model will eventually cover all of the company's wood sourcing and production worldwide. It also includes the setting of uniform requirements for the origin of wood of UPM's wood and pulp suppliers.

UPM aims at increasing the use of certified wood in all its mills, and providing credible information on the origin of wood through the whole chain – from forest to the customer – is essential for UPM. This project is one of the UPM initiatives which aims to contribute to sustainable forest practices and the harmonious development of the different forest certification schemes.

For further information, please contact:
Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, Environmental Forestry Affairs, tel. +358 204 16 3862
Matti Ylänne, Environmental Forestry Affairs, tel. +358 204 16 3865

Corporate Communications
28 February, 2005

Notes for editors:

UPM has 22 paper and pulp mills in eight countries and 30 wood products production units in five countries. 15 of the 19 paper and pulp mills that are using fresh fibre in their production have either PEFC or FSC chain of custody certificates. Three paper mills are using only recycled fibre. 26 of the 30 wood production units have PEFC chain of custody certificates.

Chain of custody is a verified system for tracking the changes in custodianship of forest products, and products of thereof, during the transportation, processing and distribution chain from the forest to the end-use.

PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) is, by area, the world's largest forest certification system. PEFC has endorsed 17 national forest certification systems. PEFC is an umbrella organisation for the mutual recognition of national or regional forest certification schemes which meet internationally recognised requirements for sustainable forest management. PEFC includes forest certification, Chain of Custody and product labelling. Fulfilling the PEFC standard requires independent third-party verification. PEFC members are national or regional forest certification schemes based on inter-governmental processes for sustainable forest management around the world. In Europe these principles were agreed at a conference of European forest ministers. For more information: www.pefc.org.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an international non-governmental organisation founded in 1993, whose task is to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. 48 million hectares of forests have been certified according to FSC standards in more than 60 countries. The Council has defined ten general principles of forest management. The actual certification standards are drawn up in accordance with the FSC principles in a national co-operation process. Fulfilling the FSC standard requires independent third-party verification. For more information: www.fscoax.org.