Wednesday 7 August 2013

Don't get bitten by FSC or PEFC

We've had a couple of instances where obscure parts of FSC and PEFC have bitten companies.
Company A.
This company mixed FSC and PEFC papers. There is nothing that stops you doing this and making a claim so long as you have one of the papers greater than 70% of the product (by weight.) However, it is only practical if you have predominantly PEFC. Were you to have predominantly FSC paper and make an FSC claim, then the rigmarole you have to go through makes it not worth it.
Company B.
As part of its range, this company supplies promotional goods. In the middle of the source code for a web page, it states that promotional pencils were FSC certified. The Google algorithm picked this up so that when the FSC auditor typed in "Company B FSC" it came up with a statement that these pencils were FSC certified, even though this was not visible on the web page. The lesson is that you must make sure that everyone, including web page designers, clear the use of the word FSC or logos with you. 
Company C.
This hasn't bitten this Swindon company yet, but it will do. Their web page uses the wrong logo. Instead of using the promotional logo, they have used the logo that actually goes on the product. We have advised them. The lesson for Company B applies here.
Finally, extra "advice" clauses have been added to FSC-DIR-40-004 FSC Directive on Chain of Custody Certification. (Don't confuse this with FSC-STD-40-004, which is the standard.) These clauses are 40-004-008 to 40-004-011 and include 40-004-008 which covers what to do with non-conforming product. Even though it states that "small COC enterprises are not required to have this procedure in writing", there have been instances where an FSC auditor has required it for a small company. We will be updating the non-conformance system for all our on-going FSC clients.

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