ISSUE 8: ROLE MODELS IN CHINA’S FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY: COMPANIES DEVELOPING CHAIN-OF-CUSTODY SYSTEMS TO PROTECT AGAINST ILLEGAL OR UNSUSTAINABLE WOOD SOURCING
English versionBy M. Brady & Kerstin Canby View Publication
The Chinese wood products industry has come under increasing international attention for its potential role in importing (and re-exporting) wood materials which cannot be verified as having come from sustainably managed or even legally harvested forests around the world. This situation does not mean that all production originating from Chinese mills is illegal, but it does highlight the problem is that proving legality is very difficult. In the past 2 years, several Chinese firms, supported by certified forest schemes in China and supplying countries, have taken a lead in changing the way they conduct business. They are beginning to implement chain-of-custody systems which can demonstrate legal and sustainable products from forest to end consumer. These firms are discovering that such systems can not only help to protect their market share in environmentally-sensitive markets such as Europe, Japan and North America, but even to gain market share. By helping to protect the international reputation of China’s wood products industry, these firms can serve as role models within China, especially for China’s export-oriented wood products industry. Learning from their experiences will be critical in expanding these good practices to other enterprises across China.