The British Woodworking Federation Group

What does Chain of Custody mean?

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By Tim Hayes, Specification & Marketing Manager – Quantum Profile Systems Ltd

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™) are the largest global forest certification systems. They are separate, non-profit entities, but they share a common goal: to identify forests which are sustainably managed and environmentally sound. Products which carry the FSC® or PEFC™ brands are made from materials which originate in well managed forests, or from trusted recycling sources.

Both FSC® and PEFC™ practice Chain of Custody certification. Chain of Custody ensures that the materials that go into a product have been checked and verified at every stage of the process. This means that, from the forest to the end user, every person or company which has dealt with the materials has FSC® or PEFC™ certificates themselves. In this way, the work of FSC® or PEFC™ guarantees sustainability, both in the upkeep of forests, and in companies around the world.

Chain of Custody is important, as it allows customers to know that the products they buy are ecologically sourced and manufactured in sustainable ways. It guarantees that, at every step of the way, the finished product has been dealt with by people who value environmentally positive practices. By buying timber or timber composite products with a verified Chain of Custody, people can know that they are contributing to sustainability, and doing their bit to support the global effort.

Due to the nature of Chain of Custody, every company in the chain must be part of the system. So, for a company to sell a product as being FSC® or PEFC™ certified, the company itself must be certified. This is the only way for the chain to be verified, which is why it is important for companies which manufacture using timber to gain one or both of these certifications.

We are proud that QWood is the only timber composite bead manufacturer worldwide to have achieved complete Chain of Custody certification for the materials it uses, from both FSC® or PEFC™. This is important to QWood, as the company aims for environmental sustainability throughout its practices. These certifications are a visible sign to its customers that it adheres to a green ethos. Chain of Custody is the most important way for a company involved with the timber market to contribute towards the global sustainability of forests, and QWood is proud of its achievements.


What does Chain of Custody mean?
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National Specialist Contractors Council
Passive Fire Protection Federation
The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products