In December 2021 Responsible Wood published the latest version of the AS / NZS 4708 Standard for Sustainable Forest Management – requirements. Updated and reviewed by Responsible Wood every five years, the Standard has been approved for publication following revision by the AS/NZS 4708 Standards Reference Committee and Working Group chaired by Dr Gordon Duff. Source: Timberbiz
Published for the first time as a Trans-Tasman Standard, the new Standard provides common benchmarks for sustainably managed Australian and New Zealand forests.
The Australia-New Zealand Standard (AS / NZS 4708), along with the Australian Standard for Chain of Custody for Forest Products (AS / NZS 4707) are key components of the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme.
“The Responsible Wood Certification Scheme is recognised as a world leading certification scheme for native and plantation forests,” said the Chairman of the Standard Reference Committee, Dr Gordon Duff.
“The Committee included a broad range of organisations in Australia and New Zealand involved in forest management, forest research, auditing, government, community, and environment, as well as Indigenous organisations and labour unions.”
The new standard has been designed to meet all requirements of the PEFC International Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (PEFC ST 1003), the benchmark for PEFC endorsement and recognition.
“PEFC is an international system of mutual recognition whereby standards like AS / NZS 4708 are compared against international benchmarks,” Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries said.
“If the tandards are credible and meet international benchmarks, then the organisation becomes PEFC endorsed.”
“As an endorsed Australian and New Zealand Standard, it can be used for PEFC and/or Responsible Wood claims and to meet timber legality requirements for import and export.”
Responsible Wood is the governing body in Australia for PEFC International, the world’s largest forest certification authority with more than 20,000 companies certified under the sustainable forest management and chain-of-custody standards.
PEFC provides mutual recognition across a diverse number of countries allowing effective and efficient access to international markets.
It also provides best practice international benchmarks for sustainable forest management ensuring that global forests are protected while providing environmental, economic and social benefits.
The Standard Reference Committee and Working Group includes a balance of representatives in Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia: Association of Accredited Certification Bodies. Australian Forest Growers, Australian Forest Products Association, Construction, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, CSIRO, Environmental Farmers Network Association, Institute of Foresters of Australia (Forestry Australia), Independent biodiversity/conservation expert, National Retailers Association, National Timber Council Association, South East Timber Association (community group), Southcoast Natural Resource Management, University of Melbourne, University of Sunshine Coast
In New Zealand: Federation of Māori Authorities First Union, New Zealand Farm Forest Association, New Zealand Forest Certification Association, New Zealand Forest Owners Association, New Zealand Institute of Forestry New Zealand, Ministry of Primary Industries, New Zealand Timber Industry Federation, Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited), Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand.
Download a copy here:AS-NZS-4708-2021-Sustainable-Forest-Management