A new standard for tracing wood to sustainable sources is now in development

A new standard for tracing wood to sustainable sources is now in development

Wood is one of the world's most precious resources and there is increasing consumer demand to know it is sourced from well-managed forests. Soon, the traceability of wood will be easier to manage as an ISO standard-in-development reaches a new and crucial stage.

Illegal logging and deforestation have devastating effects on our planet, destroying the ecology, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing communities. As consumer awareness grows, so too does the demand for reliable evidence that wood-based products are derived from sustainably managed forests.

Establishing a single ISO standard will enable producers to manage their traceability systems in an efficient and transparent way and provide consumers with reliable and trustworthy information on the environmental and social integrity of wood products offered.

ISO's upcoming standard for the traceability of wood products, ISO 38001, has now reached the end of the first consultation phase, where ISO members involved in its development had four months to form a national position on the draft and comment on it.

Its development is led by ISO project committee ISO/PC 287, Chain of custody of wood and wood-based products, whose secretariat is held by ABNT, ISO's member in Brazil, and co-led by DIN, ISO's member in Germany.

ISO 38001 will not only demonstrate that the raw material originates from well-managed forests, but that the final product can also be tracked through its various stages of production. This can go towards encouraging the use of traceable wood and even preventing illegally sourced wood from getting into the supply chain.

ISO 38001, Chain of custody of wood and wood-based products – Requirements, is expected to be published in May 2017 at the latest.