Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 11.26.55 AMWhen PEFC released the latest version of its Chain of Custody (CoC) standard in May of 2013, they also let it be know that they were working on an accompanying guidance document, which was planned for release in the fall.  The new CoC standard became mandatory in February of 2014, so most industry watchers (including MixedWood) set it to one side and waited for the guidance.  We waited but it did not come.

By the beginning of 2014, it was clear that PEFC-certified companies would need to evaluate and implement the new standard without the promised guidance.  We wrote about that implementation process in January.  In the months since then, auditors, CoC companies, and certification companies have all been independently examining, interpreting, and making decisions about PEFC ST 2002:2013.  We haven’t all agreed, but a general consensus was beginning to emerge.  Most us (including me) had forgotten about the promised guidance from PEFC.  Until this week.

When I first saw the new PEFC CoC Guide, I reacted with a bit of cynicism.  Here is a copy of my twitter post:

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I posted that “clever” remark before reading the document.  It is – after all – 54 pages long!  And I still think it was a fair comment.  A lot of folks have spent an awful lot of time and energy trying to de-code the new PEFC standard.  If the PEFC staff had intended to help us in this effort, they would have been far more effective if they had managed to be a bit more timely.

Very Well Done

Since then, however, I have taken the time to read it.  I started with some of the more troublesome sections of the standard (mostly Section 5: DDS) and moved on generally to the more routine stuff.  I will be returning and reading it more closely soon.  Overall, I must say that is is very well done.  I recommend it as mandatory reading for any company with a PEFC certificate.  I even recommend it for companies with SFI or FSC CoC systems.  They did a very good job and deserve a lot of credit.

Here is the link again.  Print yourself a copy.  Pour yourself some coffee.  Find yourself a comfortable chair, turn off the telephone, and give it a good read.  You’ll be glad you did.

It would have been SO much better, though, if it had been out in December.