Consultation proposal for a List of Prohibited Tree Species in Nordic Ecolabelling’s criteria

Nordic Ecolabelling gives you the opportunity to comment on the proposal for a List of Prohibited Tree Species in criteria for Nordic Swan Ecolebelled products.

We look forward to your comments, which should be sent to the Nordic Ecolabelling no later than April 26, 2019 to be taken into consideration.

Please find the proposed criteria for download further down on this page.

Justification of Nordic Ecolabelling requirement for tree species

Nordic Ecolabelling considers that the forest certification schemes FSC and PEFC are good tools for sustainable forestry and support these in the requirements for wood-based raw materials in Nordic Swan Ecolabelled products. Nordic Ecolabelling, however, also sees challenges with these schemes and in particular that the certification schemes allow logging in IFL areas.

Nordic Ecolabelling is concerned with biodiversity and to set requirements that ensure the preservation of biodiversity. Protecting the earth's remaining IFL (Intact Forest Landscapes) areas, as well as endangered species are central to this work. Many of these areas and species are in tropical areas, but also in boreal areas such as Russia. There are major challenges with illegal logging and high corruption in many of these areas, and the authorities' forest management and legislation can be weak.

Nordic Ecolabelling wants to apply the precautionary principle and reduce the risk that illegally harvested wood raw materials and wood raw materials from IFL areas are used in Nordic Swan Ecolabelled products. A list of tree species that are not allowed in Nordic Swan Ecolabelled products has therefore been prepared. The ban also applies to certified tree species. However, Nordic Ecolabelling has a belief that the FSC / PEFC systems and other initiatives and legislation are being developed so that the timber list can be shortened or removed in the long term.

History and process

Nordic Ecolabelling has had requirements for sustainable forest management since 1998. In previous versions of the forest requirements, requirements were set for traceability, that wood should be legally harvested and not from areas of high biological value or unclear ownership. In addition, there was a requirement that a certain proportion of the wood raw material should be certified according to forest standards Nordic Ecolabelling evaluated.

In 2015, Nordic Ecolabelling carried out a revision of the requirements for wood raw materials (requirements for forest) in the Nordic Swan Ecolabel criteria. The revision resulted in a number of changes, including that the forest certification schemes FSC / PEFC are approved on a general basis without the assessment of Nordic Ecolabelling. In the consultation proposal for new requirements, it was also proposed that wood raw materials from areas with high corruption risk (CPI under 40) could not be used without additional risk assessment carried out by Nordic Ecolabelling. Based on received consultation comments, the requirement that excluded wood raw material from areas with a high risk of corruption was replaced by a list of tree species not allowed in Nordic Swan Ecolabeled products.

The list has, after the revision in 2015, been on consultation together with other criteria in which wood raw material is included, but the possibility of commenting on the general basis for the list or species on the list has been limited, which has been criticized. Nordic Ecolabelling therefore now gives the opportunity to comment on the basis of the list and the species on it in connection with the ongoing revision of the tree list.

Based on received consultation comments, the final requirement will be adopted in the Nordic Ecolabelling Board in the autumn of 2019.

Species on the tree list

Species on the list are based on the IUCN's Red List and CITES in addition to species on Regnskogfondets (Rainforest Foundation Norway’s) list of tropical tree species found in Norwegian building materials/products industry and furniture industry. There may be overlap between these sources so that the same tree species is on two or more lists. Nordic Ecolabelling has had a pragmatic approach to which species are on the list, as it is virtually impossible to create a complete list of species from IFL areas. This approach will therefore not cover all species from IFL areas, but will include those species that are mainly relevant in the Nordic market. Siberian larch is also on the list as this is a species that grows in boreal IFL areas and is used in the Nordic construction industry today. 

Nordic Ecolabelling would like to have comments on which species are on the list, which species may be removed or which species that should be added.

Nordic Ecolabelling has also considered expanding the list further by including three species in the FSC Denmark's "Guide to lesser known timber species" and would like to have feedback on whether these species are widespread in products on the Nordic market and should therefore be included.

Consultation documents for download

List of prohibited tree species

Background document for the tree list

Who can provide input?

All people, companies and institutions who are interested in taking part in the development work of Nordic Ecolabelling criteria for Ski Wax can provide us with their opinions and comments. We would appreciate if you kindly distribute information about this review to whom it may concern.

How can comments be sent in?

Your input is most valuable to our criteria development. We prefer to receive your answers via the form below, via mail or by e-mail to remiss@svanen.se.

For further questions, please contact Elinor Holén, Product Specialist e-mail: elinor.holen@svanen.se or telephone +46 (0)8-55 55 24 38.

We look forward to receiving your comments no later than April 26, 2019

Best regards,

Elinor Holén
Ecolabelling Sweden

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Tree list