VicForests' operations are certified under the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme, which is endorsed and internationally recognised by PEFC, the world's largest forest certification scheme. The Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (AS4708) underpins and supports this Responsible Wood Certification Scheme. This standard has been specifically developed for Australia’s forests under a robust standards development process endorsed by Standards Australia.
The Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (AS 4708) demonstrates that VicForests' operations meet requirements for best practice in sustainable forest management. This is done by ensuring our operations meet a set of predetermined and clearly defined environmental, economic, social and cultural performance requirements that supports sustainable management of forests.
The Responsible Wood Certification Scheme protects and promotes Australia's unique environments by ensuring a forest industry that is environmentally, socially, culturally and commercially sustainable.
The scheme is made up of two Australian standards:
Sustainable Forest Management (AS 4708)
Chain of Custody (AS 4707)
VicForests meets the Sustainable Forest Management standard (AS 4708).
The certification process audits forest managers against nine criteria set out in the Standard. Under each criterion, there can be in excess of 100 requirements that must be met.
Defined Forest Area (DFA)
VicForests identifies two geographically separate defined forest areas to which the Standard applies.
This includes all forests available to VicForests under the Allocation Order 2013, and as amended in 2019, as well as other forest management zones that permit timber harvesting. Outside of the Allocation Order Area VicForests may operate in accordance with a duly authorised forest produce licence issued under section 52 of the Forests Act by the responsible minister or delegate.
This includes the following primary forest management units:
The Responsible Wood Certification Scheme is endorsed and internationally recognised by PEFC.
PEFC is the world's largest forest certification system. Its credible standards seek to transform the way forests are managed globally – and locally - to ensure that everyone can enjoy the environmental, social and economic benefits that forests offer.
PEFC certification provides forest owners and managers – families, communities and companies – with access to the global marketplace for certified products.
PEFC sets highest standards for forest certification and sustainable forest management in line with society’s ever evolving understanding and expectations. PEFC's Sustainability Benchmarks are based on broad societal consensus expressed in international, intergovernmental, multi-stakeholder processes and guidelines involving thousands of interested parties.