Controlled wood national risk assessment

FSC is developing a robust national risk assessment for sourcing Controlled Wood in Australia

FSC risk assessments are used to assess the likelihood that material from unacceptable sources enters the market as controlled wood (for an explainer on controlled wood, please see below).

The Australian Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment (NRA) working group have finalised draft risk assessment documents for categories 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Public consultation on these drafts has now ended. The documents proposes a framework for assessing the risk of obtaining unacceptable material, for each category of unacceptable material.

How does the consultation work?

FSC Australia operated a staggered consultation process in two stages. The public consultation is now complete, and the NRA working group will review all submissions and produce final drafts to submit to FSC International for final review and approval.

CLOSED: Categories 1, 2, 4 and 5
Consultation on categories 1, 2, 4 and 5 was carried out from 10th January to 9 March 2019 and is now closed.

CLOSED: Category 3
Consultation on a draft risk assessment for category 3 and a draft HCV framework was carried out from 15 March to 28 May 2019.

Category three relates to:

  • Wood harvested in forests in which high conservation values (HCVs) are threatened by management activities (HCVs are areas particularly worthy of protection)

The draft documents are available for download and review on the consultation platform.

What is controlled wood and what are the types of unacceptable sources?

Controlled WoodFSC operates two forest managements standards, full forest management and controlled wood.

Not all companies are able to source 100% FSC-certified wood for their products. In this instance, they can supplement it with controlled wood from a forest management company that has achieved controlled wood certification.

FSC controlled wood comes from low-risk sources, when mixed with FSC-certified material these products can carry the FSC Mix label. To make sure that these sources are low-risk, companies must carry out a risk assessment and show this to the auditor.

Why do we need a National Risk Assessment?
The Australian national risk assessment standardises this process and replaces the risk assessment carried out by companies themselves. This means that, in the future, companies cannot do their own risk assessment any longer, they will have to use a website that lists risks and offers solutions to mitigate these risks.

Five types of high risk material
There are five categories of unacceptable material that cannot be mixed with FSC certified materials:

  • illegally harvested wood
  • wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights
  • wood harvested in forests in which high conservation values (HCVs) are threatened by management activities (HCVs are areas particularly worthy of protection)
  • wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use
  • wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.

Each of these categories is assessed to determine the likelihood that wood from these sources could enter the market if sourced from a particular region of the country.

Controlled Wood standards
In order for forest owners and managers to gain this certification, and supply controlled wood, they must meet the two main FSC controlled wood standards:

  • FSC-STD-40-005 V3-1 FSC Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood
    This standard directs businesses to avoid sourcing material from unacceptable sources. You can find our written summary of the important dates and deadlines introduced by V3-1 of the standard here.
  • FSC-STD-30-010 V2-0 FSC Controlled Wood Standard for Forest Management Enterprises
    This standard specifies requirements for forest management enterprises to show that their management practices result in material from acceptable sources.

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