PEFC’s Stakeholder Dialogue calls for purposeful innovation

Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International

Once technologies have been incorporated adeptly into certification systems, there will be a shift observed where certification systems are data brokers for social and environmental performance.

“If done well, it will enable more and real-time information about product flows through the supply chain, enable information feedback loops that benefit and add value to all participants, whilst ensuring that confidential data remains confidential,” said Wiebke Herding from ON:Subject during her keynote presentation to the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue.

Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development at PEFC International, concurred that forest certification must embrace modern innovations and technology. She said, “Nearly all participants agree that there is room for further integration of technology within forest certification and that technology can help certification deliver more value.” She was referring to the survey results collected from participants during the opening session.

But what is required is a clear vision on what technology should achieve and how its integration delivers real benefits to all actors in the certification system.

Jump-starting the conversation

PEFC’s annual event brought together over 250 people from 50 countries to share perspectives, experiences, and highlight some innovative applications of technology to jump-start the conversation about how technology can advance forest certification.

Presenters showcased applications of technology innovation that support more efficient certification and forest sector, more robust and proactive certification processes, and enable certification to deliver more value-add and go beyond traditional boundaries.

Over 250 from 50 countries flew into Helsinki for the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue

From remote sensing to crypto-currencies

Reflecting on the event, Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, said that the meeting provided the opportunity to explore the potential of technology innovation within certification, from remote sensing and mobile apps through to block-chain and crypto currencies.

“We debated how to approach technology in a meaningful way; to not only increase the value of forest certification, but leverage the role of forests and forest sector to society as a whole.

He concluded, “There is so much potential. By working together, in partnership, we are well placed to ensure an enhanced offer for everyone striving to promote sustainable livelihoods and land management.”


The PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue was held Nov 16 – 17, 2017.