Ahlstrom’s Due Diligence System for EU Timber Regulation is verified by SGS
SGS, Société Générale de Surveillance SA in Switzerland, has reviewed our Due Diligence System for the EU Timber Regulation and verifies it to provide reasonable assurance that the products Ahlstrom sells have fiber from legal sources in them.
The verification statement is available on the right.
Why the legislation?
Illegal logging poses a significant threat to forests as it contributes to the process of deforestation and forest degradation, which is responsible for about 20% of global CO2 emissions. Illegal logging also threatens biodiversity and undermines sustainable forest management and development, jeopardizing the commercial viability of operators who act in accordance with applicable laws.
What is the law?
Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Union also known as the EU Timber Regulation, EU TR lays down obligations for operators who place timber and timber products on the market. The regulation requires operators to have a Due Diligence System to prevent them to place illegal timber products on the EU market. The law has been effective as of March 3rd, 2013. Ahlstrom is an ‘operator’ for the pulps it purchases from outside EU to its plants in Europe. The obligation set for a ‘trader’ in a supply chain is to establish a traceability system to know the seller and buyer of the product. Ahlstrom is a trader for pulps it purchases from inside European Union for which it has the required traceability; i.e. we know who we buy from and who we sell to. For the products manufactured by Ahlstrom for the EU market and outside EU, Ahlstrom has the DDS in place.
According to the law, in order to avoid imposing any unnecessary administrative burden, only operators that place timber and timber products on the EU market for the first time should be subject to the Due Diligence system.
Our Due Diligence System
Following the Ahlstrom Code of Conduct we abide by all the appropriate international and national laws and regulations when conducting our business. To comply with the EU Timber Regulation, Ahlstrom has in place a Due Diligence System which has been third party verified by Société Générale de Surveillance SA, SGS in Switzerland.
Our DDS includes three elements:
- Measures and procedures providing access to the required information on the wood supply chain such as tree species, wood origin, and proof of legality
- Risk assessment procedures
- Risk mitigation procedures
In 2014, 84% of the fibers we used came from renewable sources. We purchase our fibers globally from responsible sources for which we have an extensive verification program.
EUTR vs. Forest certification
The new law is meant to address the 90% of the world’s forests that are not certified.
Ahlstrom has 11 Chain-of-Custody certified plants to which we purchase pulps as either PEFC™ or FSC™ certified, FSC Controlled Wood certified or controlled wood via own verification. Our Due Diligence System naturally relies heavily on forest certification where legality of timber is the first criteria. Certification does not automatically offer a green lane for EU TR compliance but signifies a ‘negligible risk’.