Preliminary Results of Transaction Verification in Asia Wood Pellets Supply Chain

December 8, 2021

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Assurance Services International (ASI) have found issues of volume mismatch and potential false claims in some transactions of FSC-certified wood pellets in East Asian countries. These cases will be further investigated by ASI, and stringent action will be taken where necessary. 

In March 2021, FSC and ASI initiated a transaction verification loop of the FSC-certified wood pellets (W3.6) supply chain in Asia. Transaction data of 139 certificate holders, from January – December 2020, was collected and analyzed. The analysis shows that FSC-certified wood pellets are predominantly produced in Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand and imported by East-Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea. 

The preliminary results of the analysis highlight that: 

  • Vietnam is the main producer and exporter of FSC-certified wood pellets.  
  • Japan is the biggest importer of FSC-certified wood pellets.  
  • Mismatches have been identified in export-import volume data. 
  • Instances of potential false claims have been identified.   

Companies who are found to be responsible for violating FSC certification standards and norms face the possibility of having their trademark license agreements suspended or terminated. In all probability, FSC will also block these certificate holders from its certification scheme. For more details about the definition of a blocked organization and associated clauses, please see ADVICE-40-004-18 V2-0, here.  

In addition to its certification standards, FSC is introducing new innovative solutions to strengthen its certification system and safeguard the integrity of FSC-certified products. Some of these innovative solutions include wood identification technology, risk-based interventions, and a blockchain-based verification process.