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PF Olsen 2016 Annual FSC Surveillance Audit completed with good results

As PF Olsen completes its 14th year operating a Forest Stewardship Council Group Scheme, and approaches the anniversary this time next year when it will undergo its 3rd cycle of full assessment for certification, Environment Manager Kit Richards noted that the pleasing results from this year’s annual surveillance audit gave confidence that we were still heading in the right direction.

Each year a sample of forests and operations are visited and checked against a subset of the full Principles and Criteria of the FSC NZ standard according a sampling system determined by the Certifying Body. This year the visits included Group forests in the Nelson, Hawkes Bay and Rotorua regions and there was a strong emphasis on the social, environmental impact and monitoring aspects of the standard.

Mr Richards noted that again, it was particularly pleasing to have reported some very favourable comments from stakeholders as this also provided positive reinforcement to staff and contractors alike to go the extra distance and maintain a positive attitude to continuous improvement. The audit produced one minor corrective action in relation to the currency of some material on the website.

A public summary of the most recent and past reports can be found on the FSC website at - http://info.fsc.org/certificate.php#result

Next year it is expected that any audit will involve conformance to a revised NZ Standard that is being worked on by the NZ Standards Development Group as they seek alignment of the NZ Standard with the International Generic Standards that were approved in December 2014.

The standards group includes NZ Environmental NGO’s, Maori representation, unions and other representatives of parties with a national level stakeholder interest in New Zealand’s plantation forests. While there remained some components of the draft standard yet to be finalised, especially around definitions, most aspects in the draft had now been agreed among the parties. That draft will shortly be released for further public comment.