§ Mr. Morley
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label is accepted by buyers as demonstrating that timber and timber products have come from sustainably managed sources. This Department has encouraged such schemes.
However, it is not practicable to require that all paper and timber products purchased by the Ministry are independently certified by the Forest Stewardship Council because this might discriminate against any equally valid schemes based on similar sustainable criteria and therefore be against public procurement rules.
Specifying just the FSC label might also result in us failing to meet all our requirements as currently only a tiny percentage of timber products are FSC certified. This is why the Ministry's policy statement for greening its operations suggests that evidence of sustainability might take the form of a certificate issued under a credible, preferably independent, verification scheme; or other documents which demonstrate the operation of an environmental management system incorporating forest management criteria that conform with internationally recognised principles such as the Helsinki Guidelines.