Technical Updates

Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Notification of Planned FSC Certification Evaluation of Timberlands Limited

As part of an upcoming Forest Stewardship Councilcertification evaluation, SCS is currently seeking stakeholder input regardingthe forest management program and practices of Timberlands Limited.

In pursuit of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) endorsed forest management re-certification, Timberlands Limited will be undergoing an audit during the week of 7 May 2018. Comment is invited via email or by contacting SCS offices, please find contact information below.

The audit will be conducted by SCS Global Services, a FSC-accredited certification body. The Forest Stewardship Council is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.

Timberlands Limited manages some 190,000 hectares of plantation forests stretching from coastal Bay of Plenty to south of Taupo, principally Kaingaroa forest as well as other smaller forests. This forest land was first certified in June of 2003.

The bulk of these forests are managed under Crown Forest Licenses where the land is now mostly in iwi ownership following Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

The majority of the forest is planted with Radiata pine, with some Douglas fir and other species. The company is a major supplier of logs to local processing facilities and exports logs to Pacific rim countries. It does not carry out processing itself.

Scope and Certification Evaluation Process
SCS Global Services (SCS), a FSC-accredited certification body based in California, will conduct this FSC Main Evaluation.

Performance will be evaluated against the National Standard for Certification of Plantation Forest Management in New Zealand Approved Version 5.7; 2012). A copy of the standard is available from SCS upon request.

The evaluation process includes the following components:

  • Public notification: distribution of the standard and solicitation of comments on the certification applicant; Audit planning and document review;
  • Field assessment: A representative sample of field sites and operations within the defined forest area are inspected by a team of auditors;
  • Stakeholder consultation is carried out prior to and during the field assessment;
  • Synthesis of findings: conformity to the standard is ascertained and the certification decision is formulated;
  • Reporting: a draft report describing the evaluation process, findings, and certification decision is produced;
  • Finalization of the report and conveyance to the SCS Certification Committee for the final certification decision;
  • Certification decision: the final report and certification decision is conveyed to the applicant; a public summary of the certification report is released if certification is awarded.

Call for Public Participation
SCS is seeking comments on the forest management of Timberlands Limited or other topics pertinent to their seeking FSC certification, such as whether Timberlands Limited complies with the legal, social, technical, and environmental requirements of the standard or identification of high conservation value forests[1] within its managed lands.

Comments can be submitted via email to, standard mail, or facsimile.

All comments and sources will be kept in strict confidence at the request of the commenter. Also, please feel welcome to forward this message on to other stakeholders that you think may have an interest in sharing their perspective on this assessment.

Date of the Evaluation
The field evaluation is scheduled to start 7 May 2018. When possible, SCS will make arrangements to meet with interested parties during the evaluation if appropriate, but it is preferred that comments are submitted before the field evaluation commences.

Dispute Resolution Procedure
As provided by the FSC Interim Dispute Resolution Protocol and the SCS Forest Conservation Program Quality Manual, dispute resolution procedures are in place and available to interested parties at

Additional Information
More information about FSC and SCS can be obtained from and Information about Timberlands Limited can be found at

Please Contact Us:
Graeme Lea, FSC Lead Auditor
Brendan Grady, SCS Director of Forest Management

2000 Powell St, Suite 600; Emeryville CA 94608, USA
Tel +1 (510)452-8034, Fax +1 (510) 452-6882

[1] Principle 9, in the FSC principles and criteria

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000201