PEFC survey reveals consumers trust certification labels

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PEFC survey reveals consumers trust certification labels

December 03, 2014 - 17:50
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SHEFFIELD, UK , Nov 26, 2014 (Press Release) - The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has revealed that more than 80% of consumers globally want companies sourcing certified material from sustainable managed forests to use certification labels, according to the first PEFC Global Consumer Survey, released today.

The survey shows that certification labels, such as the PEFC's, are the most trusted means of giving confidence to consumers that wood-based products are sustainably sourced. 

Consumers globally believe that it is important to make ethical choices, with 60% of all those surveyed agreeing that their shopping choice for a labeled product can make a positive difference to the world's forest. Only a small minority, 10%, felt that their choice for a sustainably sourced product would not make a difference.

Moreover, nearly 30% of all consumers responded that they actively look for forest certification labels when shopping.

"As the leading forest certification organization, we are encouraged that consumers recognize the benefits of forest certification, with the PEFC label enabling them to consume responsibly and to reward companies that label," said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International.

"It shows that certification is being recognised on the shelves when consumers are making their choices whilst they are deciding upon which products to purchase," Ben added.

The research shows that over half of all consumers (54%) consider certification labels as the most reassuring proof that environmental and sustainable development considerations have been taken into account. Other means of proof include country of origin (30%), brand (24%) and recommendations by family/friends and media (17% and 16% respectively). The overwhelming majority of consumers globally - more than 80% - want companies to use labels on products to communicate their responsible sourcing practices to them. Only 4% disagreed that companies should use labels.

"With labels being the most trusted source of information by consumers about whether a product is environmentally and socially responsible, the PEFC label demonstrates to consumers that a company is addressing their expectations," emphasised Mr. Gunneberg. "In short, the PEFC label adds real value to a company's brand."

The survey shows that PEFC is the most trusted global forest certification label, slightly ahead of FSC, the Forest Stewardship Council. Internationally, 40% of consumers know a global forest certification label; the label recognition of PEFC is at 21%. The first PEFC Global Consumer Survey was undertaken by German-based GfK on behalf of PEFC International with a sample of a total of 13,000 people in 13 countries, 1,000 men and women aged 16+ years per country, in Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA.