Following an extensive investigation into Paulownia wood supply chains, FSC has taken initial action against a number of companies that were found to have traded non-certified Paulownia as FSC certified. These companies are subject to termination or suspension of their trademark licenses or further investigations.
An investigation involving Assurance Services International (ASI) into FSC chain of custody certified companies trading in Paulownia products revealed that four companies had sourced uncertified Paulownia and were selling it as FSC certified. Three of these certificates have now been suspended, and one has been terminated. Further investigations involving other companies are still ongoing and may lead to additional suspensions.
Suspended companies now must introduce specific actions to correct their wrongdoings by a given date or face immediate termination. Until suspended companies have been cleared of wrongdoing, they cannot use the FSC trademark or FSC license. Companies with certificates that have been or will be terminated as a result of this investigation are automatically expelled from the system and will no longer be allowed to trade with an FSC license.
Paulownia is the collective name for a number of fast-growing species native to Eastern Asia. It is commonly cultivated in plantations in northern China for its light wood, which offers specific characteristics. Paulownia wood is used for a wide variety of purposes, such as housing components, sports equipment, furniture and musical instruments.