McGill Environmental Research Forest Certification Project

Emerging Trends In Forest Certification:
The Role of Chain of Custody Systems

Research Questions and Hypotheses

Research Question 1
How do the various certification systems differ in their approach to "supply chain verification"?
i)Supply chain verification systems differ primarily to the extent to which their methods of verification are credible.
ii)The FSC has the most developed, stringent, and well recognized supply chain verification system.

Research Question 2
What are the motivations for acquiring FSC COC certification?
i)Main motivations include gaining market access, appeasing NGO pressures, and satisfying buyers' demand.

Research Question 3
How are North American COC certified companies affected by their certification?
i)The majority of companies in North America have not yet recuperated the costs associated with obtaining an FSC COC certificate.
ii)Furthermore, this is due to an inadequate supply of certified wood products and the absence of premiums on these products.

Research Question 4
What are the dynamics within the FSC supply chain and how do they affect the different players in the chain of custody?
i)Organization size is not a limiting factor in acquiring FSC COC certification.
ii)Supply of certified wood products in the supply chain is inadequate.
iii)COC processes are mainly driven by buyer organizations that are responding to consumer demand.


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