In November 2015, WWF Germany submitted a Policy for Association complaint against Holzindustrie Schweighofer (HS), alleging that the company is involved in the purchasing and trading of illegally harvested timber in Romania resulting in a negative impact on the country’s natural protected areas. In accordance with FSC procedure, a complaints panel was established to thoroughly investigate the allegations, resulting in the FSC Board of Directors deciding to place HS on probation. 

Upon receiving additional allegations against the company, a second investigation was deemed necessary and the FSC Board of Directors ultimately disassociated from Holzindustrie Schweighofer.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer expressed their interest in ending their disassociation from FSC, and a Stakeholder Working Group was established to craft a Conditions Framework outlining strict requirements for HS to comply with in order to end disassociation from FSC. To learn more about this process and the final Conditions Framework, read below. 

April 2018

FSC makes the final minor revisions to the framework, following input received through expert consultation and develops the final version of the FSC Conditions Framework.

The final version of the FSC Conditions Framework is found here. To view the document in Romanian, please click here.

December 2017

The FSC Board of Directors approves the FSC Conditions Framework. The FSC Board of Directors mandates revisions to be made to sub conditions 4c and 4d following consultation with experts in Romania. 

Please see the FSC Conditions Framework submitted to the Board in December 2017 here.

The results of the second Policy for Association investigation are presented to the FSC Board of Directors. The Board decides that no further requirements need to be added to the FSC Conditions Framework.

September 2017

Second Policy for Association investigation is finalized by the investigation team.

July 2017

The Stakeholder Working Group presents FSC with its proposed final draft of the FSC Conditions Framework.

FSC second Stakeholder Working Group meeting for the revision of the FSC Conditions Framework (consultation draft).

May 2017

FSC launches 30 day public consultation of the FSC Conditions Framework (consultation draft) developed by the Stakeholder Working Group.

March 2017

FSC enters into a dialogue with the Schweighofer Group in view of developing a roadmap towards ending the disassociation. For more information please see here.

Initiation of the Policy for Association investigation of the additional information presented to FSC International. For more information see here.

February 2017

FSC Board of Directors decides to disassociate from the Schweighofer Group, and establishes a set of conditions that Schweighofer shall fulfill in order to end the disassociation. For more information about the rationale on the decision see here.

December 2016

FSC decides to place the Schweighofer Group on ‘probation’ for possible disassociation until the FSC BoD meeting in February 2017.
For details on the rationale for this decision see here.
For details about the conditions that needed to be fulfilled by the Schweighofer Group in order to remain associated with FSC see here.

October 2016

Submission of the complaints panel evaluation report with a recommendation to the FSC Board of Directors.

March 2016

Establishment of a complaints panel and investigation begins.

November 2015

WWF Germany files a complaint with FSC International against Holzindustrie Schweighofer. FSC accepts the complaint. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Case

  1. What conditions must the Schweighofer Group meet in order for FSC to consider ending the disassociation?

    Following FSC Conditions Framework HS must now begin to implement measures to correct identified shortcomings and wrongdoings in its operations while compensating for the environmental and social damages and preventing the reoccurrence of any wrongdoings and/or violations of FSC’s Policy for Association.
     

    These conditions described in the FSC Conditions Framework require HS to make significant improvements in its operations by:

    • Strengthening its Due Diligence and Chain of Custody Systems by implementing a robust system for the traceability of the round wood back to the forest stand;
    • Setting up and contributing to a fund for the development of social and environmental projects promoting responsible development of forests and forest based communities in Romania;
    • Upgrading its corporate social responsibility practices and stakeholder engagement efforts;
    • Conducting an independent review of all land in its possession and compensating the lawful land owners and returning the land when legally required;
    • Increasing transparency and communication with relevant stakeholders regarding its operations and ongoing projects;
    • Compensating FSC for the costs incurred in relation to the PfA investigation;

    These conditions have been developed in a multi-stakeholder process involving public consultations and describe a series of stringent requirements that HS must fulfill for FSC to consider an end to disassociation in the future.

Related Documents

FSC Stakeholder Engagement Plan Conditions Framework Schweighofer roadmap_03-04-2017_Final-1
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FSC StatementSchweighofer certificate suspended Jun. 23, 2016
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Case Summary Schweighofer Group
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Condițiile cadru FSC pentru Grupul Schweighofer (Conditions Framework - RO)_20 Decembrie 2017.pdf
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FAQs on the Schweighofer case
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Final investigation report Holzindustrie Schweighofer
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FSC Final Conditions Framework Holzindustrie Schweighofer
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FSC Statement On Schweighofer Conditions Dec. 20, 2017
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FSC Statement Entering into a roadmap process with Schweighofer Mar. 2017
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FSC roadmap process for Schweighofer May 12, 2017
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FSC statement on EIA report Dec. 2017
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FSC statement on Schweighofer Group Feb. 2017
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FSC Statement on Schweighofer Group Dec. 17, 2016
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Public Summary Complaints Panel Evaluation Report Holzindustrie Schweighofer
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Q&A on the current Schweighofer roadmap process Dec. 2017
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FSC Statement on Rationale for the decision of probation Dec 2016
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