Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) auditors conduct preliminary assessment on PNG Biomass plantations
Independent auditors from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) conducted a preliminary assessment of the PNG Biomass plantations this week in the Markham Valley.
The auditors conducted a day-long documentation review at the PNG Biomass office to ensure all required legislation, standards, procedures and policies are in place and readily available. On the second day the auditors randomly visited locations in the project area speak with employees, landowners and community about the operations – asking questions about labour practices; occupational health and safety; free, prior and informed consent; and many other relevant topics. On day three more interviews were conducted with indirect stakeholders, including an NGO and suppliers.
The goals of the preliminary assessment are to gain a clear understanding of how the FSC requirements and standards are implemented and identify areas where PNG Biomass management policies, programs or practices currently do not appear to be aligned with the FSC Principles and Criteria.
Whilst not a certification audit, it is instead an important opportunity to independently assess possible non-conformance within systems and procedures. PNG Biomass will received the full assessment report before the end of the year aims to release a redacted version of the report as part of our commitment to transparency and sustainable forest management.
The assessment report will not definitively identify areas where PNG Biomass does not currently meet the required standards but it does provide an indication of where a full certification evaluation may reveal non-conformities or where the Company needs to better demonstrate compliance with the criteria.