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Openness, transparency, responsibility: Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s reflection on WWF’s request regarding the company’s role in the Romanian forestry sector

Vienna, Mai 2018

We, as a wood processing company operating in Romania, have been subject to allegations that we received illegal timber from our suppliers, taken from Romanian forests.

Whilst we have systems in place to prevent such incidents, and we investigated these allegations - due to the extreme seriousness of their nature - we could – until the implementation of our action plan to strengthen a sustainable timber industry in Romania in January 2017 - unfortunately not completely rule out that timber had entered our supply chain which did not meet the requirements of our timber sourcing policy. At that time, we had a due diligence system in place, which was not able to deliver on the challenges of the difficult business environment in Romania.

To our best knowledge, we have not provided customers with timber harvested in violation of applicable laws. However, Holzindustrie Schweighofer as a company takes full moral responsibility for the risk that this might have occurred (due to the very nature of our risk mitigation system). We also see the need to ensure that this never happens, and we are committed to take the necessary steps.

To strengthen the confidence of the authorities and our customers and to regain the confidence of stakeholders among civil society, we have been working to strengthen our preventative measures to ensure there can be no doubt that Holzindustrie Schweighofer would buy or accept, timber in its production, which could not be proven as legally harvested.

We are committed to integrity in our supply chains, to rigorous law enforcement and to compliance with legal requirements, nationally and internationally. Additionally, as a company that relies on timber, we commit for the future to ensuring that all our timber is responsibly sourced from a chain of custody as coming from sustainably managed forests. To hold ourselves accountable, we will publicly make annual statements of our performance against this commitment available. At present, Holzindustrie Schweighofer is disassociated from the Forest Stewardship Council, but we are committed to work with all stakeholders to regain trust and our ability to secure and trade FSC© certified timber and timber products. This statement is made as a further step to continue our engagement for an action plan to achieve this goal.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s updated policy commitment on timber procurement (Timber Sourcing Policy) can be found here.

For any questions on our statement or our policy, please contact:

Michael Proschekt-Hauptmann
Head of Compliance and Sustainability
T: +43 1 585 68 62 - 73