Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification: What’s it and How to Get it?

Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification: What's it and How to Get it?

Chain of Custody Certification (CoC), also known as “Chain of Custody Certification,” refers to a set of effective traceability and management mechanisms for every link in the forest resource production chain, including forest harvesting, timber processing, and wood product manufacturing. It ensures that the origin of the products is reliable, the production process is compliant and legal, and meets the requirements of environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

There are two main international organizations that issue Chain of Custody certifications – the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Both certify companies to ensure their wood and paper products can be traced back to responsibly managed forests.

The main purposes and goals of Chain of Custody certification are:

  • Promote the sustainable utilization of forest resources
  • Protect the ecological environment
  • Maintain social harmony
  • Enhance corporate economic benefits
  • Strengthen cooperation and trust in international trade

By obtaining Chain of Custody certification, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing throughout their supply chain. The certification provides a level of assurance that products come from legal and sustainable sources.

Reasons for Obtaining CoC Certification

Pando obtained FSC Chain of Custody certification for several important reasons related to credibility, market access, meeting customer requirements, and benefits for the environment and society.

Access to International Markets

Many major markets and regions around the world require FSC Chain of Custody certification for entry and acceptance of wood products. Obtaining this certification opens doors to new sales opportunities and expands Pando’s reach into profitable international markets with strong demand for certified products.

Meeting Customer Requirements

Key buyers, retailers, distributors, and commercial customers increasingly require their suppliers to demonstrate sustainable and responsible practices through certifications like FSC Chain of Custody. This certification enables Pando to meet the environmental and social sourcing policies of major corporate and institutional customers.

Benefits for the Environment and Society

FSC Chain of Custody certification promotes responsible forest management, protecting biodiversity, water quality, wildlife habitat and the rights of workers and local communities. Pando’s certification demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility across its supply chain. It reflects values that appeal to environmentally and socially conscious consumers.

CoC Certification Process

To obtain CoC certification, companies must go through a rigorous application and auditing process conducted by an accredited certification body.

Application Process

The application process requires the company to provide detailed information about its management procedures, production processes, product flows, and more. The company must demonstrate it meets the certification standards through documents, records, and on-site verification.

Certification Audit

Once the application is submitted, the certification body conducts an on-site audit at the company’s facilities. Auditors examine the company’s systems and processes to verify they meet the certification standards. This includes checking raw material procurement, production records, product labeling, sales invoices, and more.

Ongoing Audits and Reporting

After certification is granted, the company must undergo annual audits to renew their certificate. Unannounced audits may also occur to check ongoing compliance. Companies must also submit periodic reports with updates about production, sales, raw material volumes and more. This regular monitoring ensures certified companies continuously meet the certification requirements.

Pando’s CoC Certification History

Pando first applied for and obtained FSC Chain of Custody certification in 2010. Since then, Pando has successfully maintained its certification without interruption by meeting FSC’s annual factory inspection requirements.

FSC’s factory inspection process is rigorous, requiring Pando to demonstrate full compliance across numerous categories. Inspectors thoroughly review Pando’s organizational structure, management systems, production processes, and raw material sourcing. Specific requirements include:

  • Documented procedures for tracking certified materials from purchase through production to sale
  • Physical separation and clear identification of certified and non-certified materials throughout manufacturing
  • Detailed production records with full traceability back to certified supplies
  • Training programs for staff on CoC procedures and responsibilities
  • Annual audits by accredited FSC auditors
  • Submitting annual reports and summaries

By passing these in-depth inspections each year since 2010, Pando has proven its commitment to responsible sourcing and production as outlined under FSC’s Chain of Custody standards. Maintaining uninterrupted certification for over a decade demonstrates Pando’s dedication to sustainability.

Pando’s Vision and Values

Pando strongly believes in contributing to global sustainable development goals and being an environmentally and socially responsible company.

Our vision is to be a leader in sustainable forestry and manufacturing. We strive to implement sustainable practices throughout its operations, from responsible forest management to efficient production processes that minimize waste. Pando sees itself as a steward of the environment and aims to preserve natural resources for future generations. For Pando, Chain of Custody certification is an important part of fulfilling its vision to be a sustainability leader in the industry.

Looking Forward

Pando is committed to continuing its Chain of Custody certification to maintain accountability and transparency in its supply chain. This certification aligns with Pando’s core values of environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Maintaining the CoC certification will ensure that Pando’s products and raw materials can be traced back to responsibly managed forests. It will also give customers assurance that Pando’s products are sustainably sourced.

In the future, Pando aims to expand its sustainability efforts even further. Some opportunities include:

  • Increasing the percentage of certified sustainable materials used in production
  • Exploring ways to reduce energy and water use in manufacturing processes
  • Setting goals to minimize waste and increase recycling
  • Partnering with environmental nonprofits to support reforestation and conservation projects
  • Investing in renewable energy for its facilities
  • Providing sustainability training for all employees

Pando sees the CoC certification as just the beginning, not the end goal. The company plans to continue pushing forward innovative sustainability practices across its operations. This will benefit the environment, local communities, employees, and customers for years to come. The CoC certification gives Pando credibility and a foundation to build on as it works to become a leader in sustainable manufacturing.


  • FSC website:
  • PEFC website: