8 min read

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, Explained

Written by:

Christi Farrell, RA, Leed GA


June 7, 2023

Image source:

Studio Marlowe

Creating a healthy and eco-friendly living space has become a significant concern for homeowners and designers who aim to combine aesthetic appeal with sustainability.

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is at the forefront of ensuring that interior design materials come from responsibly managed forests.

What is Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification?

PEFC is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification.

It represents the world's largest forest certification system and assures consumers that timber-related products are sourced from sustainably managed forests.

PEFC works to improve forest management globally and provide market incentives to achieve conservation goals.

The Relevance in Healthy Interior Design

Interior design doesn't just concern itself with the visual and functional aspects of indoor spaces; it also includes a focus on environmental impact and occupant health.

Using PEFC-certified wood ensures that products contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

Additionally, wood products are known for their natural beauty, versatility, and ability to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, while also promoting improved indoor air quality when sourced and treated responsibly.

Room and Board: An Example of PEFC Certification in Action

Room and Board, a U.S.-based furniture company, is an example of brands that claim to have PEFC certification.

Their furniture is crafted from materials sourced in alignment with strict environmental standards, ensuring both the quality of products and the conservation of forests.

Why Is PEFC Certification Important For Environmentally Sustainable Furniture?

Balancing Ecological and Economic Needs

PEFC certification is crucial because it balances environmental concerns with economic needs, ensuring that forest resources are available for future generations while supporting the livelihoods of local communities and industries related to forestry.

Trust and Transparency for Consumers

For consumers seeking environmentally friendly products, PEFC provides a level of trust and transparency in a market flooded with varying eco-friendly claims, making it easier for shoppers to make informed decisions.

How Does PEFC Relate to Other Sustainability Certifications?

PEFC is often compared with other certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), offering similar assurances for sustainable forestry practices.

However, PEFC has a unique approach, including a broader focus on social, economic, and environmental standards.

Incorporating PEFC-Certified Products in Interior Design

Best Practices for Sourcing PEFC-Certified Materials

When sourcing materials, best practices include verifying certification through chain of custody documentation, engaging with reputable suppliers, and staying abreast of PEFC standards.

The Impact of PEFC Certification on Forest Communities and Biodiversity

Improving Livelihoods and Protecting Wildlife

PEFC certification can have a profound impact on forest communities by promoting sustainable practices that not only protect the livelihoods of workers but also the habitats of countless wildlife species.

Criticisms and Challenges Faced by PEFC

Like any significant organization, PEFC faces criticism. Concerns have been raised about the rigor of its standards and the effectiveness of its certification process. In response, PEFC regularly revises its standards to align with best practices and stakeholder expectations.

PEFC in practice: Spotlight on Healthy Home Interiors

Room and Board: Commitment to Sustainability

Room and Board has been implementing PEFC principles by sourcing their wood from sustainably managed forests, offering homeowners a chance to have a tangible impact on the environment.

FAQs About PEFC and Its Application in Interior Design

Q: What does PEFC certification mean for a furniture brand like Room and Board?
A: It signifies that the brand's wood products come from forests that are managed responsibly and sustainably, adhering to social and environmental standards set by PEFC.

Q: How can consumers verify PEFC certification?
A: Consumers can look for the PEFC label on products, which indicates certification. Additionally, they can check the PEFC database for certified companies and products.

Q: Are PEFC-certified products more expensive?
A: PEFC-certified products may sometimes be more expensive due to the responsible sourcing and production practices. However, they provide long-term value by ensuring sustainability and positive environmental impact.

Q: Can PEFC-certified materials improve indoor air quality?
A: Yes, responsibly sourced and treated wood products can contribute to better indoor air quality by minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals often found in non-certified materials.

Q: Is it possible to have a fully PEFC-certified home interior?
A: While not all interior design elements may be available with PEFC certification, many key wood-based components, such as furniture, flooring, and architectural details, can be sourced from PEFC-certified materials.


In the quest for healthy homes, sustainability is increasingly integral to interior design. PEFC certification plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the wood products we use meet stringent environmental standards.

Brands like Room and Board exemplify the commitment to sustainable interior design, allowing homeowners to create beautiful, healthy living spaces without sacrificing ecological integrity.

By choosing PEFC-certified products, we participate in a global effort to foster responsible forest management and preserve our planet for future generations.

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Christi Farrell

Christi is a licensed architect and interior designer specializing in sustainability. She enjoys teaching design and bringing transparency to the impact that furniture has on our planet.

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