New Forest Certification Frontiers: Interview with Krzysztof Wypij of Bureau Veritas.
In advance of the International Forest Business Conference on December 7-8, 2020, we interviewed a few of the event sponsors and partners to hear their perspectives on why this conference was needed and what are their expectations regarding future forest sector development, especially after post COVID era. For the third interview in our series, we sat down with Krzysztof Wypij, Forest Management Certification Manager for Bureau Veritas.
Can you tell us a little about Bureau Veritas and how you fit into the forest products industry? Where do you fall in the value chain?
Well, I will not exaggerate when I will say that Bureau Veritas is a big and long-standing company. Employing more than 75,000 people around the world, serving 400,000 clients in 140 countries we are certainly among the world leaders in Testing, Inspection and Certification. Through our wide range of expertise, impartiality and independence, we foster confidence between companies, public authorities and clients. We have done it for 190 years already…
Our mission is at the heart of key business challenges: quality, health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility. Forest management certification aligns well with this mission. It provides transparency that foresters are tackling their local impacts like social aspects, local air quality and feeds into global considerations like carbon emissions.
Krzysztof, you participated in the conference in 2018. What do you think were some successes of the event and what would you have like to see done better?
I have enjoyed the previous event a lot. It was a really unique platform, where representatives from different companies, forestry sector divisions, geographical, social and economic landscapes could meet together and exchange their views. Every open-minded forester or wood industry man or woman could certainly benefit from this conference. The only organizational deficiency was the lack of possibility to accommodate all the participants in one place. This certainly diminished the evening social life, which as we know, sometimes brings even more value than the official part.
Bureau Veritas is a partner of the International Forest Business Conference, thank you for helping us make this event a reality. The conference will bring together stakeholders from across the forest sector value chain to focus on megatrends that shape forest and wood industry sectors, highlight the transformation of forest-related businesses towards a low-carbon bioeconomy, discuss tensions between sustainability and cost competitiveness, and call attention to new green innovations. Why is this important to Bureau Veritas, and why do you think all of the other supply chain participants should attend?
Our mission is to create value for our clients by providing services that enable them to continually improve their business performance and mitigate risk in a fast-changing world. The forestry sector experiences all of these issues as well. Our services contribute to our clients’ aims to achieve compliance, increase stakeholder confidence and achieve excellence. Bureau Veritas provides independent third-party certification to several dedicated forest and timber standards. The main value of the International Forest Business Conference is a unique occasion to meet the experts, independent of political pressure and freely exchange the views. It can certainly help you to open your eyes on some aspects of the forestry sector which you have not seen before.
Let’s move to the forest and wood industry certification. Do you believe, Krzysztof, that forest certification in developing and transitioning countries is a part of a sustainable future? How does Bureau Veritas contribute here?
The certification process helps the forest owner and wood industry companies to achieve legal compliance, mitigate risk, and contribute to global efforts to protect forests. It is obvious, that main certification schemes still have not yet successfully penetrated some of the global hot spots. I’m thinking particularly about the relatively low number of certificates and small certified areas in the Congo Basin, Amazonia and South-East Asia… These are the parts of the world where forest certification can make the biggest change.
Bureau Veritas has a broad portfolio of the services and accreditations, including ATFS, EUTR, PEFC™, OLB, FSC® and SFI which can help to adopt sustainable timber sourcing practices for Forest Management and throughout the Chain of Custody. Certification to a range of standards helps companies prove their due diligence on sustainable forestry practices for forest and timber products.
What have you observed regarding forest and wood industry certification under the global COVID pandemic? And what do you expect after the pandemic is over?
We perceive some uncertainty among our clients. It is sometimes hard to focus on some demanding certification requirements while you are thinking about the survival of your business. On the other hand, this crisis might be the engine of the certification services development for a simple reason: if you want to enhance your competitiveness in the market, you can prove it through obtaining an independent and credible certification for your company.
I am not being original when I will say that it is hard to predict the “post-covid” reality. I am an optimistic person by nature, thus, let me conclude it with quote I remembered from a wall poster in the Wood Technology Faculty building in Poznań: “there may be lack of gold someday, but we can not ever do without timber”.
Krzysztof, I want to thank you and Bureau Veritas again for helping us put on the forest business conference. Is there anything else that you would like to mention about the event or the development of your company in Central and Eastern Europe?
Regrading the conference, I could advertise it this way: if you would like to listen and meet really interesting people and the best experts and practitioners from the field of forestry and the wood industry – you should not miss this opportunity. It is also worth mentioning that the overall atmosphere of this event is free from political correctness. There is no censorship of the content of presentations.
Bureau Veritas with its 190 years of experience has survived many crises and turnovers of history. At the same time, we are innovative and observe carefully how the world changes and trends emerge. The potential and resources we have in this region will contribute to the development of our company as well as to the prosperity of our customers and partners.
Thanks again for taking the time to talk with me; we are looking forward to continuing to work with you. In addition, we look forward to your presentation in the panel on “Where the wood will flow? International trade prospects and challenges.” at the International Forest Business Conference 2020 (registration still open).
>>New Forest Business Frontiers in the Baltic Rim Transition Countries: Interview with Arne Rørå of NORSKOG.
>>New Forest Investments Frontiers: Interview with Björn Lyngfelt of Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA).
More information about Bureau Veritas can be found here: https://group.bureauveritas.com/
Krzysztof Wypij is a Forest Management Certification Technical Manager in the Bureau Veritas. He has more than 15 years of experience as a forester and forest management auditor. Prior to the current position, Krzysztof worked as forest management auditor in Bureau Veritas where he served as EU Timber Regulation expert and technical reviewer, as a lead auditor trainer for forest management certification in the SGS, forestry specialist at BPS company in Denmark, or forest management operations officer in Toruń Forest District at National Forest Holding “State Forests” in Poland. Krzysztof obtained Master degrees at the University of Life Sciences in Poznań and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.