Responsibly Managed Peatlands

A Veriflora® Certification for Responsible Horticultural Peat Moss Production

What is The Responsibly Managed Peatlands Program?

SCS' Responsibly Managed Peatlands program is a leading international certification that provides third-party assurance for responsible peat moss production. The standard distinguishes certified companies whose operations are minimizing negative environmental impacts and improving the welfare of workers and nearby communities.

This certification provides producers of horticultural peat and single-malt scotch a framework for continuous improvement in peatland management and a roadmap for navigating both shifting consumer demands and a more stringent regulatory environment.

Certification strengthens position in the marketplace and provides assurance that producers of this valuable resource are working to preserve peatlands for future generations. The rigorous standard looks at a broad range of social and environmental topics including climate, biodiversity, and worker protection.

The program consists of an annual on-site audit, where SCS examines policies and procedures, conducts site visits and interviews workers to ensure conformance to the standard. Post-harvest restoration and rehabilitation of peat bogs is a significant part of the certification process

Why Choose SCS?

SCS has been providing global leadership in third-party responsible horticulture, agriculture, and forest management certification, auditing, and standards development for nearly 40 years. SCS’ team of auditors is cross-trained across service offerings, and has an international reputation for providing thorough, timely and cost-effective services.

SCS certifies more than 80% of Canadian peat production, and the SCS kingfisher logo can be found on more than 100 million bags of potting mix each year.

  • Program Details
  • Certification Process
  • Program Documents

Program Goals

The goals of the Responsibly Managed Peatlands program are to:

  • To encourage a growing segment of the peat moss production sector to implement best management practices in terms of environmental, social, and quality performance.
  • To stimulate innovation and promote continuing improvement over time.
  • To provide a uniform standard and assessment matrix that can be applied when evaluating the performance of a diverse array of responsible peatland management approaches.
  • To promote sound and responsible working conditions and ensure adequate health and safety measures for workers protection.
  • To encourage peat moss producers to be good neighbors in their engagement with the surrounding community.
  • To raise public awareness about the issues and solutions associated with peat moss production; and to stimulate consumer purchases that reinforce responsible peatland management.

Eligibility and Program Scope:

The certification program applies to all processes and inputs under the certified operation’s management related to the harvesting and handling of peat moss, including facilities involved in the screening of peat materials and creation of peat mixes. The program assesses responsible peatland management practices that span bog opening, harvesting, and restoration or rehabilitation activities that occur after bog closing. Peat moss production systems of all sizes, located around the globe, are eligible.

Background and Conformance Requirements:

The requirements of the Responsibly Managed Peatlands program have been developed in accordance with SCS’ Standards Development Procedure, which emphasizes stakeholder input and transparency. The Responsibly Managed Peatlands program was developed in 2012, in collaboration with the CSPMA and APTHQ* in Canada, U.S. and Canadian government representatives, university experts and peat moss producers and blenders. Four years later, SCS initiated a standard revision process to update the standard and incorporate the latest science and industry best practices.

On August 7, 2017 SCS published a new version of the Responsibly Managed Peatlands requirements, in the form of a standalone standard, the Responsibly Managed Peatlands Standard Version 1.0. Certified operations may communicate their commitment to responsible peatland management directly on product through use of the SCS Kingfisher Mark.

*Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) and L’Association des producteurs de tourbe horticole du Québec (APTHQ)

Complementary Services

SCS provides additional services to peat moss operations, including carbon footprint certification and Life Cycle Assessment. Veriflora® Sustainably Grown certification is available for responsibly produced cut flowers and ornamental plant operations and presents an opportunity for stakeholders to demonstrate commitment to the entire horticultural supply chain through support of both the Veriflora® Sustainably Grown and Responsibly Managed Peatlands programs.

The certification process involves detailed on-site inspections, document and record review, worker and management interviews, and annual follow-up. Certificates are issued for three years.

  1. Apply for Certification

    Complete the SCS Application Form and email the application to [email protected].

  2. Authorize a Proposal

    SCS will review your application and prepare a proposal for your approval with scope of work, timeline and quote summarized in a Work Order. To initiate the certification process, sign and return the Work Order.

  3. Schedule and Prepare for Audit

    Upon receipt of the signed Work Order, SCS will work with you to schedule the audit. SCS will provide an audit plan and request documents in advance of the onsite audit. You complete a Self-Assessment Checklist to help prepare for the audit.

  4. Undergo Audit

    The SCS auditor conducts an on-site audit which includes document review, worker interviews, and field observations. The draft findings are communicated in a closing meeting. The Audit Report is sent to you within 20 business days.

  5. Corrective Actions

    Any issues cited in the Non-Conformity Report (NCR) are addressed by your Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) within 30 days. CAPs provide clear evidence that implementation occurred.

  6. Decision

    SCS issues a certification decision based on your CAPs. 

  7. Certification

    Upon successful certification, SCS issues a certificate with unique registration number. SCS also provides the Kingfisher Certification Mark with the corresponding Sustainably Grown Kingfisher Certification Mark Labeling and Language Guide. Certificates are valid for 3 years and surveillance audits are conducted annually. SCS can also provide client marketing support.

File Name Document
Responsibly Managed Peatlands Application English
Responsibly Managed Peatlands Certified Clients English
Responsibly Managed Peatlands Standard Version 1.0 English
Responsibly Managed Peatlands V1.0 - Policy for Additional Diligence During the Coronavirus Pandemic English
Responsibly Managed Peatlands: Greenhouse Gas Policy English

Apply Now

Ready to start the process? Complete an Application.

Kevin Warner