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. Operations have the option of conforming under this new version or the previous version, the Veriflora® Responsible Horticultural Peat Moss Production Annex, until January 1, 2018, after which conformance to the Responsibly Managed Peatlands Standard Version 1.0 is required. 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)
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.