Each country and source type has received a score. What does the score mean?
The score is a measure of the number of categories of laws that are at risk of being violated. The lower the score, the more widespread the risk of the law being broken in the country.
We usually have one score for each country. Some countries do, however, have very different risk levels depending on which region is being assessed. To better reflect this The Sourcing Hub is offering regional risk assessments to separate regional differences. For instance is Malaysia's risk assessment divided into Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, with separate scores for each region.
The Sourcing Hub is not ranking countries according to their scores because it does not provide an accurate basis for comparison. We identify whether categories of relevant laws are at risk of being broken, but we do not measure the volume of timber affected by that risk, nor do we differ between how sizeable the risk is.
How are the scores calculated?
We have develop a score for each country that reflects how widespread the risk of illegality is across the categories evaluated. For each different timber source type in a country, we award:
- 1 point for each category of law where there is a low risk of illegality.
- 0 points for each category of law where there is an identified risk of illegality. We call identified risks of illegality ‘specified risks’, in line with the terminology used by the Forest Stewardship Council.
We then total up the number of categories of law that apply to a specific timber source. This is because not all countries have laws relating to all the categories we consider in our risk assessments.
We then calculate the score as a percentage: The number of points out of the total number of applicable laws.
The score will reflect if there are different risks levels for different timber source types in a country. By ‘source type’ we mean different types and locations of forest – for example
- Plantation or natural forest
- Geographical location of the forest
- Private or publicly owned forest
- Forest managed by the private sector or by the state.
To calculate the country score, we take an average (a mean) of all the country's different timber source type scores.
For example, imagine a country with two timber source types: Timber from natural forest and timber from plantations. There are more risks associated with timber from natural forests. You might have:
- For the natural forest source type:
- Number of legal areas identified as being at low risk of being broken: 8
- The number of applicable legal areas: 20. This is one less than the total number of legal areas because there is no legislation in this country requiring companies to obtain free, prior and informed consent
- Therefore the score for natural forests is 8/20 X 100 = 40
- For the plantation source type:
- Number of legal areas identified as being at low risk of being broken: 10
- Number of applicable legal areas: 20, as above
- Therefore the score for plantations: is 10/20 X 100 = 50
There are two source types in this country, therefore the overall country score is an average (mean) of 40 and 50, which is 45.