Marketing Strategies for Certified Wood Flooring in China: The Gap in Manufacturers’ and Developers’ Perceived Benefits


  • Qin Tan The University of Tokyo
  • Kohei Imamura The University of Tokyo
  • Kenji Nagasaka The University of Tokyo
  • Masafumi Inoue The University of Tokyo


wood flooring manufacturer, housing developer, perceived benefit of forest certification, CoC Certification, China


With the development of finished houses in China supported by the government, housing developers
play a critical role in the purchase of flooring products. On the other hand, wood flooring
manufacturers know the importance of forest certification for export, but pay less attention to the
domestic market. This study evaluated both housing developers’ and wood flooring manufactures’
perceived benefits of forest certification in China, using a survey. For manufacturers, the three most
important benefits of adopting forest certification were to “meet foreign customers’ purchasing
requirements,” “support sustainable forestry and protect the environment,” and “meet corporate
social responsibility goals.” For housing developers, the most important benefits of using certified
flooring were to “acquire new consumers from domestic market (e.g., green consumer),” “achieve
product differentiation,” and “brand the house with high-end image.” The largest perception gap
between the two groups of respondents was with respect to “gain financial aids (e.g., tax and loan).”
The findings suggest that there is an increasing demand for forest certified products from housing
developers in China, which requires manufacturers to enhance their marketing strategies to meet
the domestic demands for certified flooring.

Author Biographies

Qin Tan, The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Kohei Imamura, The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Kenji Nagasaka, The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Masafumi Inoue, The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences


Aguilar, F. X. & Vlosky, R. P. (2007). Consumer willingness to pay price premiums for environmentally certified wood products in the US. Forest Policy and Economics, 9(8): 1100–1112.

Anderson, R. C. & Hansen, E. N. (2004). The impact of environmental certification on preferences for wood furniture: A conjoint analysis approach. Forest Products Journal, 54(3): 42–50.

Asif, M., Muneer, T. & Kelley, R. (2007). Life cycle assessment: A case study of a dwelling home in Scotland. Building and Environment, 42(3): 1391–1394.

Bamberg, S. & Möser, G. (2007). Twenty years after Hines, Hungerford, and Tomera: A new meta-analysis of psycho-social determinants of proenvironmental behaviour. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 27(1): 14–25. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2006.12.002

Bowers, T., Eastin, I. Ganguly, I., Cao, J. & Seol, M. (2012). Forest certification in Asia: The changing marketplace for value-added wood product manufacturers in China and Vietnam. The Forestry Chronicle, 88(5): 578–584. doi:10.5558/tfc2012-109.

Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cai, Z. & Aguilar, F. X. (2013). Meta-analysis of consumer’s willingness-to-pay premiums for certified wood products. Journal of Forest Economics, 19(1): 15–31. doi:10.1016/j.jfe.2012.06.007.

Callegaro, M., Baker, R., Bethlehem, J., Göritz, A., Krosnick, J. & Lavrakas, P. (eds). (2014). Online Panel Research: A Data Quality Perspective. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Cao, X. (2011). Does it pay to be green? An integrated view of environmental marketing with evidence from the forest products industry in China. Doctoral dissertation. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Cao, X., M. Seol, & I. Eastin. (2011). An overview of forest certification in China: Benefits and constraints. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Scientific Conference on Hardwood Processing, USA. pp. 169–196.

DCCC. (2019). Direct China Chamber of Commerce. Chinese importers for quality wood flooring – China flooring market. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from

Chen, J., J. L. Innes, & R. A. Kozak. (2011). An exploratory assessment of the attitudes of Chinese wood products manufacturers towards forest certification. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(11): 2984–2992. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.07.012.

CRECC. (2019). CRECC Full Decoration Council. Industry report of finished house in China 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from:

CREA. (2020). Evaluation and research report of top 500 China real estate. China Real Estate Association. Retrieved from

CNFPIA. (2018). China National Forest Products Industry Association. Sales of wood flooring in China. Retrieved July 20, 2020, from

Drozdenko, R., Jensen, M. & Coelho, D. (2011). Pricing of green products: Premiums paid, consumer characteristics and incentives. International Journal of Business, Marketing, and Decision Sciences, 4(1): 106–116.

EC. (2010). Regulation (EU) No. 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the council of 20th October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market. OJ. 295: 23–34. Retrieved from

EFI. (2012). All you need to know about the US Lacey Act, the EU Timber Regulation, and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012. Retrieved from

European Parliament. (2021). Question for written answer E-005452/2021. Subject: Russia stopping log exports to China and the situation in the EU and France (8 December 2021). Retrieved from

Faggi, A.M., Zuleta, G.A., & Homberg, M. (2014). Motivations for implementing voluntary environmental actions in Argentine forest companies. Land Use Policy, 41: 541–549.

FSC. (2015). Market info pack 2015. Retrieved from

FSC. (2019). Forest stewardship council facts and figures. Retrieved from

Fuchigami, Y., Kimura, Y., Komata, H., Sasaki, F. & Furuta, Y. (2015). Economic Repercussions of Using Local Wood Products for Public Buildings Discussion of a case for Kyoto prefecture. Mokuzai

Gakkaishi, 61(5): 326–334.

Furumi, K. (2014). Chugoku muke kougyouka juutaku (Industrial housing for China). Toshi-juutaku-gaku, 84: 37–40.

Griscom, B. W., Adams, J., Ellis, P. W., Houghton, R. A., Lomax, G., Miteva, D. A., Schlesinger, W. H., Shoch, D., Siikamäki, J. V., Smith, P., Woodbury, P., Zganjar, C., Blackman, A., Campari, J., Conant, R. T., Delgado, C., Elias, P., Gopalakrishna, T., Hamsik, M. R., Herrero, M., Kiesecker, J., Landis, E., Laestadius, L., Leavitt, S. M., Minnemeyer, S., Polasky, S., Potapov, P., Putz, F. E., Sanderman, J., Silvius, M., Wollenberg, E. & Fargione, J. (2017). Natural climate solutions. PNAS, 114(44): 11645–11650.

Grönroos, J. & Bowyer, J. (1999). Assessment of the market potential for environmentally certified wood products in new homes in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago. Forest Products Journal, 49(6): 28–34.

Hernández, M. (2016). China city tiers. South China Morning Post. Retrieved June 9, 2020, from

Hoare, A. (2015). Tackling Illegal Logging and the Related Trade: What Progress and Where Next? Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, London. Retrieved from

IWMG. (2006). The solid wood products outlook 2006 to 2010: A global market perspective with a detailed analysis of North America. International Wood Markets Group Inc. (IWMG). Vancouver, B.C.

Jensen, K., Jakus, P., English, B. & Menard, J. (2003). Market participation and willingness to pay for environmentally certified products. Forest Science, 49(4): 632–641.

JFWIA. (2017). Timber industry, timber trade and timber legality in China. Japan Federation of Wood Industry Associations (JFWIA). Retrieved from

Kawamura, S., & Inoue, M. (2020). Economic Impacts of Increases in Domestic Timber Utilization in Wooden Framework for Residential Construction. Mokuzai Gakkaishi, 66(1): 23–30.

Komata H., Kato, Y., Ohashi, Y., Ishikawa, Y., Ishikawa, S. & Yamamoto, N. (2012). Economic Repercussion Effects Using Local Wood Products for Wood Frame Construction in Hokkaido. Mokuzai Gakkaishi, 58(4): 209–215.

Kruger, C. R. (2010). Public preferences for SFM: Case studies in tenure policy and forest certification. Master’s thesis. University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. doi:10.7939/R3K13M

Li, V. (2011). A methodology to assess the competitiveness of real estate developers in China. Doctoral dissertation. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane City, QLD, Australia.

Li, L., Morinaga, R. & Kobayashi, H. (2017). A comparative study on the condominium housing and cooperative housing in China. The cases of condominium housing in Changsha China, “Lixiangjiayuan” and “Guanshanyanyue.” Journal of Architecture and Planning (Transactions of AIJ), 82(740):2469–2478.

Liu, R., Li, X. & Zhang, Y. (2016). Analysis of consumers’ willingness to pay for wood floor products with forest certification. Resource Development and Market, 32:453–458.

Liu, Y., Tian, M. & Ruan, F. (2007). Investigate and analysis on the consumer willingness to pay for products of forest certification. In: Proceeding of the 2nd Chinese Forum of Forest Economic Development Theory and Practice, Society of Technology Economics, Fuzhou, China. pp. 82–85.

Luo, D., Zhang, Z., Chen, Y. & Gu, S. (2017). Research on the identification and consumption tendency of green wood process. China Forest Economics, 2:26–31.

Mcllhenney, K. & R. Hayter. (2014). Sustaining jobs and environment? The value-added wood industry in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. Local Environment, 19(6): 605–625. doi:10.1080/13549839.2013.854755

MEEC. (2010). National conference on environmental science and technology 2010. Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (MEEC). Retrieved July 1, 2020, from

MIIT & MOHURD. (2015). The action plan for promoting the production and application of green building materials No. 309. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD). Retrieved from

MOHURD. (2017). Building industry development of the 13th Five-Year plan. Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China. Retrieved from

Montague, I. B. (2011). Understanding chain-of-custody certification in the Appalachian hardwood region: primary manufacturers’ practices and perceptions. In: Proceedings of the 17th Central Hardwood Forest Conference, Pennsylvania, USA. pp. 607–616.

National Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Issuing the measures for classification of large, medium, small and miniature enterprises for the purpose of statistics. Retrieved from

National Bureau of Statistics. (2019). General profile of the real estate market in China. Retrieved from

National Geographic. (2012). Greendex 2012: Consumer choice and the environment—a worldwide tracking survey. Retrieved from

NBSC. (2017). National data of the production of wood and wood products. National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC). Retrieved from

Nie, Y. (2007). Chinese Forest Product Circulation Market and Trade. Beijing: Forestry Press.

Overdevest, C. & Rickenbach, M. G. (2006). Forest certification and institutional governance: An empirical study of forest stewardship council certificate holders in the United States. Forest Policy and Economics, 9:93–102. doi:10.1016/j.forpol.2005.03.014

Paluš, H. & Kaputa, V. (2009). Survey of attitudes towards forest and chain of custody certification in the Slovak Republic. Drewno: prace naukowe, doniesienia, komunikaty, 52: 65–81.

Peattie, K. & Crane, A. (2005). Green marketing: Legend, myth, farce or prophesy? Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 8(4): 357–370. doi:10.1108/13522750510619733.

PEFC. (2020). PEFC Global Statistics. Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Geneva: PEFC International. Retrieved from

PEFC. (2022). China Forest Certification Council (CFCC). Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Retrieved from

Räty, T., Lindqvist, D., Nuutinen, T., Nyrud, A. Q., Perttula, S., Riala, M., Roos, A., Tellnes, L. G. F., Toppinen, A. & Wang, L. (2012). In: Proceeding of Communicating the Environmental Performance of Wood Products. Working Papers of the Finnish Forest Research Institute 230.

Roe, B. (2015). The influence of timber legality regulations on Chinese and Vietnamese wood products manufacturers. Master’s thesis. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Sathre, R., O’Connor, J. (2010). Meta-analysis of greenhouse gas displacement factors of wood product substitution. Environmental Science & Policy, 13(2): 104−114.

Schloenhardt, A. (2008). The Illegal Trade in Timber and Timber Products in the Asia-Pacific Region. Australian Institute of Criminology Research and Public Policy Series, no. 89. Canberra, ACT: Australian Institute of Criminology. Retrieved from

SFA (2017). The State Forestry Administration of China. China forestry development report 2000-2017. Retrieved November 27, 2020, from

Statista. (2020). Floor covering of China. Retrieved November 13, 2020, from

Taherdoost, H. (2019). What Is the Best Response Scale for Survey and Questionnaire Design; Review of Different Lengths of Rating Scale / Attitude Scale / Likert Scale. International Journal of Academic Research in Management 8(1): 1−10.

Tan, Q., Imamura, K., Nagasaka, K. & Inoue, M. (2019). Effects of an eco-label knowledge on Chinese consumer preferences for certified wood flooring: A case study in Chongqing City. Forest Products Journal, 69(19): 1–9. doi:10.13073/FPJ-D-19-00017.

Tan, Q., Imamura, K. Nagasaka, K. & Inoue, M. (2020). Consumer Price Premiums for FSC-Labelled Wood Flooring: A Comparison of Five Chinese Cities. Bioproducts Business, 5(2): 13−24.

Thompson, D., Anderson, R., Hansen, E. & Kahle, L. (2010). Green segmentation and environmental certification: Insights from forest products. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19: 319–334.

Thøgersen, J. (2004). A cognitive dissonance interpretation of consistencies and inconsistencies in environmentally responsible behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(1): 93–103. doi:10.1016/S0272-4944(03)00039-2.

Till, Y. & Matei, A. (2016). Basics of sampling for survey research. In: The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology., ed. C. Wolf, D. Joye, T. Smith & Yang-chih Fu. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 311–328.

Tolunay, A., & T. Türkoglu. (2014). Perspectives and attitudes of forest products industry companies on the chain of custody certification: A case study from Turkey. Sustainability, 6(2):857–871. doi:10.3390/su6020857.

UNECE/FAO. (2011). Forest Products Annual Market Review 2010–2011. Geneva Timber and Forest Study Paper 27. Geneva: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Retrieved from

USDA. (2013). Lacey Act Primer and Updates. United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Plant Protection and Quarantine. Washington, DC: USDA. Retrieved from

Vehovar, V., Toepoel, V. & Steinmetz, S. (2016). Non-probability sampling. In The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology, ed. C. Wolf, D. Joye, T. Smith & Yang-chih Fu. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 329–345.

Vidal, N., Kozak, R. & Cohen, D. (2005). Chain of custody certification: An assessment of the North American solid wood sector. Forest Policy and Economics, 7: 345–355.

Wakita, T., Ueshima, N., & Noguchi, H. (2012). Psychological Distance Between Categories in the Likert Scale: Comparing Different Numbers of Options. Educational Psychological Measurement 72(4):533–546. doi:10.1177/0013164411431162.

Wang, J., Xu, Z., Zheng, Q. & He, S. (2011). Analysis on the consumer willingness to pay for products of forest certification. Money China, 6: 121–122.

Wang, J. (2013). Research on the adaptability and strategy of FSC-COC certificate in Chinese furniture industry. Doctoral dissertation. Nanjing Forestry University, China.

Wang, F., Yang, S., Reisner, A., & Liu, N. (2019). Does green credit policy work in China? The correlation between green credit and corporate environmental information disclosure quality. Sustainability, 11(3). doi:10.3390/su11030733

Wong, V., Turner, W., & Stoneman, P. (1996). Marketing strategies and market prospects for environmentally-friendly consumer products. British Journal of Management, 7(3): 263–281. doi:10.1111/bjom.1996.7.issue-3.

Wymer, W. & Polonsky, M. J. (2015). The Limitations and Potentialities of Green Marketing. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 27(3): 239–262. doi: 10.1080/10495142.2015.1053341

Yu, S., & S. L. Xiao. (2004). Forest certification and woody product market in China. Forest Engineering, 2: 6–8.

Yu, S., Evans, M. & Shi, Q. (2014). Analysis of the Chinese Market for Building Energy Efficiency. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Report PNNL-22761. Oak Ridge, TN: U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved from

Zhang, X. (2008). An analysis of the supply chain in China’s wood flooring industry. Master’s thesis. Zhejiang University of Technology, China. Retrieved from






Empirical Manuscripts