Sustainability and certification
For thousands of years, wood has been used as a building and construction material and the fact is that wood has huge environmental benefits over other building products. It is for example biodegradable, works as an effective insulator and is renewable. Now with the growing trend in sustainable building it’s gained a more prominent spot as a building material. As Pritzker Prize laureate and architect Shigeru Ban puts it: “Steel, concrete—we are just consuming from a limited amount. Timber is the only renewable material.”
Although wood has many advantages, these are only meaningful if our world forest reserves are managed responsibly. Worldwide there are over 50 different organizations that strive for a more sustained harvest of our world forest reserves and they have their own certification program in place to achieve that goal. The two most well-known ones are FSC™ and PEFC. We are firm advocates of both certifications and by providing our clients with their certified material, they have the assurance that the products come from forests that meet international standards for responsible forest management.
Difference of FSC™ & PEFC
The answer lies in their different origins. FSC™ was originally established in the UK in the early 1990s to address consumer concerns. They identified several key issues in tropical forest areas and developed a standard to resolve those issues. This standard was also adopted by other countries and it slowly becamea internationally renowned standard for responsible forest management.
However, what had originally been developed primarily for a tropical environment was considered not the most suitable for boreal and temperate forest regimes in Europe and North America. It was also not planned to accommodate “group certification” i.e. every individual owner would have to be separately certified. This would for example mean that there should be 350,000 separate certifications in Finland alone. PEFC was therefore developed in the late 1990s to facilitate certification in these regions. By now both certification schemes are international well-known and continue to pursue a wider coverage of their certification globally.
Secure Chain of Custody
According to the annual markereview 2016 -2017, Forest Products, released by the Food and Agriculture (FAO) organization of the United Nations, only 11% of the world forest reserves are certified. This means that the majority of the wood in the market does not come with a certification. To maintain the sustainability of nature’s precious resources, we only work with suppliers that harvest timber legally. We developed a strict due diligence program to make sure these woods come from legitimate sources and are also demonstrated by legal documentation of the chain of custody.