Wood is a finite resource and as such, it needs careful management to allow us to use timber for generations to come. Consumers are starting to make more careful decisions and it’s nice to know that our purchase won’t cause further deforestation. Making informed choices when it comes to timber will have a massively positive effect on our delicate ecosystems and the animals & people that live in it.

FSC The mark of responsible Forestry

What do you mean when you say ‘sustainable’?

 Sustainable wood comes from managed forests, where for each tree that is felled another is planted, thus making it a renewable source. Careful management means that our woodlands in the UK are back on the rise, but illegal logging is still happening all over the world. Unfortunately, the demand is high for rare and exotic or cheap wood. Only 8% of the world’s remaining forests are protected, choosing timber from responsible sources will help fund the future protection of new areas too.

So how do I know that I’m buying from a sustainable source?

  • Look out for the Forest Stewardship Council logo (as seen below)
  • Try to buy wood from the EU, as there are now legal measures to ensure careful management. More trees are now being planted than felled!
  • Avoid exotic wood, such as Ebony, Brazilian Mahogany, Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry), Sapele and Burmese Teak.

FSC Logo

   What does buying with the FSC Guarantee?

  • You can buy wood products, from all types of forests, with a clear conscience when you see the FSC logo.
  • The FSC label guarantees that the trees that are harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally.
  • Parts of the forest are protected entirely, in order to protect rare animals and plants.
  • FSC is the only wood certification scheme endorsed by the major environmental charities, including WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust.
  • FSC protects the rights of indigenous people to use the forest. If they have sacred sites in the forest these are exempt from felling.
  • FSC gives an assurance that future generations will be able to enjoy the benefits of the forest.
  • The forest owner must use local workers to run the forest, and provide training, safety equipment and a decent salary. The forest owner is often obliged to support the community in other ways, such as through the development of schools.
  • FSC is a market-based initiative which also ensures better conditions for the forest and the people whose livelihoods depend on it.
  • All the wood is tracked from the forest to the store. Every link between the forest and the consumer is certified to make it clearly identifiable which wood is FSC certified and which is not.
  • The FSC label is found on wood and paper products as well as non-timber forest products such as latex. You can find the FSC logo on floors, decking, paper, printed matter, charcoal, kitchen utensils, venison and many more products!

Taken from the FSC website, for the full article click here.

 Further reading:

 The Independent’s Good Wood Guide