Timber Sustainability is of prime importance to all those within the industry. According to the Forestry Commission, deforestation is the world’s second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. To help contribute to reducing environmental impact, architects, landscape architects, developers and contractors are encouraged to source materials from sustainably managed forests where trees are replanted as they are felled.
There are over 50 certification programmes worldwide that address the different types of forests. The two most well-known certifications are PEFC and FSC.
The FSC is a global certification system that enables specifiers to identify and purchase wood from well-managed forests. It defines ten principles of responsible forest management for a manager or owner to follow. As a benchmark, any FSC standard has to be ‘interpreted’ at the national level in order for it to be implemented within local forests.
Similarly, PEFC describes itself as an international organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management (SFM) through independent third party certification. However, PEFC is not a standards agency but a mutual recognition scheme. It not only focuses on the ethical aspects of SFM but also the processing of timber, resulting in a larger emphasis on the supply chain than FSC.