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Connecting certified forests to sustainable construction

May 31 2018

PEFC UK Construction County Downs 14 kitchen 300dpi RGBUsing wood in construction is fantastic. It looks good, is easy to work with, is healthy for the people living and working within it and is great for our planet – but only if it comes from a sustainable source.

Whatever timber you choose, whether solid wood or engineered wood such as CLT and glulam, it is vital that it comes from a forest that is managed sustainably, ensuring it is around for generations to come.

But how can you be sure that the wood actually came from such a sustainably managed forest? The answer, of course, is PEFC certification!

PEFC sustainable forest management certification enables forest owners to provide assurances that they manage their forests in line with challenging environmental, social and economic requirements – balancing people, planet and profit.

Hundreds of thousands of forest owners around the world, from small, family and community forests to large company owned forests, have achieved PEFC certification, covering more than 300 million hectares of forest.

PEFC chain of custody certification then establishes the link, tracking forest-based products from these certified forests to the final product, monitoring each step of the supply chain. This gives you the assurance that the timber you are using to build your house came from a sustainably managed, PEFC-certified forest.

So, when you are choosing your wood, or specifying timber within your procurement policy, make sure it is PEFC-certified!

The link in action

Highlighting this link between certified forests and sustainable construction was the focus of PEFC UK’s inaugural field trip for the construction sector.

UK construction fieldtripHeld in the Crown Estate forest in Windsor Great Park on 17 May, delegates from across the construction sector saw responsible forest management in action, and learnt why chain of custody certification is important and how it adds value to timber destined for construction use.

Participants also discovered how the construction sector could support responsible producers, and ultimately the world’s forests, through their procurement choices.

“I’d like to extend our thanks to everyone who attended,” said PEFC UK’s Executive Director Alun Watkins.

“It was a perfect day to tour the Crown Estate and see and hear more about sustainable forest management, and the huge amount of work that is involved in keeping the forest healthy for this generation and the next.”

“We tried to demonstrate what PEFC certification involves and how the forest is inextricably linked to the final products on the marketplace”.

Designing the future with sustainable timber

Across the world, the architecture community is embracing solid and engineered wood to deliver high profile, award winning projects and everyday designs - from houses, schools and hotels to restaurants, theatres, supermarkets and swimming pools.

Under the theme Designing the Future with Sustainable Timber, a range of stakeholders have come together under the leadership of PEFC to promote the use of wood in construction in general and certified wood in particular. Join us! Contact us at fabienne.sinclair@pefc.org.

Photo credits: Micah T Jones Architect and PEFC UK

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 307 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 20,000

(as of June 2018)
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