International Day of Forests: PEFC and Sustainable Cities

This year, the International Day of Forests is all about Forests and Sustainable Cities, highlighting the many contributions forests make towards sustainable cities.

International Day of Forests: PEFC and Sustainable Cities

21 March 2018 International Day of Forests

It’s that time of the year again. The day we all celebrate our forests and the many benefits they bring us. Though of course, for us at PEFC, every day is the International Day of Forests!

This year, the International Day of Forests is all about Forests and Sustainable Cities. From storing carbon to help mitigate climate change and filtering the air, reducing noise and regulating the water within cities, to providing fuel wood, jobs, food and medicine for city dwellers: our forests have so much to contribute towards sustainable cities.

And perhaps most importantly, PEFC-certified forest products are at the heart of building these sustainable cities.

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The sky is the limit

At the UNECE ‘Forests and Sustainable Cities’ event in Geneva, Thorsten Arndt spoke to guest speaker Dr Michael Ramage, Director of Centre for Natural Material Innovation, University of Cambridge, about the importance of wood in construction.    

So why build with wood?

Wood is great for the planet. Wood is THE renewable building material. Compared to concrete, steel, cement and glass, wood requires less energy in production and rather than emitting carbon, it stores it.

Wood in buildings is healthy. Wood has a positive influence on the indoor climate and therefore on the well-being and health of the people who live or work in the building. What's more, wood is an excellent heat and humidity regulator. Walls made of wood breathe; they control the humidity of the surroundings.

Wood allows creative designs. Wood is strong, flexible and attractive, and easy to work, process and finish, making it ideally suited to creative and innovative designs. Every piece of wood has its own particular characteristics, because it is unique in terms of its grain, colour and lines.

Wood enables fast construction. A home made of wood is lighter than one made of conventional materials, so you can have smaller and simpler foundations, which means they are easier to build. Numerous elements manufactured in workshops simply need to be put together on the building site.

But make sure it is certified!

Whether it is solid wood or engineered word such as CLT and glulam, make sure it carries the PEFC label! PEFC-certified forest products originate in forests that are managed sustainably in line with strict international requirements.

Importantly, an increasing number of building projects are now opting for certified timber, and both public authorities and private companies are choosing to work with wood and paper with a sustainable origin.

Do you design with timber?

Do you use solid wood or take advantage of engineered wood such as CLT or glulam in your construction projects? Then this is your chance to be recognized for your commitment to building with wood by the World Architecture Festival (WAF)!

The Best Use of Certified Timber Prize, supported by PEFC, will reward project teams and architects that have used certified timber in an innovative, educational or artistic manner, whilst demonstrating responsible sourcing in a completed building.

Please note that the deadline for entry is 11 May 2018. Find out more!

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


Discover how we're working to align with the EUDR and bring our PEFC EUDR solution to the market.

Conflict Timber

See PEFC's guidance following the announcement that all timber originating from Russia and Belarus is ‘conflict timber’.

Related Events

11th World Architecture Festival

Construction event

Amsterdam Netherlands

PEFC contact

Fabienne Sinclair

Head of Market Engagement

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