PEFC provides timber traceability answers at WCTE 2023
29 June 2023 Sustainable construction
The World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE) 2023 has closed its doors for another year. Held in Oslo, Norway from 19-22 June 2023, the 13th WCTE conference attracted over 900 delegates to hear 600 presentations on the latest developments in timber technology for construction, timber structures, and the design of timber architecture.
Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Sandra Borch, opened proceedings alongside the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen. The conference theme was ‘Timber for a Liveable Future’ and in their opening statement the co-chairs said: “We are now experiencing increased interest in timber as a structural material as well as wood used for surfaces in architecture… climate change is a driving force and pushes all of us to toward severe changes with (the use of) more environmentally friendly, sustainable and circular materials.”
PEFC was a Silver Sponsor and key supporter of WCTE, and an international PEFC team from Norway, PEFC International and the UK, were on-hand at the show to brief delegates on why choosing certified timber from sustainably managed forests is essential for developing responsible supply chains.
On the opening day of the conference, PEFC International Chair, Eduardo Rojas Briales, addressed conference participants with a question: ‘Can rising demand for timber in construction accelerate deforestation?’ He showed the enormous potential wood products have in transforming the built environment and delivering carbon-friendly buildings, far outstripping carbon intensive materials such as concrete and steel.
Mass timber such as cross laminated timber (CLT), glulam and LVL have a pivotal role to play in improving our built environment by creating healthier buildings that boost the circular economy, facilitate biophilic design and improve our health and wellbeing. Many of these engineered products start in PEFC-certified forests.
“Finding the balance between demand for forest products and preserving forests through sustainable forest management ultimately relies on robust chain of custody,” said Eduardo.
“PEFC’s role is to ensure, through certification, that built environment professionals can be confident that they are sourcing timber responsibly and avoiding unsustainable and/or illegal timber or wood products. Technology and specifically blockchain, including the PEFC sponsored Wood-chain Project, will have an important role to play in not only facilitating traceability operations, but also in providing visibility and accountability on the road to Net Zero.”
PEFC’s chain of custody certified timber originates from PEFC-certified forests – forests managed sustainably in line with strict international requirements. This means that forest owners manage their forests in a way that provides us with timber and other forest products now, while ensuring that certified forests will be around for generations to come. So, it’s good to know that PEFC-certified solid and engineered wood products are readily available for construction projects from a wide range of global suppliers.
The WCTE event is one of the world’s leading events for presenting the latest scientific, technical and architectural innovations in timber. It attracts between 800 and 1,200 participants and is held every other year on a different continent, bringing together researchers, engineers, architects, consultants, contractors, project managers, suppliers, and manufacturers from across the globe. Host Organisers in 2023 included the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) and the City of Oslo. The 2025 conference will be held in Brisbane, Australia.