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Sourcing sustainable wood products

Forest loss (deforestation) is the world’s second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. These gases contribute significantly to climate change but by choosing wood products from sustainably managed forests, where trees are replanted as they are felled, we can help to tackle this problem.

The best way to ensure that timber comes from a sustainable source is to use an independently certified supplier, or to ask suppliers whether they use certified timber.

There are various labelling schemes, such as those run by the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which show that a product has come from a sustainably managed source.

During 1999 every Forestry Commission woodland in England, Scotland and Wales (around 40% of British forests) was assessed against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) by an independent auditor. As a result, Forestry Commission woodlands now carry the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) stamp of approval. This makes the Forestry Commission the largest supplier of FSC certified round timber in the UK.

Key facts:

  • Wood products that come from well managed forests have the most benefits in terms of combating climate change, as more trees are planted in place of those cut down
  • Buying wood from certified forests ensures that those forests have been sustainably managed
  • Well managed woodlands generally store more carbon than stands that are not harvested
  • All Forestry Commission woodlands are now certified by the Forest Stewardship Council

Key message:

  • Ensuring that we buy wood from certified forests can help to tackle the global problem of deforestation

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