Sustainability

Timspec is proud to be the first major timber importer to be FSC® and PEFC™ chain-of-custody accredited. We always try to provide FSC® and PEFC™ certified timber but, it can be difficult at times. If it is important for you to get certification of the ordered timber, then let our sales team know while you place an order and we will ensure you are supplied timber certifiable.

What is Sustainable Timber?

Whilst it sounds like a simple question, the answer is surprisingly complex. It seems the answer varies greatly depending on who you ask. We tried to clear up a few common misconceptions about the idea of timber sustainability. 

Although, The ISO (International Standards Organisation) make a good point when they say: "The concepts involved in sustainability are highly complex and still under study. At this time there are no definitive methods for measuring sustainability or confirming its accomplishment. Therefore, no claim of achieving sustainability shall be made" (ISO 14021 (1999) paragraph 5.5). So, until a clear and precise, scientifically determined, standard can be set to explain and measure sustainability, no claim about sustainability should be made, because there is no way to prove it.

However, in the timber industry, wood which is sourced from well managed forests that are in accordance with one or more independent internationally recognised certification organisations is known as sustainable timber. These international organisations ensure that the certified forests are not only replanted but are responsible in order to protect the micro and macro climate including ethical and cultural sensitivities of the forest region.

The certification also encompasses multiple intricate topics such as

  • Other plants and animals that rely on the biodiversity of the forest.
  • Social spiritual and economic wellbeing of people who rely on the forest.
  • Environmental impacts.

Although not specifically part of sustainability, but there are very important issues that are significant such as:

  • Legality of the supply
  • Workers' rights and freedom from exploitation
  • Genetic Modification
  • Carbon credits/carbon sinks
  • Social impacts
  • Pesticides and fertilisers
  • Distance travelled by the timber

Developments over the past few years have placed a stronger and stronger emphasis on Resource Certification. 
FSC® and PEFC™ are the two leading third partyResource Certification schemes currently operating.

 

  FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®)

   FSC.org

FSC® is probably the most well-known Certification Scheme, its benefits are:

  • The standard or set of rules to obtain FSC® certification is similar throughout the world and doesn't differ or change for any country. 
  • Only forest certification scheme supported by all major environment groups (Greenpeace, etc).
  • Very large international organisation.
    (independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation)
  • Promote responsible management of the world's forests.
  • High level of environmental, legal and traceability requirements.
    (Principles and Criteria describe how the forests have to be managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations).
  • FSC® rules are the strictest and FSC®'s social and environmental requirements are the highest of any certification scheme.
  • Strict Chain-of-Custody requirements.
  • Certificate holders are subject to annual audits.

  PEFC™ (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes)             

  PEFC.org

PEFC™ is an "umbrella" scheme that endorses other Forestry Certification Schemes, it currently covers the following schemes:

  • Australia Forestry Standard® (AFS®)
  • Canadian Standards® (CSA®)
  • American Tree Farm System® (ATFS®)
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®)
  • Most of the National Schemes of EU Countries.
  • Malaysian Timber Council (MIT)

PEFC™ maintains a list of standards and any Forestry Scheme that meets these, will then also meet PEFC™ requirements and can be sold/traded as PEFC™ Certified, its benefits are:

  • Good levels of environmental requirements.
  • High legal and traceability requirements.
  • Strict Chain-of-Custody requirements.
  • Certificate holders are subject to annual audits.

Our FSC® and PEFC™ certified timber is found in the individual species pages for weatherboards, flooring and decking. 

Declare Label for Accoya 

Declare is a 'nutrition' label for building materials. It was started by International Living Future Institute in Seattle, home of the living building challenge which in turn was born from the US Green Building Council. The Declare goal is to estimate worst in class toxic chemicals from all the building types such as residential, commercial and workspaces. 

So what does Declare Label represent? A practical label!

having a Declare Label indicates to architects, architectural designers and consumers that building material is not toxic to the environment or people after installation - In the short term and long term (at the product or building's end of life). There are various levels to achieve 'Declare' Label - because the label recognizes that some ingredients are bound and won't cause harm and are required for manufacturing purposes or they may be at such a low level that their inclusion is insignificant. Read more

Accoya Cradle to Cradle 

Accoya, the world-leading high performance sustainable wood product, has been successfully re-awarded Gold status by the prestigious Cradle-to-Cradle Product Innovation institute, in recognition of its sustainable credentials across its lifespan. The industry standard for a products environmental performance and societal impact, the successful recertification, valid until June 2019, comes as more rigorous assessment processes have been introduced in 2017.

The certification highlights the importance of using the Cradle to Cradle philosophy in construction and joinery projects and demonstrates the positive impact of C2C products on the environment. Awarded the C2C Gold certificate for its sustainable wood sourcing strategy, the use of more than 50% renewable energy while being fully non-toxic, Accoya wood perfectly fits the C2C bio-cycle, as well as matching the technical performance of non-renewable, carbon intensive materials from the techno-cycle, such as PVC and aluminium. Read more.

New Zealand Imported Tropical Timber Group

 

NZITTG comprises representatives of New Zealand's timber importers, timber retailers, and environmental and conservation organisations. The ministry of Primary Industries (MPI- New Zealand Government) is representated as observer. Timspec is a proud member of NZITTG group

Goals of the group are as follows:

  • NZITTG ensures that all the timber imported in to New Zealand is sourced from third party certified or verified sustainably/responsibly managed forests and plantations.
  •  To agrees on credible certification schemes that provide purchasers with a reliable assurance of the sourcing of product from a third party certified sustainable/responsible source.
  • To seek understanding of and common ground between members of the group on the key issues underpinning both the timber trade and management of forests and plantations globally.
  • To demonstrate leadership and innovation towards achieving imports from a third party certified sustainable/responsible source.
  • To promote the findings, decisions and goals of the group to the wider NZ timber trade, local and national government, and consumers and other relevant parties.
  • To contribute to, and to influence NZ Government policy both within New Zealand and abroad. 
  • To have the entire imported timber trade in NZ represented on the group. Read more

 

 

Other useful links on Sustainability are below:

Link1

Link2