Dutch lead fresh sustainability push
The door is closing quickly against timber suppliers who don’t have certifiable proof that their products are from sustainably managed forests.
And even if they can reference a national certification scheme, it better be endorsed by PEFC™ or FSC® or it probably won’t have the necessary ‘cred’. That’s the clear picture emerging from big timber importing markets in Europe.
The fact that major tropical hardwood lumber suppliers to the EU such as Malaysia, Brazil and Ghana have seen their sales plunge to unprecedented lows over the past 18 months has as much to do with new sustainability and legality regulations as it has the depressed European economy.
Even a traditionally ‘safe’ source of hardwood such as the US may be in the firing line. Although that country’s vast natural forests of oak, walnut, maple, cherry and the like are undeniably managed on a sustainable basis, very few are third-party certified.
All of which makes the Dutch Government’s recently announced ‘Green Deal’ campaign of special significance. The Netherlands is a major EU entry point for hardwoods and the Green Deal signed in June with 26 of the country’s industry associations – plus support from trade unions, construction, furniture and retail companies – seems to shut the door on non-certified timber imports.
The Green Deal documents how signatories will promote timber from sustainably managed forests.