Snowy Spruce and Pine Forest, looking up

The Real (Green) Deal

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.

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Innovative Timber Preschools

The ecocycle and children’s dreams. Wood is more than an important ingredient in environmentally and socially sustainable building. The material also has a uniquely warm look and tactile properties that appeal to children. Let us take you to three different and vibrant preschools, where the focus has very much been on ecolabelled materials and the dreams and needs of the children.

Building for children is not easy. Their energy explodes all the boundaries, since they are not yet familiar with the diktat of adult life that you have to spend most of your day sitting still. It is therefore a tough challenge to create architecture for children, something that makes architects self-critically question regular architecture.

Råå Preschool in Helsingborg, right by the waters of Öresund, looks more like a sculpture than a kindergarten. The school has an unbroken geometric shape with a facade of narrow vertical robinia cladding. Not exactly what you might expect alongside the traditional brick facades of the old school buildings. The interior is at least as fascinating with all its angles and nooks, large windows and triangular lanterns that illuminate the open environment. In an uninsulated side building, the little ones can sleep off their lunch in little wooden wagons, indoors and yet outdoors.

“The key is to encourage the children’s motor skills with spaces where they can climb and negotiate steps,” says Pernille Svendsen, architect at Danish practice Dorte Mandrup, which is responsible for this project.

“Wood is a fantastic material that brings warmth and has a rare materiality. We’ve used veneered panelling in the design, a natural material that looks almost like we found it on the beach.”…

Consider using PEFC™ Certified Kingfisher Spruce timber in your next timber project.

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New Zealand Growers want PEFC™ Certification

The NZ Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) has just been accepted as the country’s PEFC™ member.

“It makes sense for New Zealand forest growers to be in a position to supply PEFC™ certified forest products to [international] markets,” says the association’s chair Dr Andrew McEwen.

Many countries buying New Zealand forest products – or competing with its exports – are already PEFC™ members, including China, Japan, Indonesia, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Russia, and the US.

NZFCA hopes to have a PEFC™ endorsed certification system based on the New Zealand Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (NZS AS 4708:2014) in place later this year.

The NZ Standard is based on the Australian Forestry Standard (AS 4708:2013), which is the basis for the PEFC™ endorsed Australian Forest Certification system.

Endorsement by PEFC™ of an NZ forest management system will allow forest owners to obtain certification for their management practices, and allow processors and others along the supply chain to source PEFC™-certified material from local, sustainably managed sources.

Most New Zealand commercial forestry operations are already certified to Forest Stewardship Council criteria.

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SGS FSC® CoC Certification

ATS Timber Ltd is pleased to announce it has obtained a Chain of Custody Certification for FSC® products so most of our range now will be available as FSC® certified. Please enquire for more info on this and pricing.

For info about FSC® please visit
Certificate: SGS-COC-010151

More info on FSC® CoC can be viewed in the Certification section of the Resources.