Timber and Sustainability
Avino, Sky House, Raans Road, Amersham, HP6 6JQ
Timber and Sustainability
As some of our products are FSC certified, we thought that it would be useful to explore what FSC really is, how it helps the environment and what to look out for.
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, which is an international non-profit organisation founded in 1994 with a mission to create responsible forestry. It is the only forest verification scheme endorsed by leading environmental charities like WWF, the Woodland Trust and Greenpeace.
Essentially, an FSC product is a product which uses materials like wood and/or other forest materials sourced from FSC certified forests.
FSC Certified forests mean that the product adheres to the highest environmental and social standards. Meaning that:
In essence, a FSC certified forest means that the forest is managed in an environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and in an economically viable manner.
The FSC logo is an assurance that all the products are made with, or contain, forest-based materials from FSC certified forests. This also means that the products won’t have harmed the forests, precious resources we need to protect. So far, more than 400 million hectares of forests have met the criteria, which is about 10% of the world’s working forests.
Forests provide habitat for 80% of wildlife and plants and 1.6 billion people worldwide rely on forests for shelter, their livelihoods, water, energy and food, and 750 million of those people actually live in them. They regulate our climate, clean the air, are sources for much of our drinking water and offer renewable energy sources. Put simply, life wouldn’t exist without them.
After oceans, forests are the planet’s largest store of carbon! They absorb and store almost 30% of our carbon emissions so they’re absolutely vital. However, 30 million acres of forest is lost each year (that’s an astonishing 26 football fields every minute) due to deforestation and illegal logging.
Deforestation is responsible for 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions and it’s caused by a number of agents, but the most prominent pressures are: agriculture, unsustainable forest management, illegal logging, climate change, mining, forest fires, conversion for other land use and infrastructure.
This is a global trade of products like paper and furniture that originate from illegally extracted timber. Timber that is not regulated leaves gaping holes in forests and gravely damages the livelihood of local communities. According to the WWF, this happens because local communities have very little control over their forests, leaving them vulnerable and often causing them to be exploited.
In contrast to other materials, FSC certified products protect local communities, conserve the world’s forests and prevent deforestation by putting a stop to illegal logging and unsustainable forest management.
Demanding this regulation not only guarantees ethical and sustainable practices, but ensures that forests remain forests. FSC certified forests ensure economic benefit so landowners and farmers are less likely to turn to agriculture or sell it to developers. This means that the forests can continue keeping our planet alive and healthy.
Our role in this is simple – choose FSC certified products to help the environment and protect the billions of people that rely on them.
According to Simon Counsell, Executive Director of Rainforest Foundation UK and one of the founders of FSC, the initial vision was to create an eco-labelling concept that would allow consumers to distinguish wood and paper products sourced in a sustainable and ethical manner.
There are three different types of FSC labels:
In addition to their forest certification, there is also “a chain of custody”, which is a management system that marks the path of the entire supply chain, from the forest where the material is source to the point where the product is labelled and sold. This promotes a consumer connection and means you can be absolutely sure that the product is 100% FSC certified, ensuring the process remains transparent, which is paramount in this day and age.
Although it depends on availability, the FSC say that their products will be a similar price to that of non-FSC items.
Forests have a crucial role to play and with the help of the FSC, they will continue to be protected and managed in a sustainable and ethical way. Be sure to look out for the FSC logo and choose FSC certified products where possible, like our FireUp Natural Sustainable Firelighters.
If you're looking to use FSC timber on your project contact the team at Avino who would able to discuss the project acquirements and suggest possible solutions.