FSC Friday- Don't Break the Chain
Charlie Law • 27 Sep 2013 • Sourcing responsibly
Using certified timber is one of the best ways to make sure timber is sustainably logged, ensuring the security of our global forests for future generations – a fact that we are reminded of today, on FSC Friday. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies forests all over the world to ensure they meet the highest environmental and social standards.
But using certified timber is easier said than done, as it relies on a chain of custody. This means specific details need to be on delivery documents provided by our supply chain, to prove that the timber is certified as legal and sustainable.
BAM has been a supporter of the FSC since 2003, when we set out our commitment to only procure timber and wood based products from certified legal and sustainable chain of custody sources.
Since then we have continually increased the proportion of certified timber used on our projects. So far this year, BAM projects have used around 1,900m3 of FSC certified timber, with over 8,000m3 of FSC certified timber used since we started recording delivered quantities in 2011.
Although this shows good progress towards our responsible sourcing 2015 targets, a broken chain of custody is a common issue in the construction industry. This occurs when the timber from certified forests is only tracked through part of the chain.
The vast majority of timber merchants now have chain of custody certification to sell FSC (and/or PEFC, a similar timber certification) products. However, the good intentions of contractors are too often thwarted by supply chain members who are not certified and therefore break the chain of custody before it is brought to our project gates. This means there is no guarantee that the timber is sustainable and legal.
To help overcome this issue, BAM and other major contractors, have been working with the Supply Chain Sustainability School and TRADA to deliver training to our trade contractors, to help them understand the process and encouraging our timber supply chain partners to gain certification.
By raising awareness of the broken chain issues, all timber and wood based products will be delivered to site with full chain of custody in the not too distant future. So we can guarantee that all of our timber comes from one of the 426 million hectares of forest certified worldwide (FSC 183 ha, PEFC 243 ha), and keep the forests well-managed for future generations through resource efficiency.
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