Corporate and public sector procurement policies are increasingly seeking to ensure that timber and virgin fibre originates from legal and sustainable sources.
One of the simplest and straightforward ways to demonstrate that the virgin fibre comes from responsibly managed forests, is to source from those that have been independently certified against a credible forest management certification scheme such as PEFC.
Demand for sustainably produced goods is growing across the globe. With climate change and environmental concerns ever-present, everyone is wanting assurances regarding the provenance of the products they buy and their environmental credentials.
Consumers are now far better informed and knowledgeable about their purchasing decisions and how they affect the environment.
Companies are also increasingly keen to demonstrate their commitment to responsible sourcing of paper and packaging products by developing responsible paper procurement policies which recognise both recycled and certified virgin fibre.
Corporate social responsibility reporting is now an everyday management process while financial institutions are recognising that shareholder value is protected through greener procurement policies.
Central and Local government increasingly realise that sustainability and corporate social responsibility in procurement is a key responsibility and an important element in forward-looking policies and activities. It is an integral part of the role of the public sector to contribute to the aspirations of their constituency and to meet their needs within the limits of our planet.
Estimates suggest that public sector accounts for up to 30% of all timber imports. Public sector procurement therefore has a highly influential role to play in incentivising changes in forest management around the globe.
The mix of purchasing power and leadership that drives the sustainable production of goods means that local government and public institutions can send the right signals to the marketplace and positively influence private sector behaviour and private procurement decisions. The direct and indirect impacts of sustainable procurement decisions by the public sector cannot be overestimated.
The public sector is well positioned to behave as a role model and set an example for sustainable behaviour and thereby substantially impact the conduct of the private sector and consumers.
Increasingly both public and private sector procurement policies specify certified timber.
• PEFC-certified timber is approved by the UK Government’s Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) procurement policy for wood-based products as well as the EU model purchasing policy for wood-based products
• Build UK, representing over 30 leading contractors operating in the UK construction market, requires all timber products purchased for temporary or permanent use on UKCG member sites to be certified as legally and sustainably sourced as defined by CPET. This includes PEFC its endorsed schemes including Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
• PEFC-certified timber helps meet SAP targets and PassivHaus performance levels and certified joinery products including doors, windows and insulated panels will play a major part in the UK Government’s Green Deal retrofit programme
• Using PEFC-certified timber helps achieve Excellent and Outstanding BREEAM ratings and helps meet SAP targets and Passivhaus performance levels. It plays a pivotal role in satisfying the requirements of Part L and Part E of the Building Regulations
- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) rewards building projects that use: “wood products from certified sources as defined by ASTM D7612-10”. This includes internationally recognised voluntary forest certification standards such as PEFC’s. The ACP applies to all LEED v4 rating systems including Homes v4 asnd to all LEED 2009 ratings.
• PEFC-certified timber is a central component of the Ska environmental performance standard. This tool measures fit-out projects in the context of raised sustainability concerns across the corporate agenda and consists of 104 individual ‘good-practice’ measures including certified timber, energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions
• PEFC-certified timber is accepted in green building procurement schemes around the globe including the National Green Building Standard and Green Building Initiative in the US, Built Green in Canada, CASBEE in Japan and the Singapore Environment Council.
PEFC provides a range of brochures and guidance for the sector:
Sample Wood Products Procurement Policy
PEFC: Your Assurance of Responsible Sourcing
Why Labels Matter: The Business Case For Using the PEFC Label
Sustainable Timber: A Guide to Procurement for the Public Sector