Why do we need to protect this natural resource and what do organisations like the FSC do to make their approval of timbers so valuable to a sustainable timber building?
- Trees reduce air pollution by intercepting airborne particulates and by absorbing gaseous pollutants such as Carbon Dioxide.
- Trees and their symbionts can breakdown pesticides and carcinogenic groundwater contaminants, such as atrazine and trichloreoethelene, into harmless compounds. In fact trees are now being planted on landfill caps to help reduce pollutants while improving the environment.
- Trees reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through absobtion and improve air quality by giving out Oxygen
- Tree roots secure soil preventing wind and water erosion. Trees increase soil permeability resulting reduced storm runoff and sedimentation of streams.
- Trees provide shade, food and habitat to numerous animal species on which the whole eco-system depends.
It is because of the high value of these trees that we must ensure any tree felled is replaced. This is checked and approved by the International bodies FSC or PEFC so timbers can be certified by a Chain of Custody Certificate where required. In order to gain FSC approval forests must adhere to the following criteria;
- The trees that are harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally.
- Parts of the forest are protected entirely, in order to protect rare animals and plants.
- FSC protects the rights of indigenous people to use the forest. If they have sacred sites in the forest these are exempt from felling.
- The forest owner must use local workers to run the forest, and provide training, safety equipment and a decent salary. The forest owner is often obliged to support the community in other ways, such as through the development of schools.
- FSC is a market-based initiative which also ensures better conditions for the forest and the people whose livelihoods depend on it
- FSC gives an assurance that future generations will be able to enjoy the benefits of the forest.
- All the wood is tracked from the forest to the store. Every link between the forest and the consumer is certified to make it clearly identifiable which wood is FSC certified and which is not.
- FSC is the only wood certification scheme endorsed by the major environmental charities, including WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust.
Cabinco are approved by both the FSC and PEFC for having adequate systems in place to provide Chain of Custody on any timbers. However, because of the stringent requirements to obtain this certification any requirement must be made clear at the point of quotation so we can ensure the entire chain is able to provide certification.
Information taken in part from http://www.fsc-uk.org/?page_id=11