Timber cladding has a low carbon footprint compared to other construction materials. For example, the cement industry is one of two primary produces of carbon dioxide, contributing up to 5% of worldwide emissions.
Benchmark Timber fully backs the new legislation summarised below. Customers will in future be fully confident any timber they buy is sustainable.
A new EU timber regulation will be in introduced in March 2013. Any wood products sold in the EU must come from legal sources with proven details of any environmental impact. Operators placing timber and timber products for the first time on the internal market should take the appropriate steps in order to ascertain that illegally harvested timber and timber products derived from such timber are not placed on the internal market. To that end, operators should exercise due diligence through a system of measures and procedures to minimise the risk of placing illegally harvested timber and timber products derived from such timber on the internal market.
Importers may be liable to criminal prosecution if found to have placed or be placing illegal timber on the market. Penalties will be proportionate to the crime and may include imprisonment.
Companies that are not placing products on the EU Market for the first time must ensure they have systems in place to be able to trace timber purchases to sales. Such systems will allow enforcement agencies to establish the source of entry into the EU of any illegal timber found down the supply chain and therefore instigate any criminal proceedings against the relevant operator. Traders are obliged to keep records for 5 years of their suppliers and buyers
Only FLEGT and CITES licensed timber will be recognised as legal timber under EUTR, everything else will have to have gone through a system of Due Diligence.
Certified products (FSC, PEFC, etc) should be regarded as lower risk. The key area for concern for certified timber is the increase, in recent years of the number of fraudulent claims under certification schemes and therefore due diligence for such products should focus on verifying the authenticity of claims
Take care when buying tropical hardwoods:
Illegal and unsustainable logging threatens forests and livelihoods in countries like Indonesia and in the Congo Basin. But you should not avoid buying products made from tropical timber – if it’s managed responsibly, timber can provide a sustainable income for communities who can keep the forests healthy for future generations and wildlife. You just need to make sure what you buy has been sourced responsibly.