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Timber Certification in Australia

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Sourcing sustainable timber is an important step in the manufacture of timber products. As we become more aware of our impact on the environment the responsibility is on businesses to ensure they are making the right choices and taking steps to protect our environment.

What is sustainable timber?

Sustainable timber refers to timber that has been harvested responsibly. This necessitates that when one tree is cut down to be used, another is planted to replace it. However, Sustainable Forestry means more than just replacing trees as they are harvested – it also involves ensuring that there is no ecological damage to the surrounding environment or its native flora and fauna.

When selecting timber, one of your first questions should be, ‘Has this timber come from an Australian certified sustainable forest?’ The two largest internationally recognised forest certifications schemes are PEFC (called Responsible Wood in Australia) and FSC. In Australia these are the two main certification schemes.

While certification is not mandatory, the market is more often choosing certified timber over other products. Regardless of which scheme timber is certified under, there has been a huge amount of effort by forest managers and the processors to obtain the certification so that consumers can be confident in their choice of sustainable timber.

PEFC / Responsible Wood: The Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental, umbrella organization dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification. It works by endorsing national forest certification systems and tailoring them to local priorities and conditions. Also known as Responsible Wood in Australia.

PEFC maintains comprehensive databases to ensure easy access to relevant information about certificate holders. You can search the database here.

FSC: This uses internationally agreed Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Principles of Responsible Forest Management to issue a certificate for any forestry operation that meets their requirements. This means FSC certified forests are healthy, and benefit local communities as well as providing jobs for workers. FSC certification tracks the wood from the forest to the shelf.

Use the FSC Certified Directory to search for FSC certified companies or products or verify that a company holds a valid FSC certification.

What’s the difference between PEFC and FSC?

While these two accreditations hold slight differences, auditors from both PEFC and FSC are looking at a range of similar aspects to prove a forest is sustainably managed. The two certifications almost mirror one another, but have minor differences in areas of stakeholder engagement and conservation values.

The most responsible choice is to buy local. When you buy local the timber is from a nearby forest and not being transported across the world, creating a smaller carbon footprint.

Where do we source our timber from?

Our timber panel manufacturer, Wellington Architectural, sources all of their timber for from two suppliers, Timberwood Panels and Timbeck Architectural.

Timberwood Panels is certified to FSC® (Forestry Stewardship Council) Standards and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). Responsible forestry and use of forest resources, waste minimisation and pollution prevention are the principles underpinning Timberwood Panel’s environmental policy. Timberwood Panels is certified to maintain the chain of custody in the manufacturing of FSC® certified products and are committed to managing their entire operations in an environmentally responsible manner to ensure the protection of the environment for this and future generations.

Timbeck Architectural has formalised its commitment to sustainability with FSC® Chain of Custody certification. Timbeck’s total production is from sustainable sources, their company and staff are committed to the environmental and sustainability credentials emanating from the forests where their resources originate and are proud to be part of the chain which enables Certified Timber to be enjoyed by all.


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