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New approaches with the same grand material: Sustainable hardwood certification

Produced by AHEC

New approaches with the same grand material: Sustainable hardwood certification

Session Synopsis

As it stands, assessing the sustainability of forest products generally involves checking whether they carry a certified forest label. While this is a sound course of action and those taking it can be sure that the products carrying these labels are sustainably sourced, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

The problem is that the assessment methods these certifiers use are limited. They can’t easily be applied to all products, such as American Hardwoods (grown in the US). The fragmented nature of management units and supply chains in the US makes assessment difficult, and means a lot of timber products that are sustainably sourced remain uncertified.

The good news, for specifiers and consumers alike, is that new methods of certification – which are able to accurately assess these products – are emerging.

In this session, we identify and examine these new certification schemes. Our speakers outline a new approach and discuss its merits with reference to existing schemes.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify the various certifications associated with timber products and sustainability.
  • Outline the means by which these forest certifications assess timber products.
  • Explain why forest certification of this type is of limited value when it comes to assessing U.S Hardwoods.
  • Identify emerging ways of assessing and certifying timber products.
  • Outline the advantages of these new approaches.

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