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Wood You Know What To Look For?

Date: 26-May-10

Forests supply wood, but they also provide us with oxygen, soil protection, beauty, conservation of biodiversity and much more. To protect these valuable environments and assure consumers of the origin of timber and wood, various labels and independent certification have been introduced.

The two key certifications are;

  1. Forest certification
  2. Product certification (CoC)

Forest certification

Forest certification seeks to verify that a forest is being managed and harvested in a legal and environmentally, economically and socially sustainable manner. Most timber production forests in Australia are certified under the Australian Forestry Certification Scheme (AFCS). This is an Australian specific standard, which is an internationally recognised and third party certified. Some forests and plantations are certified against the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and some are certified under both.

Product Certification

Product certification is the link between the producer and the end consumer. Known as Chain of Custody (CoC) certification for wood and timber products, this tracks a wood product from its origin in a certified forest through transportation, processing, manufacturing to its end use as a wood product - maybe a desk, cupboard or outdoor furniture. Each party in the supply chain needs to be certified to assure consumers that the wood products they buy are sourced from a certified forest. Chain of custody certification in Australia is available through both the AFCS and the FSC.

Where to Buy

If your looking to buy certified wood products, like an outdoor setting for the garden or directors chair for the deck, check out stockists like Bunnings. They have a strict timber procurement policy and over 40 per cent of their timber products are certified through third party schemes.

Or if you're in the market for timber flooring, cladding, posts or beams, then try The Woodage Australia’s first accredited timber supplier with a large range to choose from.

Search the online directory in Greenpeace's Good Wood Guide for additional local stores and suppliers.

So next time you buy timber or wood, don't just check for termites, check for these labels to keep our forests healthy.


More Info and Actions

  • Check out the Good Wood Guide (http://www.goodwoodguide.org./index.php) for a whole lot more info on "good wood" including verified recycled wood, and other "2nd choice woods" like bamboo.
  • Join in National Tree Day to take action to support urban or bushland regeneration, habitats for native animals, biodiversity projects or more. Visit treeday.planetark.org to get involved.  
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