In today’s world, it is becoming more and more important for people to understand and make informed choices when it comes to the environmental impact of their decisions.
The principles of sustainability are economic, social and environmental, or, colloquially – profit, people and planet. To most, sustainability is renewable fuel choices, reducing carbon emissions and protecting environments.
Wood is considered the construction material that offers the most in environmental benefits. It is renewable, non-toxic biodegradable and recyclable. But for its advantages, wood comes from trees, and forests the world over are facing threats from multiple directions.
Deforestation is the most apparent threat to forests. Primarily driven by the agricultural industry, the UN estimates that in 2018 alone, 30 million acres of forest was cleared. The estimate is that it would require over 1000 years for some of the tropical forests to recover and recreate their biodiversity, however, for some, it is simply too late, and extinction of the species was the result of deforestation.
Climate change is one of the most significant challenges we are currently facing, but we aren’t alone. Forests are vulnerable to changing climate conditions, and while forests can adapt to the evolving conditions, this process is slow and requires time that the climate changes may not allow, leading to loss of the forest and the biodiversity it supports.
Natural disasters and disturbances are combining with climate change to increase the threats to forests. Invasive plant and insect species are taking advantage of the warmer winters, and more protracted drought spells to attack forests. Longer dry spells also increase the risk of fire. While fire is a natural part of forest ecosystems, the drier spells can cause a more intense wildfire, meaning that many forests may not be able to recover.
So what can be done?
To increase the resilience of the forests, helping them adapt to climate change impacts and the other threats they face, a program of sustainable forest management can make a significant difference. These forestry management schemes are offered by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Sustainable forest management concerns the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a manner and rate that mains biodiversity, regeneration capacity, productivity and vitality now and in the future.
Sustainable timber is not just timber from trees that are replaced once harvested. It is also ensuring that no ecological damage happens to the natural flora and fauna of the area during the harvesting.
How can a company whose main products are made from harvested trees achieve sustainability?
ETS has been, from the earliest point, aware of necessity in considering the impact the business has on the environment. As a consequence, ETS set out to achieve Chain of Custody certification under the PEFC and FSC schemes which are internationally recognised standards.
By achieving and maintaining Chain of Custody certification, ETS can be sure that independent annual verification has confirmed that the timber used in manufacture is a product that originates from sustainably managed forests and that our sourcing for timber is legal and sustainable.
By only purchasing and stocking certified timber ETS is ensuring that our business is doing its part to protect the forests. Any customer of ours, may at any time, request a copy of our Chain of Custody certification as evidence that our timber comes from sustainable sources and conforms to the internationally recognised standard.