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whom they have purchased timber and to whom they have supplied it. PEFC chain of custody meets these requirements. The EUTR applies to the whole range of timber and wood-based products, including solid timber, plywood and board products, furniture, pulp and paper. PEFC is committed to collaborating with the European Commission, to ensure the EUTR becomes an effective legislative measure which contributes to combating illegal logging while facilitating trade in legal and sustainable wood products.


Transparent and Traceable It is critical to prove that the timber used on your project is sustainably and legally sourced. Third-party certification is one of a few existing tools that can deliver assurances of legality and sustainability measured against robust forest standards and chain of custody documentation. Chain of custody documentation proves that each step of the supply chain has been monitored closely with independent auditing and is the key mechanism for tracing certified material from the forest to the construction site. This unbroken link is transparent proof the timber used is sourced from a legally managed and certified forest.


As the world’s largest sustainable forest management certification scheme, PEFC is in the perfect position to help everyone become more aware of the demands of the increasingly environmentally-aware customer base and what can be done to maximise assurances of sustainability and prove responsible purchasing power. Understanding chain of custody and what timber certification means is essential knowledge to anyone working in the timber industry but it is often seen as the domain of large timber merchants and larger building contractors. It is not always a straightforward process for small contractors or sub-contractors to prove a verifiably certified supply chain. Often smaller firms will not have implemented and been certified for their own chain of custody. This may be frustrating for main contractors and larger construction firms as the chain of custody has been broken and the timber products will not be counted as certified. This problem can be solved.


Developed in 2007 by PEFC UK in co-operation with the PEFC Council and the PEFC Council Chain of Custody Working Group, a project level of certification is available and covers any specifically defined scheme where PEFC- certified timber, wood products or recycled


timber material has been used. Using this method, the sub-contractor does not necessarily need to be certified, although they will need to supply evidence to the project manager or main contractor that they have procured their timber from PEFC-certified sources. This is usually done via delivery documentation.


It is important to remember that the award of this form of certification is very specific and is valid for a particular time and project, rather than for the more familiar on-going chain of custody for PEFC-certified products or material. Project certification enables a business to attain the highest level of certification available, giving the chosen project added environmental value and a ‘solid green’ reputation.


The process behind project certification is also a clearly defined one. It can be applied to virtually any construction concept where timber has been used (or is intending to be used) in any kind of building application. This can include newbuild to retrofit schemes, from timber frame to glulam beams, to flooring, roofing or interior elements such as skirting, architraves and designer panelling. With project certification, the specific project is considered to be the ‘product’ to which the chain of custody process is applied. The claim is based on the total input of PEFC- certified raw material as a percentage of the whole project and enables businesses to make a single claim regarding the timber products or group of products used.


The timber sector and wider construction industry are both experiencing major changes, being fuelled by the delicate economy and reduced budgets, but the adoption of a sensible sustainability and green building ethos will reap huge benefits in the future. The economy will make an inevitable upswing and the construction industry will follow suit with building schemes adopting a fresh vigour. It is here where the purchase and supply of eco-materials will be viewed as industry normality not an expensive luxury.


You can learn more about chain of custody and project certification at the exclusive PEFC and BM TRADA Chain of Custody Workshop during Timber Expo. This interactive event is designed to help attendees fully understand the PEFC programme and the importance of chain of custody certification for anyone manufacturing, trading or procuring timber products. Speakers will include Peter Latham, Chairman PEFC UK, Alun Watkins, National Secretary, PEFC UK and Alasdair McGregor from BM TRADA.


The workshop will be held during Timber Expo at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Tuesday 27 September 2011 from 1pm to 3pm.


PEFC-certified timber offers the widest choice of sustainable timber available to the construction sector, including Western Red Cedar, European Larch, Douglas Fir, European Redwood, Beech, Cherry, European Oak, American White Oak, American White Ash, Finnish Spruce and Birch with Dark Red Meranti, Majau, Mersawa, Merawan and Gerutu for windows and Balau, Red Balau, Kempas and Keruing for decking.


PEFC will be available throughout Timber Expo on Stand 01-A2 to meet and discuss any issues surrounding forestry certification and sustainable timber.


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