Industry News

90% of timber entering the UK is certified, TTF Due Diligence Report shows

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has recently published its Annual Responsible Sourcing Report.

The report analysed data from 159 companies, covering around 76% of the total volume of timber and logs consumed in the UK in 2014. The top line findings are that little has changed in terms of the exposure to risk the UK faces when it comes to illegal logging, with around 90% of all products certified to FSC/ PEFC.

The level of certified purchases however has regressed slightly as some companies seem to now be using their due diligence systems to mitigate risk ahead of buying certified product.

A positive note is that the proportion of certified timber remained similar to previous years even though the volume of timber reported for 2014 was substantially higher. 

"The work that the TTF and its members have done in this area - renamed in 2014 as the Responsible Purchasing Process - has delivered measurable benefits to Members’ businesses and, by definition, to the timber supply chain", said outgoing TTF Chief Executive David Lennan. "Importantly, it has provided a framework for companies to provide the evidence and data to show that they are increasingly buying from sources that are more formally and at a minimum, legally managed."

Read the Due Diligence Report here.

Confor welcomes new Study Group to prevent floods in Cumbria

Confor has hailed the establishment of a new Study Group focused on how to prevent devastating floods in the North-west of England.

The Cumbrian Floods Partnership group, which is expected to publish a Cumbria Action Plan next summer, will be chaired by Floods and Forestry Minister Rory Stewart.

According to Confor Chief Executive Stuart Goodall, "the long-term strategic approach proposed by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss was the right way forward - and that tree-planting could play an important part in the discussions of the new Cumbrian Floods Partnership group."

"The report produced by Confor and Forest Research earlier this year outlined a range of ways in which tree planting can help reduce flood risks. We recognise that this is just one of a broad package of measures needed to tackle these devastating events - but it is an important part of that package, not just for those affected by the recent floods, but also for future generations", Mr Goodall added.

"The forestry and wood sector very much looks forward to contributing to these significant debates. Confor and The Woodland Trust are writing jointly to Elizabeth Truss to highlight our water management report and other research work on the contribution of tree planting to reducing flood risk."

Spanish Government approves decree to implement EUTR and FLEGT

The Spanish Council of Ministers has recently approved a royal decree aiming to ensure the legality of timber products trade.

The new standards create a framework for the implementation in Spain of two EU regulations: FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) and EUTR (European Union Timber Regulation).

Established in 2003 and based on bilateral agreements between States, FLEGT ensures that wood products entering the EU market come from sustainably managed forests.

On the other hand, EUTR, launched in 2013, aims to tackle illegal logging prohibiting to place illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market. It also forces trade companies and agents to track timber products from the origin evaluating the risk of illegal logging.

Back in October, the European Court of Auditors (the Court) openly underlined delays in the implementation of FLEGT and EUTR in four member countries: Spain, Greece, Romania and Hungary.

Stora Enso invests € 26M in pellet production and boilers efficiency

Stora Enso has announced an investment of € 16 million (£ 11.7M) to start pellet production and to renew the boiler at Ala Sawmill in Sweden.

The investment will allow the facility to turn the sawdust – a by-product at the sawmill – into pellets, a high value source for renewable energy. The integrated pellet production at the sawmill will secure manufacturing efficiency, improving at the same time cost efficiency and environmental performance of the mill. The Pellet production is estimated to start during the second quarter of 2017.

Stora Enso will also invest € 10 million (£ 7.30) to renew the boiler at its Honkalahti Sawmill in Finland aiming to boost energy savings and minimise the environmental impact of the facility.

Timber frame to account for 27% of new housing market share, says STA

According to a new report by the Structural Timber Association (STA), timber frame is expected to account for 27% of new housing by 2017.

The 'Timber Trends report', analyses the market growth of timber frame housing from 2013 and forecasts growth to 2017, showing a steady increase in house starts of ca 2% annually.

Since 2013, more than 150,000 homes have been built per year. Following the positive trend, with 184,605 (+3%) new housing starts expected in 2017, the market share of timber frame could eventually rise to 27%. 

“The advantages of high quality, quickly built timber frame homes and commercial buildings have become increasingly recognised by a wider audience, not least by the government where the benefits that timber frame provides will help meet new home building targets,” said Andrew Carpenter, Chief executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA). “These benefits are increasingly enjoyed by construction companies, as recently confirmed by the adoption of timber frame as a mainstream method by Barratt Developments plc and with similar large scale operations also in the process of turning to structural timber solutions.”

“Approximately 40% more detached timber frame homes were built in England in 2014 than in 2013. As the trend continues to make progress in the private housing sector, now is the ideal time for structural timber companies to take advantage of the vast number of opportunities available to them", concluded Mr Carpenter.