Industry News

Exova BM TRADA’s FSC Accreditation Suspended

Starting from 15 April 2016 the Accreditation Services International (ASI) has suspended certification body Exova (UK) Ltd, trading as Exova BM TRADA, from issuing FSC chain of custody (CoC) certificates worldwide.

As of this date, Exova BM TRADA is not permitted to sign new certification contracts, perform initial certification audits, or issue new FSC CoC certificates worldwide. 

The suspension is a result of occurrences of nonconformities with the ASI accreditation procedure and can be enforced for a maximum of six months.

FSC certificates issued by Exova BM TRADA remain valid during the suspension. Exova BM TRADA can continue to perform FSC surveillance and re-certification audits.

For more information please contact ASI at [email protected].

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/exova-bm-trada%E2%80%99s-fsc-accreditation-suspended]

North American wood pellet exports hit record high in 2015

North American wood pellet exports have reached record high in 2015 according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR).

The exports increased for the third consecutive quarter in the 4Q/15, rising seven percent from the previous quarter to just over 1.7 million tons. The total for the year was 6.1 million tons, two percent higher than in 2014 and almost four times as much as in 2010.

US overseas pellet exports are all heading to European markets, principally to the UK, from the industrial pellet sector in the Southern States. The volume exported in the 4Q/15 climbed to a new record-high, with all of the increase coming from the export pellet plants in the US Gulf Coast region.

In particular German Pellets in Louisiana, Drax Biomass’s two new plants in Louisiana and Mississippi, and Zilkha Biomass Energy in Alabama all continued their ramp up of their operations. Primarily due to these new facilities, exports from the Gulf Ports rose by almost 70 percent from the 2Q/15 to the 4Q/15. Nonetheless, during the Q1/16, shipments to Europe from the US South have fallen (most likely a temporary pause) because of lower demand in Europe with the continent having an unusually warm winter.

Regarding Canadian pellet exports, the wares flow primarily to Japan with a much smaller volume finding its way to South Korea. China remains a tantalizing but unrealized market prospect. While South Korea is still concentrating on less expensive material from its neighbors to the south, principally Vietnam, Japan continues to show immediate and longer-term potential as a pellet and biomass consumer due to government policies that encourage growth of its renewable energy component of production.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/north-american-wood-pellet-exports-hit-record-high-2015]

INTERPOL launches new 'Ecomessage' system to fight environmental crimes

INTERPOL, the international organisation connecting police forces worldwide, has recently published new guidelines to track and tackle forest-related crimes more effectively.

The guidelines - downloadable here - describe the types of information that are most valuable to law enforcement agencies. They provide a standardised format – the 'Ecomessage' – that anyone can use to report illegal logging, timber smuggling, illicit trade or importing companies in the EU failing to comply with their EUTR due diligence obligations.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact their national law enforcement agency (police, customs or environmental government agencies) if they wish to provide sensitive information and help in investigations, using the Ecomessage system.

"The 'Ecomessage' enables both INTERPOL and national decision-makers to proactively identify high-risk areas and persons and to devise tailored activities and operations in response. This vital step towards effective intelligence-led policing is the comprehensive collection of data from our member countries across the world, in order to enable a truly global analysis of environmental crime", said the INTERPOL.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/interpol-launches-new-ecomessage-system-fight-environmental-crimes]

EURO 2016 tickets will be FSC certified

UEFA – the governing body of European football – and EURO 2016 SAS – the company responsible for the operational aspects of the tournament – have unveiled the official EURO 2016 tickets. They are made of FSC-certified paper, and their design includes an FSC label.

UEFA has also announced to use FSC-certified paper for the production of accompanying letters and envelopes, and for the tickets of other selected football matches this year, such as the UEFA Champions League Final, the Europa League Final 2016, and the Super Cup 2016.

“During the last few years, the uptake of FSC-certified materials and products in sports events has increased. As the awareness of sustainability and social responsibility increase, this is also reflected in the sectors in which paper, wood and other forest products are used. For example at the London Olympics, more than two thirds of the wood used to build the Olympic Park was FSC certified,” commented Marcelle Peuckert, Business Development Director at FSC International.

"We welcome this trend and encourage sports governing bodies to require materials that are of responsible origin. It is great to see that FSC-certified products can play a role in securing the environmental responsibility of an event such as EURO 2016.”

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/euro-2016-tickets-will-be-fsc-certified]

US Senators propose bill to push research in timber construction

A bipartisan group of American Senators has presented a new bill to US Congress aimed to boost research and development of timber in construction.

In details, the so called 'Timber Innovation Act' would incentivise design and realisation of timber buildings above 85 feet in height or roughly seven or more stories across the United States. 

The bill would also create federal grants to support state, local, university and private sector education, outreach, research and development, including education and assistance for architects and builders that will accelerate the use of wood in tall buildings.

Finally the 'Timber Innovation Act' would implement a program of education and technical assistance for mass timber applications through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state foresters and state extension directors.

The American Wood Council (AWC)American Forest Foundation (AFF)Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) have publicly expressed their support for the bill.

AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski said: “Advancing the construction of tall wood buildings will help lower the cost of building construction and reduce reliance on fossil fuel-intensive materials. This in turn helps avoid production of greenhouse gases that would have otherwise been emitted during manufacture of alternative products. Tall wood building construction will also support jobs in areas of rural America that have yet to recover from the recession. Given the many national benefits that would occur as a result of bill’s passage, the United States has an opportunity to accelerate and lead in the adoption of tall wood buildings and significantly expand markets for wood products."

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/us-senators-propose-bill-push-research-timber-construction]

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