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Environment : Timber Sourcing
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Timber Purchasing


Timbmet's position a major supplier of timber products in the UK brings with it great responsibility. We are rigorous in our approach to environmental responsibility and demanding in our expectations of others.

Illegal logging and / or poor forest management pose a huge threat to the sustainability of forests, the survival of their eco-systems and the economy of producer countries. These practices, which include over-harvesting, non-payment of taxes, theft or environmental damage presents a major problem to the legitimate timber industry by damaging its reputation and depressing prices.
We support the introduction of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) which became law in March 2013. This is designed to tackle the problem of illegal logging in country of origin by legally requiring timber companies to implement a robust due-diligence system to screen out imports of illegal timber into the EU. We have already been audited by the National Measurement Office who are responsible for implementing the regulation in the UK, and continue to be audited annually by the Timber Trade Federation to ensure compliance with their Responsible Purchasing Process.
Timbmet is also once again a member of the Timber Trade Federation and has signed up to their Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP) which goes a step further than the EUTR; requiring signatories to work proactively towards full sustainable as well as legal sourcing.
We try to ensure all our products are legally and increasingly also sustainably sourced. We have operated an internal Purchase Risk Assessment System since 2006 which is well placed to meet the requirement of both the EUTR and the RPP. Over 65% by volume of all our purchases are already independently certified and the remainder are predominately from Low Risk sources.

Independent Certification

There are a number of independent certification schemes which operate throughout the world, working to various standards. In the UK, the two most important are the FSC and the PEFC. The FSC® operates worldwide, while the PEFC, being an umbrella scheme, is increasingly being also used as a brand to promote timber certified originally by national organisations such as CSA, SFI and MTCS.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (USA) (SFI)
Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS)
On recommendation from the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET), the UK Government currently accepts that timber products certified to any of the above schemes provide adequate assurance that the source is legal and sustainable.

Verified Progress

In tropical regions, to augment the relatively small but growing number of sources of FSC timber we are supporting timber producers who are working to achieve FSC certification by offering a range of timbers which have been independently confirmed to be:
  • traceable from forest source to Timbmet
  • from legally harvested forests
  • from forests where management practices are actively improving to achieve credible certification (with FSC as the target certification scheme)
Assurance of adequate progress in working towards FSC certification is achieved through certification support programmes which are operated by WWF/GFTN, Tropical Forest Trust and SGS's Certification Support Program.
The credibility of our Verified Progress timber is independently guaranteed through certification of Timbmet to BM TRADA’s ‘Forest Products Chain of Custody’ standard (registration code BMT-COC-0001).

Timbmet’s Purchasing Risk Assessment System

We run each purchase through our Timber Purchasing Risk Assessment System and award a risk rating (from None to Very High) based on:
  • Country of origin of the timber
  • Species of the timber
  • The original producer of the timber
  • Any accompanying independent certification or legal verification
These risk ratings - which were originally set for us by an external consultancy - combined with the volume of each purchase allows us to calculate a 'Risk Footprint' for each one. Our average Risk Footprint per m3 of timber purchased has halved since 2008, reflecting steady improvements in our purchasing, increasing availability of certified products and the quality of information available in the supply chains.
For further information on the system, please contact us.

Downloads: Environmental Policy

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