Ensuring we operate a truly transparent and sustainable supply is core to our business at Forest to Home. This means we only buy timber from suppliers and forests that are licensed or certified by Grown in Britain (GIB), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
We’re well aware that to anyone outside of the timber and construction market, these acronyms won’t mean much. So, we’ve created this handy explainer to break down the detail and provide a short overview of these three schemes.
Grown in Britain (GIB) works at every stage of the forest product supply chain to support the use of UK timber. The scheme applies to all tree species, all types of woodland and all forest products.
We are extremely proud to hold a Grown in Britain Chain of Custody Certificate. This certification confirms our commitment to full transparency in our supply chain and provides validation of the origin of the timber we use.
GIB certification provides entire supply chain assurance. The standard behind the scheme identifies traceability and management control systems, to ensure certificate holders are able to provide information on:
Crucially, only the Grown in Britain logo guarantees timber has been grown legally in the UK, in accordance with the UK Government Timber Procurement Policy and conforming to the UK Forestry Standard.
The four key traceability elements for eligibility are:
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC system allows businesses and consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources.
So, how does the FSC system work? Forests are inspected and certified against strict standards based on FSC’s 10 Principles of Forest Stewardship. These inspections are undertaken by independent organisations, such as the Soil Association, that are accredited by the FSC. In order to be given FSC certification a forest must be managed in an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable manner. Forests that meet these strict standards are given FSC certification and the timber allowed to carry the FSC label.
In addition to forest certification, the FSC system includes a certified chain of custody that tracks the timber through every stage in the supply chain from the forest to the final user. This is monitored through the invoicing process and the final label on the product has a code that confirms that the item is genuinely FSC.
FSC is the only forest certification scheme endorsed by the major environment charities including WWF, Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust.
PEFC is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification.
PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. PEFC’s distinctive ‘green trees’ logo make it a truly global brand and means customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests.
PEFC has recognised certification systems in 51 countries. Together these account for over 311 million hectares of certified forests, making PEFC the world’s largest forest and wood product certification system.
The PEFC logo and label on a product communicates – in a clear, concise and transparent manner – that timber and wood-based products have been responsibly sourced.