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The Importance of Sourcing Sustainable Wood Products

22 April 2017


Sourcing Sustainable Wood Products - Harrow Fencing

In the modern age, with global warming and climate change becoming an ever more pressing issue, the importance of sourcing sustainable wood products has never been more crucial. That’s because failure to use sustainable supplies of raw materials will see accelerated climate change and the global temperature rise.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can do your bit to help slow down and limit the extent of climate change by making even the smallest changes, such as ensuring you only purchase fencing sourced from sustainable wood products.

What Is Considered a Sustainable Wood Product?

Any wood sourced from sustainably managed forests is considered sustainable. It is renewable because the forest is constantly monitored to ensure damage to the ecosystem and wildlife is prevented, both over the long and short term.

The added benefit of maintaining the forest, encouraging trees to grow in place of all that are harvested, is that it will continue to soak up carbon emissions for generations to come. As such, it will prove invaluable in keeping our air clean and keeping the rise in global temperatures to a minimum.

Why It’s Important to Use Sustainable Wood

But a lot of the wood on the global market is unfortunately unsustainable. That’s because it’s sourced through illegal channels and harvested trees aren’t replaced. This is how deforestation occurs.

Buying unsustainable wood has dire repercussions for the immediate forest environment and the world at large. Deforestation and unsustainable logging results in:

  • Increased emissions and pollution
  • Human rights abuses
  • Rare species becoming endangered
  • Rich lands becoming barren

Currently, only 8% of the planet’s forests are adequately protected from destruction, which is why it’s extremely important for you to take extra care when purchasing wood products to ensure you’re buying sustainable wood.

Which Woods Are Most Sustainable?

There are two types of timber: softwood and hardwood. Hardwoods take far longer than softwoods to grow, so softwoods like pine and fir are generally considered more sustainable than hardwoods like mahogany, beech and oak.

That isn’t to say that hardwoods are never classed as sustainable. With the right care, an oak forest can be classed as sustainable, but it is harder to achieve than with a pine forest. If you’re purchasing oak, you must take greater care to ensure it’s from a sustainable source.

Look Out for the FSC Logo

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests. Their logo features a tick that flows into the shape of a tree, and this is stamped on any wood products that are sourced from a sustainable forest.

To ensure you only buy sustainable wood, you should always look out for the FSC’s official certification. Their internationally recognised standards provide complete assurance that you’re purchasing from sustainable sources, and thereby protecting the planet’s forests for future generations.

It’s also worth noting that although the product may claim it’s made from wood harvested in the EU, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s from a sustainable source. True, the EU has passed extensive laws protecting forests across the union and continent, with particular focus given to replanting more trees than are harvested, but some unsustainable sourcing still exists. Remember to look out for the FSC logo no matter where the wood is from.

Harrow Fencing offer a wide range of commercial and domestic fencing and gating supplies, with a particular emphasis on supplying high quality sustainable products. Operating in the Harrow and Hillingdon area, we are one of London’s largest fencing stockists and our extensive range is beaten only by our friendly service. For more information about our products and services, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

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