A New Approach To Sustainable Hardwood Certification


File size: 104 kb

Answer Sheet

File size: 103 kb

As it stands, assessing the sustainability of forest products generally involves checking whether they carry a certified forest label. While this is a sound course of action and those taking it can be sure that the products carrying these labels are sustainably sourced, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

The problem is that the assessment methods these certifiers use are limited. They can’t easily be applied to all products, such as American Hardwoods (grown in the US). The fragmented nature of management units and supply chains in the US makes assessment difficult, and means a lot of timber products that are sustainably sourced remain uncertified.

The good news, for specifiers and consumers alike, is that new methods of certification – which are able to accurately assess these products – are emerging.

In this session, we identify and examine these new certification schemes. Our speakers outline a new approach and discuss its merits with reference to existing schemes.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Identify the various certifications associated with timber products and sustainability.
  • Outline the means by which these forest certifications assess timber products.
  • Explain why forest certification of this type is of limited value when it comes to assessing U.S Hardwoods.
  • Identify emerging ways of assessing and certifying timber products.
  • Outline the advantages of these new approaches.


Rupert Oliver – Forest Industries Intelligence LTD, Independent Timber Consultant

Rupert Oliver has 30 years’ experience working in the international timber trade and industry and is the Director of Forest Industries Intelligence Limited, a UK-based consultancy working on forest industry market intelligence and trade analysis; marketing and promotion; international trade issues; forest policy and sustainability; life cycle assessment and other environmental issues. He is regularly consulted by international and national agencies on timber market developments. He has a BA in Geography from Oxford University and an MSc in Forest Business Administration from Aberdeen University.

George White – Independent Consultant & Director, Sustainable Wood LTD

George White, currently independent consultant working with AHEC on development of new sustainability verification procedures, formerly Global Timber Forum Director (responsible for Projects, Oversight & Governance), and former Head of WWF Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN – working in more than 30 countries with over 300 companies to develop FSC certification of the forests they manage or to apply a stepwise approach to responsible sourcing of forest products), before that environmental sourcing specialist for leading UK retailer Sainsbury’s, developing and implementing responsible sourcing.

Presented By:


Presention Type:

Formal CPD

CPD Points:

1 Formal CPD Point