Forests are one of planet earth’s most valuable resources with their timber providing us with calm, aesthetically pleasing spaces to live, work and play. Sustainably sourced timber allows us to enjoy the aesthetic, structural and renewable advantages of timber with a clear conscience regarding forestry practices.
For forests to continue providing us with timber, we must treat them sustainably. We remain conscious of our environmental impact and offer sustainable timber options complete with certification from several stewardship programs.
Sustainable Forestry and Selective Logging
From a purely ecological perspective, sustainable forestry is the extent to which forestry practices mimic natural patterns of disturbance and regeneration. Balancing the needs of the environment, wildlife and forest communities while conserving our forests for future generations. This helps ensure minimal ecological disruption to the environment and delicate native flora and fauna.
A common sustainability practice is selective logging. This involves strategically picking which trees are cut down. It can mean cutting older trees (ones that are of the right size to be harvested) but leaving younger ones to grow, cutting only the unhealthy trees or cutting down trees in dense areas and leaving trees untouched in sparse areas. The goal is to continue the diversity of the whole forest.
Sculptform believes in constant improvement in sourcing sustainable timber and we are always interested in new options. We focus on sourcing our timber locally when able to do so and have removed timber species from production that could not meet sustainable certification.
An Environmentally Friendly Choice
Why timber is a good choice for the environment:
- Manufacturing timber uses less fossil fuel energy per unit than steel, concrete or aluminium; meaning a low carbon footprint.
- Choosing a cubic metre of timber over other materials results in an average saving of 0.75 to 1 tonne of carbon emissions.
- Timber is non-toxic and safe to handle.
- Timber is renewable, recyclable, waste efficient, biodegradable and carbon positive.
- Using timber in building construction can maximise energy ratings and carbon credits.
- Timber has physiological and psychological benefits which mimic the effects of spending time in nature by heightening mood and healing – making it a smart choice for inclusion in healthcare settings. Learn more about how natural products enhance a space in our article focused on biophilic design.
Certifying Sustainable Timber
To provide consumers with timber originating from sustainable forestry, stewardship programs monitor the steps from felling, milling and manufacturing to ensure sustainability standards are met.
We can supply timber certified by:
- Forestry Stewardship Council® (FSC): FSC uses the Principles of Responsible Forest Management to issue certificates to forestry operations who meet their requirements. FSC Australia is a national office of FSC International.
For more information, visit FSC Australia.
- Programme for Endorsement of Forestry Certification® (PEFC): PEFC is an international, not-for-profit umbrella organisation dedicated to endorsing national forest certification systems developed through multi-stakeholder processes, tailored to local priorities and conditions.
For more information, visit PEFC.
- Responsible Wood®: Formerly known as the Australian Forestry Std Ltd, Responsible Wood developed a series of standards which underpin the Australian Forest Certification Scheme. Responsible Wood is endorsed by PEFC.
For more information, visit Responsible Wood.
Chain of Custody
Chain of Custody Certification is a system applied internationally to ensure timber has been sourced from sustainable origins. It is essentially inventory tracking and control of timber from certified forests to any point along the supply chain. It is required to substantiate claims that timber has been obtained from a certified forest and supplier. We are certified as part of the Chain of Custody when providing our clients with sustainably sourced timber.
Green Star Rating
Green Star is an internationally recognised sustainability rating system and is Australia’s only national, voluntary rating system for buildings and communities. It provides independent verification that a building or community project is sustainable and assesses all life cycle stages of the built environment. Sculptform products which are certified through FEC and PFEC contribute to a Green Star rating. The rating system is one to six stars ranging from ‘minimum practice’ to ‘world leadership’.
Price of Sustainably Sourced Timber
Sustainably sourced timber will cost a little more. This is due to the extra work required to ensure forests are managed according to requirements for sustainable forest management. It also covers tracking timber from the forest to manufacturing to ensure consumers get the sustainably sourced timber they purchased (Chain of Custody).
Specifying Certified Timber
Sculptform offers five timber species, each with certification options. When specifying certified timber it is important to ensure the right certification system is used. Each species is only available in some certifications so please contact us to find out your options.