Industry News

BMF joins with WWF to promote responsible timber trade across merchant supply chain

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) will work with WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network in the UK (GFTN-UK) to promote responsible forest trade throughout the merchant supply chain.

Julia Young and John Newcomb at the Living Planet CentreGFTN-UK will share its expertise with BMF members, helping them to exercise due diligence on their supply chains for forest goods. The conservation organisation provides a framework that enables companies to identify and move away from materials coming from unknown or unacceptable sources, towards products from credibly certified forests or recycled sources.

BMF MD, John Newcomb said: “Timber is a core product category for general builders merchants, second only in importance to heavyside materials such as bricks and blocks, and we will be working with GFTN-UK to encourage merchants to consider environmental and sustainability issues as part of their purchasing policy.”

"Responsible purchasing is one of the BMF’s key goals for the industry.  Many merchants already consider sustainability as a matter of course, but we have a responsibility to encourage every one of them to do so.  GFTN-UK can help them ask the right questions to find out where their products are coming from, so they will know if they are sourcing from sustainable forests", Mr Newcomb added.

Julia Young, Manager at GFTN-UK, commented: “We’re excited to be collaborating with the BMF to create a thriving, mainstream market for environmentally and responsible forest products within the building industry. It’s great to see their appetite to get involved and, with the BMF working as an Associate within our programme, we’ll have a new platform to assist their member companies to get to grips with this important issue.”

Remarkably, GFTN-UK will also host the next BMF Timber Forum to take place on Tuesday 10th May at its HQ and visitor centre, the Living Planet building in Woking, Surrey.

[In the picture: Julia Young and John Newcomb at the Living Planet Centre]

Assessing environmental impact with new ISO 14001:2015

Earlier this year the new ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Standard was released in replacement for the previous version ISO 14001:2004.

With more than 300 000 certificates currently issued around the world, ISO is one of the most common standards and a key business tool for many organizations to assess their environmental impact.

The 2015 version includes some key improvements: - A greater commitment from leadership; - An increased alignment with strategic direction; -Greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives; - More effective communication, driven through a communications strategy; - Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end-of-life.

The revision process involved 121 expert members of technical committee ISO/TC 207/SC 1 for environmental development, representing stakeholders from 88 countries. The transition period to switch completely to ISO 14001:2015 has been set to three years.

To help understand the main changes and improvements, Ligna Ltd has created a useful comparison table available here. For further information on the Transition guidance click here

New PEFC video underlines why sustainable forest management matters

PEFC outreach video

PEFC has released a new video underlining the importance of sustainable forest management and the business benefits of using certified material.

Worldwide 1.6 billion of people rely on forests for their subsistence and 2 out of 3 land species live in woodlands.

Certification schemes like PEFC and FSC guarantee that forests and natural commu­nities are being preserved respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and stakeholders' interests.

AHEC launches website to show sustainability of American hardwoods

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has launched a new interactive platform called 'Grown in Seconds' to illustrate the sustainability of American hardwood.

Featuring extensive data gathered by the US Forest Service, the website shows how swiftly wood used for a variety of projects regrows naturally in American forests.

Supported by environmental consultants ThinkStep, AHEC aims to promote a better understanding of the true environmental benefits of using American hardwoods in design and manufacture. 

The platform, alongside the AHEC website, will provide environmentally concerned architects, developers and manufacturers useful information to help them select the most suitable materials for their projects.

In some instances the timber used in construction and design will have taken just seconds to grow such is the wealth of resource available. Examples shown on the site include a spectacular M.C. Esher-inspired staircase that would take just two minutes to replace, a design-savvy shed (a mere 14 seconds), a wooden workspace (five seconds), decking (25 seconds) and even a bespoke pencil sharpener (0.02 seconds).

Find out more on