Industry News

Grown In Britain begins tree planting in Sylva Foundation’s Future Forest, Oxfordshire

On Friday 10th February, Grown in Britain staff, supporters and licence-holders came together to begin planting the Grown in Britain Grove, part of the Sylva Foundation’s Future Forest, in Oxfordshire.

Some 300 productive tree saplings were planted during the day, which also included a tour of the Sylva Centre. The Centre is clad in thermally-modified home-grown sycamore and ash, financed through a research grant from Grown in Britain (GiB).

“The Grown in Britain Grove is a focus point for celebrating the future of British timber,” said Grown In Britain CEO, Dougal Driver. “Many of our licence holders are forest owners and sawmillers in their own right, already contributing to the future of Britain’s productive forests through their re-planting programmes. We want the Grown in Britain Grove to be somewhere that licence-holders further along the supply chain, in joinery manufacturing, construction and retailing, can come, participate in planting, and feel part of the continuing story of sustainable British woodlands and timber production,” Dougal Driver added.

The Grove is financed through donations to Grown in Britain, and the campaign is particularly grateful to Orpago bespoke furniture and Vastern Timber for their contributions.

Left to right in the picture are: John Weir, Forestry Commission; Laura Sceal, GiB; Judith Millidge, Small Woodland Owners Group; Helen Bentley-Fox, GiB; Dougal Driver, GiB; Tom Barnes, Vastern Timber; Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation (seated); William Jackson, Certainly Wood; Jen Hurst, Sylva Foundation.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/grown-britain-begins-tree-planting-sylva-foundation%E2%80%99s-future-forest-oxfordshire]

Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme now fully accepted in the Netherlands

The Government of The Netherlands has announced the full acceptance of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) under the Dutch public procurement policy for sustainable timber following a parliamentary debate on 18 January 2017. 

This decision marks an important milestone for the MTCS and is a significant endorsement of Malaysia’s commitment and ongoing efforts in promoting sustainable forestry and timber industry through a timber certification scheme.

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) believes the acceptance of the MTCS under the Dutch public procurement policy for sustainable timber will allow Malaysian wood based companies to enjoy better access to the Dutch markets.

The Dutch market currently accounts for about 30% of the total export of PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products from Malaysia which was valued at RM202 million in 2015. The PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products from Malaysia constitute approximately 50% of the total certified tropical timber imported into the Dutch market. This volume is approximately the same as the volume of PEFC/MTCS-certified timber collectively imported by other EU member states with operational sustainable timber procurement policies, namely United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark.

In her letter to the Dutch Parliament dated 22 December 2016, The Netherlands’ Minister for Environment, Sharon Dijksma affirmed her decision to fully accept the MTCS following the positive outcome of the fact finding mission by the Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) to Malaysia which was held from 23-25 November 2016.

Minister Sharon Dijksma stated: “Forests are of crucial importance in combating climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals…The TPAC report confirms my belief that MTCS has implemented important improvements and has sufficiently mitigated the three bottlenecks…Consequently, I hereby decide to accept the MTCS timber certification scheme under the Dutch central government’s public procurement policy."

The MTCS started its operation in 2001 and has since evolved into a scheme with international stature with endorsement by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 

“As a PEFC-endorsed scheme, the operation of the MTCS has been significantly strengthened to meet international sustainability benchmarks. With this acceptance, the Netherlands becomes the latest country to fully recognize the MTCS in its public procurement policy along with other countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland and Japan,” said Datuk Himmat Singh, Chairman of the MTCC.   

“This acceptance marks a significant milestone for the MTCS and would further encourage the implementation of sustainable management of tropical forests globally and spur growth for the use and consumption of certified tropical timber. Additionally, the acceptance of the MTCS will contribute towards The Netherlands’ ambition of procuring at least 90% of its tropical timber imports from sustainable sources by 2020,” Datuk Himmat Singh explained.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/malaysian-timber-certification-scheme-now-fully-accepted-netherlands]

Timber sector responds to Housing White Paper

Timber sector representative bodies have been giving their reaction to the release of the Government’s Housing White Paper.

The publication – released last Tuesday and aimed at “fixing Britain's broken housing market” - will drive Government construction and housing agenda over the next months.

Key announcements include:

- Expanding the land available for new housing without affecting the Green Belt

- Making housing plans easier to produce

- Supporting developers to build out more quickly also encouraging modern methods of construction and promoting custom-build homes

- Giving communities a stronger voice in the design of new housing

- Providing small firms with a loan to help them deliver 25,000 new homes by 2020

- Attracting institutional and private investment on housing sector

- Addressing skills shortages by growing the construction workforce

- Promoting affordable housing through specific initiatives (i.e. Starter Home, Help to Buy)

Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), commented: “What is not to like? The Housing White Paper reaffirms the Government’s commitment to resolve what really is the biggest issue on our socio-economic landscape. Rather than seeking a magic bullet, it is a broad strategy that covers all parts of the housing sector, ensuring that the volume housebuilders are free and encouraged to build on available land, and vitally creating an easier mechanism for the custom housebuilder to literally fill in the gaps. 

 “The strategy addresses the balance between ownership and rental properties. And through repeated reference to quality, it reaffirms that it is not just a numbers game, but seeks to ensure we are building quality properties that will stand the test of time – a strong underlying thinking which is very much a Natural Capital approach of not leaving a mess for future generations. This carries into the section on climate change and wherever possible has a positive impact on employment in the UK. 

 “So I am very relieved to see that the social and environmental opportunities have not been overlooked. The whole timber supply chain is ready to support local authorities in developing policies to support this approach, and of course to ensure that the natural advantages of wood are put to good use in delivering the sustainable housing stock we so desperately need.”

Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA), said: “As Sajid Javid outlined what he called ‘the bold radical vision for the housing market’ and the government’s commitment to support offsite factory built homes, the STA firmly believe that offsite timber construction is the only way to reach the specified target of one million homes by 2020. We welcome the government’s commitment to act as a catalyst for change in the wider housing market, through supporting offsite manufacturing techniques.

As the government pledge support for small and medium size developers, as well as initiatives for self and custom builders – in theory there is a lot of positive content in this White Paper. Making the planning system more accessible and releasing land that is currently in public sector ownership, will certainly have an impact but only time will tell how it works in practise.

The time is right for the construction industry to embrace innovative timber technology and offsite techniques to develop better buildings at a rapid rate to meet government targets, to overcome the shortfall in housing stock and produce energy efficient buildings.”

John Newcomb, Managing Director of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) added: “The Builders Merchants Federation welcomes the Government’s ambitious proposals to boost housebuilding.

“We need more homes, of all tenures, that are built to high standards, use less energy and water, are pleasant to live in, and located where people want to live.

“But building new homes isn’t the whole answer, we also need to make the most of the current housing stock that we have. This is why we welcome the Government’s attempts to encourage later life buyers to down-size, with dignity, to somewhere suitable for them. This then releases larger homes back into the market.”

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) concluded:  “It is good to see the Government finally wake up and acknowledge the need for greater stimulus in the housing market.

The efforts toward greater use of offsite manufacture, along with moves to bring more SME builders into the market will go a long way toward easing pressure in the sector. It is good news for the timber sector.”

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-sector-responds-housing-white-paper]

Housing white paper: 'Offsite timber construction could be solution to homes shortage'

Speaking from the Scottish Federation of Housing Association’s conference, Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA) and member of CTI Board of Directors, commented the launch of the Government Housing White Paper today.

"As the government pledge support for small and medium size developers, as well as initiatives for self and custom builders – in theory there is a lot of positive content in this White Paper. Making the planning system more accessible and releasing land that is currently in public sector ownership will certainly have an impact but only time will tell how it works in practise", said Mr Carpenter.

"The time is right for the construction industry to embrace innovative timber technology and offsite techniques to develop better buildings at a rapid rate to meet government targets, to overcome the shortfall in housing stock and produce energy efficient buildings - particularly important for the social housing and private rental sectors, together with home owners and occupiers."

STA CEO also underlined government’s commitment to support offsite factory built homes, saying that "the STA firmly believe that offsite timber construction is the only way to reach the specified target of one million homes by 2020. We welcome the government’s commitment to act as a catalyst for change in the wider housing market, through supporting offsite manufacturing techniques."

"With four out of five new homes in Scotland being built from structural timber – we know that offsite timber solutions address many government concerns associated with public procurement of housing including speed of build, environmental impact, lifetime energy efficiency and cost performance – these factors are all largely beneficial not only to government plans but to the wider community."

One of the solution to the housing crisis could be represented by offsite manufactured structural timber systems. According to Mr Carpenter, "they can offer house builders cost, programme and performance assurances. Structural timber solutions outweigh other sectors in regards to volume of materials – the sector is quick to respond and can add capacity at a relatively rapid rate to meet demand. Shortages in other traditional construction materials will continue to encourage larger builders and specifiers to look to alternatives."

Mr Carpenter concluded: "Innovation in the structural timber product range has broadened the appeal – the industry is no longer defined simply by the supply of timber frame kits and panelised solutions. It is driven by intelligent and integrated construction solutions, such as closed panel timber frame, structural insulated panel systems and volumetric modular options. Manufacture in well managed factory conditions, with stringent controls in place - minimises waste and optimises both quality and productivity."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/housing-white-paper-offsite-timber-construction-could-be-solution-homes-shortage]

ATIBT and ETTF launch new Timber Trade Portal

The Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT) and the ETTF (European Timber Trade Federation) have agreed to merge their respective websites providing information necessary for the exercise of due diligence in the context of an application of the EUTR (European Union Timber Regulation).

The newly merged platform - www.timbertradeportal.com - allows users to consult precise and reliable information on the legal trade of timber in each producer country.

The website offers country sheets (23 to date, covering areas in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Eastern Europe) and provides general information and data on each country’s legal framework and governance situation.

It also includes information and data on the timber market, and explanations on the institutional mechanisms in place to combat illegal timber, such as the EUTR, the Lacey Act (US) and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation (AILPR). The maintenance of the website, as well as its updates and the monitoring of the information quality, are possible thanks to ATIBT’s FLEGT projects, which are funded by the European Union and the FFEM.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/atibt-and-ettf-launch-new-timber-trade-portal]

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