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Joinery, fit out and Certified Timber

The Best for Your Business Timber plays an essential part in any building and is a major component of many interior fit out projects. This includes a huge array of flooring, wall panelling partitions/screens, mouldings, skirting, architraves, stairs and stair parts, doors and windows. While timber is an inspirational and attractive material, clients increasingly require assurances that materials used on their projects originate from legal and sustainable sources. Whether you are a volume house builder, subcontractor or local tradesperson, you will increasingly be asked to supply such assurances. Whether you are working with a simple, small range of products or dealing with larger sawn temperate timbers, tropical hardwoods or softwoods, the origins of the

Photo Š British Woodworking Federation


material are important. End customers are increasingly demanding traceability and legality in the material they buy, use and install. This may be achieved with Chain of Custody (CoC), which is now essential for any involvement in central and local government projects plus many mixed-scale private developments. Are you working with sheet materials such as plywood, hardboard, chipboard, OSB or MDF? Are you working on a hotel, commercial and retail bespoke joinery scheme including pub, bar or shop fit out? The use of timber can also extend to wash room fit-outs, lift and reception areas via an enormous range of architectural joinery – the material you use is increasingly expected to come from independently certified sources. So what can you do?

Photo © stock.xchng Photo © Metsä Wood

Photo © Metsä Wood


A Simple Way to Chain of Custody Chain of Custody Certification Chain of Custody certification is the process of handling information on the origin of forestbased products, which allows an organisation to make accurate and verifiable claims on the content of sustainably certified material. It proves that each step of the supply chain from the forest to the end-user has been monitored closely with independent auditing and provides a means of tracing certified material. This unbroken link is transparent proof that the timber used, is sourced from a responsibly-managed, certified forest. You can find out more by reading PEFC Chain of Custody Certification: the Key to Selling Certified Products available for download from

Group Chain of Custody For many sole traders and small firms, having Chain of Custody may be viewed as A good example of a Group Scheme is run by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and is designed for companies with 50 employees or fewer and a turnover of less than £6 million. In this case, BWF as the certificate holder enables companies that become

Photo © British Woodworking Federation


a costly option. If company Chain of Custody certification is not possible, a simple and cost effective way to achieve PEFC-certified status is to join or form a Group Chain of Custody Scheme. Generally, a Group Scheme involves a consultant helping member companies to set up the procedures and paperwork required to satisfy the requirements of the Group Scheme and undertake audits to maintain the certification. Once your company is certified, you will be allowed to use the PEFC logos and labels on your products and marketing materials. Certification will add credibility to your company and provide you with an advantage over your uncertified competitors. It will also provide your customers with assurances of responsible sourcing. members of the Group to use the certificate at a lower cost than achieving Chain of Custody independently. This is a cost effective and sensible option which enables smaller companies to participate in certification. More information:

Photo © British Woodworking Federation

Be Aware – the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR)

Project Chain of Custody Certification Companies can also become involved with PEFC through Project Certification. PEFC Project Chain of Custody certification recognises that not all parties involved in specific projects are certified. This is a particular form of Chain of Custody where an individual project is considered to be the ‘product’ to which the Chain of Custody process is applied.

its requirements accordingly. The most effective way to provide evidence that the timber products you deal in meet the highest environmental standards and are in compliance with legislation is to specify PEFC-certified products.

Photo © James Latham PLC

In March 2013, new EU regulations will come into force that will affect everyone trading in timber and joinery products in the UK. The EUTR is designed to stop the flow of illegal timber in the EU, and PEFC is in the process of aligning

In practice, the Project Manager obtains a Chain of Custody certificate for Project Certification and sub-contractors working on the project are covered as Project Members and are not required to obtain Chain of Custody certification themselves. More information on Project Certification can be found in PEFC Project Chain of Custody: One Project One Message available on the PEFC website

Photo © Reddiseals Ltd


Guarantee Future Work Using PEFC-certified timber directly helps achieve Levels 3 to 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and plays a pivotal role in satisfying the acoustic and thermal requirements of Part L and Part E of the Building Regulations. It is also a huge motivation in achieving Excellent and Outstanding BREEAM ratings – the world’s leading design and assessment method for a building’s sustainable environmental performance. It also goes towards meeting exacting SAP targets and PassivHaus performance levels and joinery products including doors, windows and insulated panels will play a major part in the UK Government’s Green Deal – the programme of energy efficient refurbishment of the UK’s building footprint that will see 26 million homes and commercial properties retrofitted by 2050. The importance of certified timber cannot be overstated. The UK Contractors Group (UKCG) now stipulates that all timber products purchased for either temporary or permanent use on UKCG member sites should be certified as legally and sustainably sourced, as defined by the UK Government’s Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET). This includes PEFC and the certification schemes that are part of PEFC, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS). UKCG represents over 30 leading contractors operating in the UK construction market including Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Keepmoat, 6

Photo © International Timber

Morgan Sindall, Vinci and Willmott Dixon. The UKCG policy gives clear and transparent preference to products that demonstrate compliance with responsible sourcing schemes and certified by a third party that maintains an unbroken chain of custody. PEFC-certified timber is also a central component of the Ska environmental performance standard. This tool measures fit-out projects in the context of the higher sustainability concerns across the corporate agenda. It consists of 104 individual ‘goodpractice’ measures including certified timber, energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. Ska is designed to be of use to property stakeholders, including landlords, developers, consultants and fit-out contractors.

About PEFC The Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international nonprofit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification. It works throughout the forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that wood-based products are sourced with respect for stringent ecological, social and ethical standards.

PEFC is an umbrella organisation. It works by endorsing national forest certification systems developed collaboratively by all interested stakeholders and tailored to local priorities and conditions. National forest certification schemes undergo rigorous third party assessment against PEFC’s unique Sustainability Benchmarks. Today, PEFC has recognised certification systems in more than 30 countries. Together these account for over 245 million hectares of certified forests, making PEFC the world’s largest forest certification system. It is the certification system of choice for family and community-owned forests. PEFC-certified materials are specified in public and corporate procurement policies around the world. 7

PEFC’s distinctive ‘green trees’ logo transcends language barriers making it a truly global brand. For further information about the PEFC programme in the UK visit:

PEFC UK Limited Sheffield Technology Parks Cooper Buildings Arundel Street Sheffield S1 2NS t 0114 307 2334 e

© PEFC UK 2012 Front cover image: iStockphoto Printed on PEFC certified paper by Gask & Hawley t 0161 888 3600 w


Joinery, Fit Out and Certified Timber  

Chain of custody information and advice for shopfitters, joiners and timber trades wishing to get PEFC chain of custody

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