Recently, the sustainability officer for Border Hardwood, Tom Hiles attended the annual PEFC™ stakeholder field trip, which this year was in Lockerbie and jointly sponsored by Scottish Woodlands and James Jones and Sons.
The annual event was exclusively for PEFC™ stakeholders, the trip brings together companies and organizations who have interests and commitments to sustainability and more specifically PEFC™.
The trip involved multiple site visits that demonstrated responsible forestry, sourcing and manufacture, essentially the whole chain of custody.
Tom explained why events like this are important, “Attending stakeholder events like this is really important. As well as showing Border Hardwoods commitment and support of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, it provides the opportunity for stakeholders to share best practice, discuss current issues and establish links within the industry. Having the opportunity to visit a market leader such as James Jones & Sons was fantastic. Despite their specialty being softwood, seeing the size of their operation and the importance that PEFC™ and sustainability have for their business was of great interest. Like Border Hardwood, they use all co-products from their manufacturing processes and despite the scale, it was good to see the similarities in our two businesses.
On the second day, all members were invited to take part in a group roundtable discussion that centered on certification. One of the many positives that PEFC™ have is that the people who work for PEFC™ UK are very open and available for discussion and advice. As a result topics of discussion ranged from the standardization of the auditing processes to how PEFC™ can raise its own awareness, despite their limited marketing budget.
“For Border Hardwood Ltd, being PEFC™ certified is an important part of our commitment to sustainable supply. Any event where we can broaden our knowledge and understanding of responsible forestry and timber supply has to be worthwhile.
“As much as local authorities and large corporations are starting to recognize the importance of the chain of custody, the challenge is now getting the everyday consumer to recognize and demand certified timber and make the sustainable choice.”