What is Sustainable Timber?
Australian timber is world-renowned. From its luscious hues and rich textures, Australian timber is used for construction, furniture, fencing, wood chips, cricket bats, boat building and that’s just the surface. Timber has always been essential to our way of life, and its list of uses is only becoming longer and more diversified. However, despite decades of growth, the future of the world’s timber industry hangs in the air. Illegal logging, poor forest management, and the impacts of climate change are throwing a spanner in the works for timber producers everywhere. This important natural resource is being destroyed at alarming rates. Despite having an excellent forest management system, Australia is by no means perfect when it comes to the sustainable timber industry.
ALSO READ – HOW TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOUR TIMBER FURNITURE
The good news: timber is renewable.
Being a natural resource, timber can be sustainably managed, making it not just a sought after commodity, but a central part of a sustainable society. But sustainable timber means more than just planting more trees after cutting some down.
Sustainable timber is wood that has been responsibly sourced. It means that the entire process from growing the trees, to felling, transportation, and final usage has minimal impact on carbon emissions and the surrounding environment. Sustainable timber is not grown only to be burned as firewood a few months after being felled. Timber is a dynamic resource and has a myriad of uses that can be taken advantage of before becoming fuel or waste.
Is Australian Timber Sustainable?
Forests cover 17 percent of Australia’s land area and are essential to the entire ecosystem. Australian timber has unique qualities that allow for multiple uses across a number of industries. Australia’s timber industry upholds some of the highest forest management regulations ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the industry and all the sectors that benefit from Australia’s trees.
Before you settle on your next furniture piece, you may want to check to make sure it’s sustainably sourced. Sustainable timber in Australia is managed through two key industry foundations. These are:
- Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). This umbrella organisation provides an internationally recognised standard for sustainable forestry management. The PEFC endorses national forest certification schemes and works to protect and maintain forests all over the world. The PEFC recognises and endorses Australia’s Responsible Wood Certification Scheme. Currently, there are 26.7 million hectares of certified forest under this scheme.
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Similar to the PEFC, this organisation provides a forest certificate system that prioritises sustainable practices. The FSC currently certifies 1.2 million hectares of Australian forest. The FSC ensures the entire timber cycle is sustainably managed and compliant.
How Do I Know If I’m Using Sustainable Timber?
Through the above schemes, Australian timber and wood-based products can be ‘tracked and traced’ back up the supply chain with a labelling system allowing consumers to see how and where their timber was sourced. At Jarrimber, our products come with a sustainability guarantee. Not only do we take pride in being thoroughly Australian Made, but we also support fellow artisans and other locally employed workers in creating a stronger community. This commitment to sourcing local material also reduces the overall carbon footprint. With fewer transport miles, Jarrimber uses local services, local forests, and of course, satisfies many local customers.
What Australian Wood Types Are Sustainable?
Australia boasts some of the most exotic timbers in the world. This doesn’t mean that they will be readily available, or sustainably sourced. Checking with your supplier and asking for an FSC certification is a good way of finding out. You’ll be happy to know that some of the most beautiful types of timber are grown and certified right here in Australia. These include:
- Tasmanian Blackwood. A vibrant, warm coloured wood that is as diverse as it is beautiful. Tasmanian Blackwood can feature reddish streaks and stunning blemishes making its name somewhat misleading.
- Marri. A stunning tree that grows famously in Australia’s South West region, it features a yellow, pale brown, honey-like complexion. Marri timber is famous for its stunning blemishes and textures.
- Jarrah. Dark and elegant, Jarrah timber is clean, durable yet difficult to work with due to its density, this doesn’t stop it from being one of the most stunning and popular choices for fine furniture.
- Tasmanian Oak. A warm, dense, and diverse timber, the Tasmanian Oak makes excellent furniture, flooring, and interior paneling.
Is Recycled Timber The Same As Sustainable Timber?
Recycled or up-cycled timber is a way of repurposing and renewing old timber that would otherwise be left to rot. Recycling timber is an important component of sustainable timber management. A sustainable timber industry means making the most of the product at every stage of its lifetime. At Jarrimber, we recycle timber to restore and refresh. Old and recycled timber not only holds authenticity but contributes to the sustainability of the timber industry as a whole.