forestry certification

Unlocking Sustainability: Learn About Forestry Certification in Australia

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Forestry Certification in Australia

In today’s video our speakers, Mark and Simon, delve into the world of forestry certification, particularly in Australia.

Mark, a seasoned forestry certification consultant, shines a spotlight on the critical role of forest certification. Serving as a credible indicator of responsible and sustainable forest management, forestry certification aligns with national and international criteria. He also discusses the vital role of certification systems in the forest and forest products industry, providing a pathway for sustainable forest management and credible verification for forest products.

Reflecting on the global landscape of forestry certification, Mark shares that while progress has been made, there is still much ground to cover, especially considering the complexities and expenses involved, particularly for developing countries.

Simon then takes the baton, illustrating how these certifications come to life in the industry. He takes us behind the scenes at Timberlink, a certified softwood timber manufacturer. He shares how their FSC and RW certifications not only ensure their operations are sustainable but also help their products meet necessary standards. This includes managing rigorous internal and external auditing processes and upholding sustainability credentials.

Simon also paints a picture of the potential for growth and development in the realm of forestry certification. He mentions opportunities for smaller sawmills, artisans, wholesalers, and the increasing demand for more certified products in the marketplace.

He further discusses Timberlink’s journey to certification, which, despite its rigorous process involving detailed auditing and continual monitoring, offers a significant market advantage. Simon also highlights the role of new technology, with a peek into Timberlink’s upcoming cross-laminated timber and glue-laminated timber line.

Lastly, he emphasizes the importance of maintaining a chain of custody, which meticulously tracks a product from the forest through processing to the end consumer, thereby maintaining the credibility of the forestry certification.

Over to Mark and Simon.

Unlocking Sustainability: Forestry Certification in Australia

Video Transcript

Thanks very much Wendy and Andrew for this opportunity. Yeah, welcome to my world which um I wish was as an artisan and that hasn’t been my role for a number of years so I’m now fully immersed as a forestry certification consultant in BORAH certification particularly in Australia.

So we’re just as a brief intro, we’re a small specialist consulting firm focused on certification systems for the forest and forest products industry. Yeah, so um just by way of overview and we’ll be looking uh in brief at both um management systems if you like. So forest management, we’ll be looking at uh forest certification and how, by the way of third party evidence, it gives a credible uh standing against national and international criteria that we are managing our forests responsibly and sustainably.

And then we move on to forest products chain of custody certification which relates to the things that are coming out of the forest and then moving through production, manufacturing, processing to end users. So forestry certification globally has, I suppose you can say, it’s gained some traction but it has a very long way to go as you can see by the figures above.

Amusing figures like this can be very confusing, um as you know they’re probably grossed out for for the FAO’s figures covering things that we wouldn’t be able to process, um you know trees that are very small or shrubs to um you know things that are definitely in areas of conservation.

So um in terms of what’s currently noted as being certified by both major organizations, that’s PFC and FSC, and there’s 560 million hectares across the world. But that will include plantation as well as natural forests. So this um slide is indicative only, it’s prob from some figures produced in 2014 published in 2017, but I believe the relativity is probably still pretty much the same with the wealthy producers having most of their forestry certification in place and then there’s two-thirds in developing world, uh a fair way behind.

Realistically these processes are very expensive and there are a lot of hurdles and not least of which is governance um at a national level, um and so some of these problematic places will have difficulty uh achieving certification. So I believe that you know there’s an there’s a responsibility on us to provide um credible ramps to achieve something that would be a pathway to certification that’s achievable for these places so that we can have a better handle on, you know, global sustainability.

So I was mentioned at the beginning that there’s two main um for us certification brands let’s say. Um one that’s uh very well-known is um FSC or the Forest Stewardship Council. It’s um well represented in many nations and provides a platform for the sustainable outcomes of forest management. Um the PEFC or the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification Systems provides intern an international cover and recognition system.

While it does have standards in its own right, most especially for um chain of custody, it also provides guidance for national accreditation of forest management systems which in themselves are very rigorous processes.

So that um countries can have their national system developed and endorsed and then those systems, while they’re able to carry a national brand as does Responsible Wood which is the Australian system recognized by PFC, those systems are also able to carry the PEFC um brand material and make PFC claims as well.

So forestry certification management, the rigor associated with it is, I would say, onerous uh because it begins at a national level. So the development of national schemes involves a very wide and diverse range of stakeholders. It is a lengthy process as it has to go through multiple iteration, um and stages to get to a point of um acceptance and publication as a standard.

And then, and then there’s the process of accrediting certification bodies. These are the independent companies that provide the auditing against the standard of the forest management systems that are developed by companies, people like ourselves, for land owners, forest owners, and chain of custody systems to provide uniformity in approach and credibility in outcome.

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Forestry certification is very much linked, at least the systems, to many a management system approach and particularly the ISO systems of management. So that you have policy and commitment, planning and implementation, and then monitoring auditing and review. And that that’s very much our life here.

We are very much involved in all those processes and in terms of developing systems for clients, but also in terms of the governance of um the systems themselves.

Forest management certification as has um…sorry, an increased emphasis on engagement with our communities commencing with our workplace. So the, it’s very important that in a workplace people number one uh go home safely at night. So um we’re not uh we commit to to the laws and regulations but it has to be in action, we can’t just tick a box.

And forestry certification is definitely not about ticking boxes, it’s about um performance and compliance with the things that are required of us. And we we sign off to international treaties and conventions, and in this sense, workers rights and employment conditions under the ILO are of particular importance. And not least of which is the ability for people to meet together to define uh their working conditions in in association with their employer.

And then we have a continual process of stakeholder engagement and regardless of which certification brand or or system that you’re working under, the community relations, Navel relations, are all fundamental to the work that we do.

So while there ever is a big picture approach to stakeholder engagement, perhaps um when you’re developing a system you would have that out or stakeholder input, but there’s operational and daily relationships with your neighbours, with contractors, with suppliers, with others. And that’s very important and that schematic just gives some indication of of the variety of stakeholders that we would be dealing with.

So when we think of forest management certification, we’re probably not thinking of of the um the management structures uh of um you know reporting monitoring, we’re thinking of environmental values, impacts, biodiversity, forest productive capacity, um high conservation, particularly and now carbon and most definitely cultural values which would include um indigenous values as well as values of later European settlement.

So I suppose the forestry certification umbrella provides an oversight and provides the then an opportunity for the independent third-party auditing against national and international standards. So while all that um is fine embedded in its standard, it’s actually implementing it operationally that becomes the major task, and that’s what we are dealing with on a daily basis and assisting our clients to meet and meet those criteria and improve their outcomes.

So operationally, Tasmania, I will use that as a case in point where we’re definitely here, we’re living in a very beautiful part of the world. If I could put you out my window, you would see Bruni Island and the Channel waterway.

But nevertheless, we are in in a place where we have a very highly regulated forest system and we are all subject to our operations being under the Forest Certification Practices Code which is a dynamic system governed by the Forest Practices Authority who engage and employ some highly trained and valued specialists in a whole range of uh professions.

From ecologists that cover from the ground flora through to you know wedgetail eagle specialists, um covering off all our threatened species, um to uh geophysicists uh archaeologists, we you know we are subject to a high degree of rigor and planning before we can do what those machines are doing in that tall wet forest. I won’t go into more detail, needless to say that we do a lot of planning before we can start, and then it’s those plans and operational outcomes, as well as the systems that are managing them, that all get audited.

So we’re certified and here we go, the logs are going out of the forest and they then, if they have forestry certification, those logs would be claimed as 100 either, perc response wood certified or if the forest was an FSC forest management unit, as FSC 100.

As logs then go to be processed and enter a chain of custody and um here, our little firm manages a very large group chain of custody and we have, I put these images on because they would be perhaps considered a signature of the beautiful things that come out of a forest and that’s made by our artisans.

But we go from our artisans to you know the big end of town if you like which are you know larger sawmills producing um both appearance grade and construction grade material for the industry Australia-wide and that is common to us across the nation. So chain of custody for forest products is from once the forest is certified, that forest products then need to enter, in at the first point of change of ownership or management, a chain of custody.

And the chain of custodies need to be unbroken so each business that’s handling the wood from the point of the sawmill to a manufacturer, and then perhaps some further processing before it gets to the consumer or the end user, needs to be in a chain of custody.

They can either be a stand-alone single system for a business, it could be a multi-site with common ownership or contracted businesses to a central body. Our group scheme here, Fine Timber Tasmania, is a not-for-profit that licenses users to use a system that we’ve developed. And it’s from as I said before, from artisans to you know larger sawmills supplying products to the nation.

So essentially China for a chain of is taking wood from the forest through the processing to the end consumer.  As I’ve mentioned without giving you lots of boring detail, it’s a rigorous system where we need to identify the source or the origin of product. 

And that would be perhaps a forestry certification coupe. Identify the supplier, the customer ,a product description, a product quantity and then certification information has to accompany the um the products so that goes from the logs being delivered to the sawmill.

They’ll have a log docket whether it’s a digital form or a paper form, and then from there it would go on invoicing order forms or other ancillary documentation so that we can go back to to the source of the product and ensure that it’s from a certified forest.

So the chain is based, the chain of custody is based on buying and selling claims. So from the forest you buy a claim of 100% or you buy a claim, or you buy a “no claim” if it’s not certified product which then has to go through another set of rigor before that could enter the chain of custody, still having no claim. But we’re mainly focused on material that’s come out of a forest that’s certified, and that has a claim of 100%, and that comes into a chain of custody.

And those chains of custody can be based on three separate systems. One of physical separation or transfer where you essentially buy a claim and sell the same claim, so you buy logs that are 100% certified and you sell boards that are 100% certified, 100% PFC Responsible or FSC 100%. The other systems, percentage and volume credit, are where wood that’s been through a due diligence system to ensure that it’s not come from a controversial source has been able to enter the system without a claim.

So if 100% wood comes in and then there’s some controlled source or controlled wood that’s come in, that will change the percentage. So as as well as being able to sell product we’re now from certified forests, in the past we weren’t able to use trees from, example, shoulder belts or urban forests. Under our new standard, which is which is almost hit the deck, um the uh opportunity for trees outside forests to become certified subject to having appropriate documentation.

Another opportunity exists under chain of custody is project certification, and I’ve just given um a quick example here of a most recent certified project which was the fit out of the Queensland Timber Hub under the Responsible wood certified project opportunity.

So in winding up, if you like, you would want to know how to find certified product or find forests that are certified. The global systems provide that opportunity with search options of their databases. And Responsible Wood in Australia, which is also the home of PEFC in Australia and New Zealand, has a very good and workable website, as does the FSC. So and if you’re stuck, you can always ask us.

The challenge, I believe there are many challenges both now and ahead with certification. Um, I believe that we need more product in the marketplace but we need a greater market pool. That’s one of the main issues for us is demand. So smaller holdings are often not certified because of the inhibiting costs, unless they become part of a group opportunity. Family forests, perhaps looking at larger estates.

Again, people tend to be reluctant. We have had a recent example that we’ve done here of probably what we would consider to be the smallest certified privately owned forest in the country that’s got now certification. It’s less than 150 hectares.

The um tall eucalypt you see in black and white on the side of the screen, that’s from their forest. It’s, it’s a stunning, well cared for, um for us that’s providing multiple outcomes for a forestry family that’s owned it for three generations and and cared for it and continue to care for it.

Um then there are other opportunities with chain of custody and I believe, um some of those are currently being addressed, but smaller sawmills tend to book a chain of custody because one, it seems too difficult. At the end of the day it’s not rocket science, it’s just some fairly simple conventions that need to be followed. And we here work with people that are still operating out of a carbon copy book all the way through to industry that’s using, you know, the latest industry developed database, for example Tim’s or Timber Smart.

We believe that there’s a further opportunity with artisans again. [Music] Cost is prohibitive, so something like a group scheme that’s particularly geared or aimed at artisans where perhaps they don’t go to a full certification, providing something that is credible. And wholesalers, if you look at the different databases, there are quite a few wholesalers listed but there’s still some very big gaps in distribution.

And there is going to be an increasing requirement for furniture manufacturing and the built environment, where that’s going particularly into green star rated buildings, to have um either all certified product or a percentage of certified product in in the products that they’re entering into the projects.

And I believe that there are, should be opportunities for architects and specifiers, whether it’s as as friends of certification or some other way of being involved. And then perhaps one of the big challenges is the ongoing and new requirements coming out of the Green Building Council of Australia for certified product to go into projects.

I’m done. Thank you very much.

Well, first of all thanks very much.  Thanks mark for hanging over and thanks very much to Wood Solutions and Wendy and Andrew for the 

I’ll be spending more capital over the next few years as we try and expand that capacity and also introduce new products into that, into that mill as well. I think Mark’s touched on in a lot better format than this what the, uh, what the two certification schemes are of the FSC and then of course the PEFC backed by that covered by the, uh, the Responsible Wood Scheme.

And I’ll move to the next slide to show you a little bit about Timberline’s commitment to those two. So basically, Timberlink holds both, both certification both in FSC and in RW. We’re really proud. We’ve worked really hard at this. We’re the only certified softwood timber manufacturer to hold both.

It’s something that we hold really dearly to us. 100% of our production through our meals are certified, 98% of our log that we source, um, is certified. We take, we take about 2% of our log that Mark mentioned from smaller private woodlots, um, and that’s controlled under our, under our FSC and RW certification. That’s actually a really important point for us.

You know, Timberlink’s grounded in regional communities. We’re really importantly focused on our responsibility in those areas and we’ve had a long association with some, some private farmers in that region and continue to do so. The most important point, of course, is that all their logs are sourced from Australian softwood plantations. It’s a really important point.

On our solid wood products, for those of you who know us, we predominantly produce framing material and treated framing material for the residential market. In terms of our certification, our certification appears on all of our dispatch stock. It’s for all our manufactured timber. So if customers, customers can request certification, but it’s not an absolute necessity as we’ve got that, um, we’ve got that included in our, in our, in our current paperwork.

We also ensure that our certification scope covers any third-party processes. Such as, we don’t do all of our treated, all our treatment timber is not all done internally. We have some third-party processes that add value to our untreated product.

We make sure that that’s captured under our certification scheme and it’s important to note that, it’s particularly in recent times that we’re getting more and more requests from the market, specifically for certified, certified timber. So we’re really pleased that that’s happening and we’re pleased that we can, we can meet that market requirement.

Just wanted to make an interesting point about our wood chip. If you run a sawmill, uh, you produce products that are not just framing and wood chip, um, it comes out of our sawmill of course. Our wood chip is actually certified to either certification and this is important.

It’s placed us in a really responsible and a really really, really strong position to be able to sell our woodship around the world and Japan is our number one export market. They are very, very sensitive, uh, to product certification.

In fact, we’re the, with the largest export of radiator pine wood chip, um, in the world and 100% of our wood is FSC certified. So just important point to make that, we think about our, everything that we’re producing and everything that’s coming out about our saw line, not, not just the, the high grade structural product.

Just a point of note, we’ve held, we’ve held our FSC certification for about seven years, their Responsible Wood certification for, for nearly nine. And as Mark touched on this, there is, um, it can be quite daunting, there are some rigorous controls around how we maintain this certification. We are absolutely focused on it, controlling our fiber input. A big part of the process is electronic inventory control right throughout the process.

We have a very exhaustive internal and external audit program. The external audits are conducted annually, and backing then I’ve been part of the FSC and PFC certification is having a really robust corrective action system. So if, if issues are raised at order, which, which, which they will be, we have the system in place to be able to act, change and close out those actions really, really quickly with a real sense of urgency.

A lot of focus on that area. It’s a, it’s a big process to manage, but we’re proud that we’re that, we’re really, that we’re really involved in it and we’re proud that we can produce these outputs.

And speaking of of outputs, I thought I would show a project in point, a casing point to show that chain of custody. This was a, this is a small but neater terrace house development in, in Bowdoin, in Adelaide, just on the fringe of the Adelaide CBD. It was actually the first residential project to receive six star green star rating from the Green Building Council. Um, Defence Housing Australia, uh, it was a developer or the client, Columbo Builds a local builder, built the structure. And in Timberland, Timberlink supply the certified timber.

There was a requirement, um, for that project, um, to have fully certified timbers applied to that site. So that was supplied through Banner. Um, look, a nice little small project but what was, what was, what was a good result of this project was Defence Housing were able to showcase that project and promote that project and promote some really good achievements in excellence in sustainability, green building and environmental compliance.

So it was, it’s just a nice project to show coming from forest through to, through to, in use.

This is another shot of, of, of our Tarpina site. Someone, many of you on the call might might be aware that in recent times, Tim Link’s announced our commitment to build a new, a new product line at Tarpina. It’s a cross laminated timber and glue laminated timber line. It’s the first combined line in Australia and it’ll be based, as you can see by the arrow, it’s a photoshop, it’s not built yet.

It’s got a position right on our Tarpina site, um, it’s going to be a big, it’s a big investment. You can see on the left-hand side of the photo, that’s our new sawmill line, a new log line, and you can see comparatively that the size of our new site.

But most importantly, what we’re trying to show you here is that this, Timberlink are really committed to opening up new markets for timber and doing that with new products, and doing this responsibly and under the banner with our certification. So all the feedstock that will feed that plant and make those products will come out of the Tarpina, um, predominantly out of the, out of the, out of the Tarpon. And we’ll sum down the track, potentially out of Bilbao, but as we ran, as we start in the air, early days, it will be radiate upon the Green Triangle region, all all certified.

Just incidentally, that that project’s still two years away. We’re currently doing the civil works at the moment, so it’s not, it’s not here, ready yet, but it’s a really exciting thing. But when we made these decisions around, a new product that we can make with our existing resource, it all, it all got back to our certification and being able to carry this sustainability profile that we’ve built up.

So this slide just reinforces our, our supply chain position where we have our certified plantation pine supplied to Timberlink from from our parent company, New Forest. And that that, that in feed stock, um, that then comes out of the, out of the sawmill, will then be fed into the CLT, GLT plant.

So this maintain and, and that will maintain our certification. We obviously we haven’t got certification yet because our plan is not, is not built, but we’ll be applying for a scope of extension so we can, we can carry both FSC and RW certification for both, both of those products.

Um, our wood fibre feedsock already has those certifications. We have our electronic inventory management, management systems that are already in place. We’ll will positively manage any outsourced processing or warehousing that is required for those products will be under our certification, and this business will be subject to the same controls and audit program as our existing certification.

So the message for us here is that hopefully this gives the market confidence that the sustainable credentials of wood, in these products flows into, allows us to take it from the forest through our current processing, and then into value-added engineered wood products that may will open up other business for other benefits for builders and developers, pretty much in line with those Green Star initiatives.

Lastly from me, sustainability is, is really really key to our, to our business. Our products are sustainable, we believe we manufacture them sustainably, well, but sustainability has become really important to our customers, really really important. We have more conversations around um, sustainability with our customers now, that we, than we ever have. And being able to hold both those FSC, RW certifications sets us in good, good stead.

It’s important to just to call out that, we’ve, we’ve committed strongly to carbon reduction targets, along the Paris Agreement.  We believe were the first in the air industry in Australia to do this backed up and committed through science-based targets.

We’re tracking and reporting our carbon reductions each year and we’ve made some good progress in the years.  We’ve been focused on it. We’ve achieved 27 reductions scope one and two emissions since our 2018 recording and we’re committed for a 53r eduction by 2030. I just like to call out that um we do put out just for the wider audience.  We produce a sustainability report every year in November.

It’s a couple of weeks away, the 2021 report but the 2020 report in the 2019 and 2018 report are all on the Timberlink website.  There’s some really really good information there, not just on sustainability that also encourage sets out our certification, our chain of custody. There’s some so it’s a really good document. I encourage everyone if they looking for more information to go on their website and download.

But with that Wendy, that pretty much covers my presentation.  Thank you. Fantastic.  Thank you very much Simon and to Mark both.  I’d like to open up the floor to some q and a. If anybody would like to use the q and a section.  It is at the bottom of your screen. Please feel free to jump in and ask any questions you would like.

But i would like to start the floor off with Mark: “Could you please explain why there are two different types of certification? I find that a little bit confusing. I suppose it’s free market. Um, you know, FSC were probably the lead in getting things happening in the earlier 1990s, and PEFC was effectively a European forest owner’s response to that. So that, so you’ve had a competing system. So they are direct competitors.

But um, you know, they provide a very similar outcome in terms of sustainability. I mean there are different pathways, but um, effectively the same. So if you go through, for example, chain of custody, it is almost a mirror image, one for one. So they’re very similar. They have a couple of slight, both have slight different nuances if you like, without boring with the detail.

And forest management is particularly in Australia, is quite an issue with Forest Stewardship Council and managed natural forests. So um, I don’t want to labor that, but you know, we are able to certify our natural forests to PEFC. Doesn’t mean it’s a lesser standard. It’s a very rigorous scientific standard that we um, have to achieve.

So um, yeah, there are some larger land owners, particularly Sustainable Timber Tasmania, who are um, pursuing a Forest Stewardship certification of their natural forest estate. So we’re all looking forward to that.”

Yep, thank you Mark. Now we do have another question from Rufus. Uh, he is asking, I guess um, Simon, you might be able to answer this question. How is the auditing carried out and how rigorous is the process?

Simon: “Um, yeah, can you hear me Wendy?”

Wendy: “Oh yes, very very good.”

Simon: “Okay, great. Uh, yeah, really really good question as Mark touched. I think look, it is a rigorous process and it does need to be. Um, you know, I guess the, the, the luxury to a point of being a reasonable size business is that we can afford to have, you know, really good focus um, internally on on on our internal auditing procedures and it becomes part of doing business.

Um, certainly if you wanted to um, at least go through a FSC or a PEFC audit um, for the first time, um, it’s it is quite a, it is quite a rigorous process. As Mark said, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not incredibly difficult, but you have to have all your um, all your ducks in line if you like. You have to be able to um, have all your systems in place.

So ours is very very big system control, if you can imagine. Now I mentioned I think a couple of times in, you know, about our particularly our inventory management process. Um, but but you know, we get annually ordered once a year, um, and perhaps Mark might want to talk a little bit more about what that order process looks like, how long it takes, but um, you know, it’s it’s the you know, for us.

It’s really important and, and but you know, we’re lucky enough to be able to have a team of people in our mills that are focused on um, you know, this is as being part of our day-to-day, you know, maintaining our systems and our and our efforts in this in this area, to to make that order process um, a little bit more seamless.

But maybe Mark could touch a little bit more about the, about the process itself. Mark, and perhaps throw to you.”

Mark: “Yeah sure, um thank you Simon. Um, yeah, well we are we are developers rather than or certification body people. So we assist industry, so we call ourselves friends of industry, but they are not the cops the other guys. They are also friendly auditors.

So um, our role tends to be building systems and where a company likes to have the internal audit done at a bit of um’s length, we provide that for them so that we’re not got managers eyes and you know, overlook things to get the job done. Um, with chain of custody it, you know, when we are managing a group which has got 30 disparate individual companies that, as I mentioned before, range from perhaps a guitar maker to a load sawmill providing the nation, um, we have to audit 100% of those companies every year.

Where we’re doing um, an individual company, again it’s an annual audit process. Depends where they are in terms of their maturity with certification. We might suggest to them that we do more than one audit a year just to make sure they’re on track. And the external audit is done annually.

With individuals it’s every year, with a group scheme that we manage it’s on a sample. So it would be once in the lifetime of the certificate, and with chain of custody the certificates are five years, but there’s a wild card. So so for each sample, because we are a strata so we don’t mix the little operators with the really big operators, so we have sampling strata. And within those strata there’s a wildcard so unfortunately you might get done twice in a cycle.

With forest management, uh, we operationally, we’re auditing all the time so operationally we’re auditing for safety, for environmental outcomes on a continuum. Um, but with intel then on top of that we have a certification internal audit program and that would be done once a year. And then we would produce a management review post that.

So um, you know, that’s and that’s prior to an external audit. And again an external audit for forest management will be done, that’s done on a nine monthly basis. So that, it’s there’s a seasonality in it. If you just did it annually you’d always land in the season that you started in, but by doing it nine monthly we end up doing a summer, an autumn, a winter, you know, so that we, we view the environment that’s subject to the forest operation under different conditions.

So that’s on a nine monthly cycle for a three-year certificate period. And that’s done every year and each year, under a surveillance audit they’ll be looking at different criteria. Some of it’s always done so the management system, the divine forest area and the chain of custody are done every time we have an order, but then the different criteria, biodiversity, soils and water, uh stakeholder engagement, that would be done on a rotational basis. So there we go.”

Wendy: “All right, thank you Mark. And sorry, just an inspiration off that topic, I guess, how does the Australian system vary for anything else internationally?”

Mark: “Um, we are locked step with uh, PEFC because we’re um, our system is accredited by PEFC. Um, then there’s a recognition globally. And if we were just a stand-alone Australian system it would be much harder for us to gain acceptance in international marketplaces. But because we have PEFC, and also, I mean FSC is very well recognized, but um, because we have PEFC on the vast majority of our forests you know, there’s a global recognition of our forest practices coming from sustainably managed forests.”

Wendy: “Great, um, all right. Simon, I might throw the next question back to you. Nick is asking ‘When do we expect the first CLT/GLT to be fabricated in and supplied in Australia?’ Is that something that you can…”

Simon: “Yeah sure, yeah, um, thanks for the question Nick. Um, uh, you you’re probably, from from a total market angle perhaps, first there’s already people manufacturing. It’s important to know Mexican Australia have been in the market since 2017-18. They built the first plant, um, so they’ve, they’ve been in the market.

There’s Crossland Fabrication that’s in Perth. And Cuspin, in Tasmania have done a really good job with some, with some eucalyptus um, hardwood in there in their CLT range. So there is some players already in the market. So it’s important to, important to note that. Um, Timberlink however, we’ve um, we’ve got our plant under construction, and uh, this time in two years time so, sort of the fourth quarter of 2023, October November of December-ish, is planned for commercial production.

So we’re hoping our plan is to have our is, to have our our facility built and running by April May in 2023. And then we do la final commissioning, and plant sign off, and product and final product certification, and then be ready for commercial release to the market um, pretty much in in two years time, about this time in two years.

So unfortunately it’s a while away where we, um, as anything else you do, a lot of work to prepare business case to get these things up and once once we get the okay, we want them in and working as of tomorrow but that’s, that’s not the case.

And it’s probably interesting to know it’s been a six year, it’s been a six year journey, um, for us to to go through the right, through the process and and from from sort of concept stage to actually when we start producing, so um, it’s a significant investment. We’re really proud of it, but we’re, as the as the sales manager who’s heading that up, I would love us to be ready now. Um, but um, we’ve got to be a bit patient.

But it’s important to note we’ve actually um, just for the architects and engineers, this is not an opportunity for a marketing exercise. I get, but um, in coming weeks we’ll actually we’re actually launching our first um, pieces of information around our uh.

We’ve we’ve had some panels uh made up um overseas and we’ve tested those panels to give some early indication of what the performance criteria can be for structural fire um, acoustic. So we better release some of that information in the next few weeks. So um, we, we need to build up but um, very long, very long answer to your question uh Nick. I’m sorry but um, two two years.

Wendy: That sounds good. Thank you Simon. Um, and I guess just from a slight outsider, we do have a lot of people that plan and implement and design projects. What does the cost of this certification have on the the timber cost for the actual project? Like if, if someone says ‘yes I have to have certified wood’, is the cost um, extreme? A lot? Extremely high? I’m not sure if the the answer to that one first.

Mark: Okay, well we always advise our clients that there’s no cost advantage. You will have to wear it. So it’s a bit like if you’ve got the stud sheep farm, you know, and you’re going to be selling stud sheep. You’ll get an early movers advantage and maybe there was some of that early on, but now it’s mainstream even though we’re not, you know, we haven’t covered the whole field.

But yeah, you know um, there are markets that I won’t name, the large national chain stores that won’t take it unless it’s certified, and you won’t get a premium for it. Um, but you know, it’s a, it’s a key to market entry. So unless it, unless we want to stay as, you know, with the greatest respect, bottom feeders, we need to have the credentials to be able to enter into, you know, markets and gain, you know, the sustainability recognition that our forest products deserve.

Wendy: Sure, thank you. And some of the other questions that are coming in, there was talk of a green star certificate. How do we go about obtaining a green star certificate for a project? Simon, is that something or Mark you’d like to take it?

Probably sorry, no I can’t answer that one sorry. I’m guessing um, you guys talked about just keeping the chain of custody and maybe keeping all the records for the certified timber that comes through and into the project might be part of the green staff certification.

Well um guys, I’d probably like to start wrapping it up there. Simon and Mark, thank you so much for your efforts today. Thank you very much for educating us further on this topic. And we will wrap it up there. Thank you very much guys for joining us.

Yeah, thanks to you and Andrew for the opportunity, and you did a great job Wendy. Thanks, thanks very much guys, great to see you. Thanks Mark, thanks everyone for joining.

Now guys, just to finish up before everyone does depart, the CPD questions were: What was the aim of the forestry certification? Name the two global forestry certification bodies operating within Australia? And what does the chain of custody uh, give to the end user of the project?

Just to let you know that we do have these webinars fortnightly. The next one will be held on Tuesday the 23rd of November at 11am, and the topic will be ‘Wood Solutions for Bushfire Prone Areas’. So please join us for that one as well.

Also, if you do have some spare time and you are a little bit of a design geek like me, and like to know how things are manufactured, please jump onto the WoodSolutions YouTube channel. They constantly update new and exciting functions of how things are created. So once again guys, thank you very much for joining us today. Thank you for both the speakers, and hopefully we’ll see you for the next Wood Solution seminar.

Understanding Forest Certification: A Guide to Sustainable Forestry

How It’s Made: Timber House Framing Australia

Forestry Australia – Certification

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