Environmental awareness is at the forefront of interior architecture and design. ‘Sustainability’ is everywhere, but what does it really mean for specifiers?
One factor is material origin. Knowing where your specified materials come from is fundamental to creating sustainable design concepts. EGGER has put the environment at the heart of its operations since its foundation in 1961. In Specified, EGGER will put sustainability centre stage, exploring and sharing our processes from the raw materials to the final product. EGGER spoke with Mike Yerbury, Director of Forestry, about the production journey of their wood based products.
We know Forestry is at the forefront of all EGGER wood-based material production. How can we ensure specifiers that we operate with an environmental conscience from the outset?
At EGGER Forestry, our focus is on sourcing legal and sustainable supplies of wood. To do this, we work closely with growers of standing trees which we harvest, and sellers of roundwood which others have harvested.
We establish solid relationships with the forest owning land owner, our contracting resources for felling, extraction
and transportation, and with our customers. These relationships allow us to contribute positively to controls on tree removal from sustainably managed forests, and to safe and efficient working practices when bringing the wood to market.
A key focus of these relationships is to ensure the forest is managed with respect for the environment, the wildlife and the people who live and work in it. How exactly do we do this?
We work closely with landowners and forest managers to ensure that forest cover is sustained into perpetuity. This involves adherence to legal requirements and meeting strict environmental standards in relation to multiple benefits such as improving biodiversity, habitat, water quality, landscape, amenity, and recreation. We also support the economic
aspect of forest ownership through the provision of a sustainable and robust wood processing sector, which utilises large quantities of sustainably managed forests each year.
Our production plant in Northumberland takes in large quantities of wood. Specifiers ask us how we ensure volume is regenerated while still meeting our annual requirements?
EGGER (UK) secures close to 800,000 tonnes of virgin wood fibre per year from sustainablymanaged forests. This is supplied by EGGER Forestry and other external suppliers.
All channels of supply adhere to the same environmental, social and economic standards, so we are able to provide that assurance to our customers. We carry out detailed due diligence to ensure that legal requirements for felling trees and associated sustainability standards have been maintained, and record this within our wood procurement systems.
For all of the virgin fibre sourced, the forest owner carries a legal obligation to ensure the areas felled are replanted. This gives us the confidence that the forest resource will be
regenerated for the future.
A proportion of the wood we source goes to sawmills. How do we ensure the environment is at the heart of this process too?
Within EGGER Forestry, we demonstrate our commitment to environmental sustainability through all of our site based operations. These are managed in a way that ensures compliance with our own ISO Management system, which includes ISO 14001.
After we deliver the sawlogs to the mills, they reduce these to sawn timber sections which are then sold into the construction, pallet and fencing markets. Side cuts removed from each log are further processed into chips, which are then sold to EGGER, along with sawdust from the sawing process, for us to utilise in our chipboard production process.
Nothing is wasted.
Maintaining an element of control on this supply chain provides us with the assurance that the environmental footprint is minimised.
When a design project requires environmental certification, how do we provide specifiers with complete transparency of our Forestry processes?
All of the wood material used in our wood-based panel production is sourced according to legal requirements and sustainability standards, and we rigorously ensure that there is clear traceability to this. We are then able to pass this onto our customers via certification and chain of custody documentation which we share.
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