I just came across this and felt the need to post it (source). I think most people are pretty clued up nowadays about Certification but it’s always good to know that you are buying things that are environmentally sound especially nowadays when so much harm is done to our planet.
However I would like to just add my tuppence worth as a woodcrafter and a small independent business. Please read the following quote and I will continue after it.
“If you want to buy tables, chairs and couches from an environmental and socially responsible timber industry, you should look for a trustworthy proof of origin. Most manufacturers make their goods with promising certificates, but you should only go for the internationally valid seal FSC. Many dealers promote with fancy labels and convincingly-sounding certificates – but in reality the customer is misled.
The proof of origin is often self-made and offers no guarantee for an environmentally friendly and socially responsible product. The FSC label is the only ecological wooden certificate meeting the basic requirements of environmental associations and consumer associations.
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and it is an independent organization of environmentalists, business representatives and social organizations. The members have to define the minimum criteria for sustainable forest management and are acting worldwide. The FSC label is currently the only certificate to offer the possibility worldwide to observe the complete processing of the tree from the forest to the garden chair in the store.
Ask the seller for the exact origin of their wood products! If the company isn´t able to tell where the wood comes from: stay away! Ask for products from native hardwoods and prefer native timbers particularly if they are accompanied by the certificate of Naturland or FSC.”
This is the official logo for the FSC.
Ok it states above “Many dealers promote with fancy labels and convincingly-sounding certificates – but in reality the customer is misled. The proof of origin is often self-made and offers no guarantee for an environmentally friendly and socially responsible product.” From My point of view this only has a modicum of truth. Small woodcrafting businesses like mine tend to source timber locally and in many cases actually recycle wood so how can I prove otherwise? According to the above statement I can’t and therefore should be avoided. So are the Forest Stewardship Council saying that if I see a wind felled tree and ask permission of the land owner to harvest some of it that it is not a valid eco-friendly bit of timber? Or what about when I recycle something into a new product, should I be certifying it as FSC aswell?
They also state “Ask the seller for the exact origin of their wood products! If the company isn´t able to tell where the wood comes from: stay away! Ask for products from native hardwoods and prefer native timbers particularly if they are accompanied by the certificate of Naturland or FSC.” I can probably tell people where 90% of the wood I use is sourced from but I can’t provide a certificate. I do take great care in finding out the providence of the wood so I can in fact pass this information on to potential customers. The other 10%, well that’s the really funny part about this. When I do buy timber I usually buy FSC labeled timber from timber merchants but as far as I am concerned if asked about it I would have to say I bought it locally from a timber supplier and can only say that it was FSC certified.
I think if when looking at buying eco-friendly products that a certificate is a good thing to look out for but in reality you do have to have a certain amount of trust in the person making the product. Small self-employed crafts people I would say could tell you a lot more about their products than a salesperson in a showroom selling bought in products. I can hand on heart say that as I spent 20 years in sales 10 of which was furniture sales.
Well that’s just my thoughts I would love to hear what anyone else has to say about this.