‘Responsible Wood Timber Feature, page 62 of Master Builder Victoria April-May 2019

Responsible Wood is Australia’s largest forest certification scheme.

As it stands more than 11.4 million hectares of defined forest are covered by the scheme, with more than 250 businesses involved in Responsible Wood’s Chain of Custody scheme.

The Chain of Custody scheme encompasses timber processes, merchants and retailers.

Responsible Wood is an accredited standards development organisation, it develops the Australian Standards for Sustainable Forest Management and Chain of Custody for Forest Products.

With more than 90% of all commercial forestry certified under the scheme, a large majority of pine framing and Australian hardwoods are likely sourced from Responsible Wood certified forests.

Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries said it’s Chain of Custody that matters for building practitioners.

The businesses that are involved in the Responsible Wood Chain of Custody scheme are the businesses that supply timbers to Master Builders.

“Chain of Custody by its very nature demonstrates that timbers processed and sold to Master Builders are sourced from forests that meet benchmarks for the environment, as well as economic and social benchmarks,” he said.

“For Responsible Wood, it all starts in the forest; forests that are covered by our scheme are assessed by independent certification bodies, auditing forest managers to ensure that forests are harvested responsibly, wildlife is protected and workers are compensated in accordance with award level standards.”

“This is the bedrock of the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme.”

Chain of Custody supports sustainable forest management, it provides an unbroken chain in the supply chain ensuring that responsibly harvested timbers in the forest are passed onto the end-user of timber or paper-based products.

Mr Dorries said using Responsible Wood certified wood in projects, means builders could be eligible to work on government projects, because Government contractors are required to procure timber materials that meet Australian Standards.

“Another consideration, and perhaps the more pressing issue moving forward, is the timber legality requirements captured in the Commonwealth Government’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act, he said.”

“Under Australian law, Master Builders must source timber from sources that do not contravene the laws of that country.”

“We live more and more in a global society, where timber is traded to and from exotic parts of the world.”

“What Responsible Wood provides, and through mutual recognition with PEFC, is evidence which can be used by Master Builders to demonstrate the legality of timber anywhere in the world.”