A team from the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) attended the Greening Government conference in Birmingham last week to promote the use of timber and wood products.

Graham Bruford of Forests Forever outlined the TTF’s approach to responsible timber sourcing and its position on timber certification to local and central government procurement officers.

He also explained the TTF’s specification clause for timber and wood products. This states that if independently certified timber is not available, the TTF will prefer timber and wood products from suppliers that have adopted a formal environmental purchasing policy.

Mr Bruford outlined the advantages of timber – including the fact that it causes few environmental problems during processing, installation and transportation and is natural, organic, recyclable, re-useable, and safely biodegradable.

In conclusion, he said: ‘What I’ve been focusing on today relates to the resource base, the forest, because that is where the environmental concerns about timber have been concentrated to date.

‘However, I’d like to encourage you to take an holistic view of the environmental impact of timber throughout its entire life cycle from cradle to grave or forest to final disposal when assessing whether or not to buy timber products when compared with products made from alternative materials such as steel, plastic or concrete.’