Skanska: Logged Wood Can Be “Bought Off The Shelf”

The EU is a
massive importer of illegally logged wood from Indonesia and other exporters of illegal wood. Is there the political will to move
beyond a voluntary approach and adopt tough legal measures?
    The illegal
timber trade is thriving – and the EU, according to a recent report, is one of
its biggest markets. Yet there are no laws to prevent imports and Europe’s only official response to the trade is widely
seen as inadequate.
    Noel
Morrin, senior vice president for sustainability at the Swedish construction
company Skanska, points out: “Not all certification schemes share the same
degree of robustness and in any case, all of them are open to the risk of
abuse.”
    Morrin says
certificates can virtually be “bought off the shelf” in high-risk regions such
as Asia. Consequently, Skanska’s policy is
simply to avoid purchasing high-risk timber, whether or not it bears
certification. Instead the company seeks out low-risk, certified alternatives.
“[Skanska] has decided to avoid any form of illegal wood. While certification
systems help, they are not a panacea, since even certified wood isn’t always
all that it seems.”

 

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