Our Environmental Responsibility
We do our best to make sure that the wood we use in our flooring projects is sourced from sustainable forestry projects.
Our flooring is purchased from suppliers that comply with FSC and PEFC regulations. These programmes aim to ensure that forests are used sustainably and that their resources are replenished.
FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests. Established in 1993 as a response to concerns over global deforestation, FSC is widely regarded as one of the most important initiatives of the last decade to promote responsible forest management worldwide.
PEFC is the world's largest forest certification system. Their credible standards seek to transform the way forests are managed globally - and locally - to ensure that all of us can enjoy the environmental, social and economic benefits that forests offer.
The vast majority of our wood floors are made of Oak and it is probably the ideal species for wooden floors.In Northern Europe we have it in abundance.It is relatively easy to grow and provides a home for wildlife for generations.
Oak is a very hard timber and as such can last a very long time once utilised. The physical attributes of oak mean that it is incredibly versatile in the way that it can be manipulated using a multitude techniques to create beautiful colours and interesting textures.
The Climate Case for Wood
It is generally accepted that CO2 emissions are the principle cause of climate change and so consideration for the ecological footprint of any product has become fundamental to the decision process as quality, design and price. Wood is natures own carbon sink. Growing trees absorb C02; in fact, one cubic metre of living wood absorbs almost one tonne of CO2; then they break it down through photosynythesis, release oxygen into the atmosphere and store the carbon.
Left to nature, forests achieve a climax stage where the site is maintaining its maximum fertility. At this stage new trees only grow as others fall from age or natural disaster; the dead and drying trees emit CO2 from the stored carbon and since growth is only matched by decay, there is no increase in carbon storage.
Harvesting trees as they mature allows the carbon to be stored throughout the life of wood product and the market for wood provides an economic incentive to preserve and replant. This is particularly important in tropical regions where deforestation is frequently seen as a solution to providing energy or land, rather than as a problem.
European (not including the Russian Federation) forests are the most intensively managed in the world: just 5% of the world’s total forest land account for 25%of all forest products. Even so, only 64% of the net annual increment is harvested. In fact forest cover in this region is actually increasing by more than 660,000 hectares every single year; in Britain from a low of 5% woodland now accounts for 12% of our land.
Of course there are many policies and practices in place which back up the economic advantages of reforestation, and Europe enjoys particularly high levels of protection.12%of its forests are set aside to conserve ecological and landscape diversity; more than 1.6m hectares are strict forest reserves and large tracts of protected forests in Northern and Eastern Europe are actively managed for biodiversity which in itself benefits from harvesting. In essence this is because different forms of wild life prefer different habitats, so a mix of stand ages enhances the biodiversity of the region. Furthermore since opening up the forest floor encourages a flush of grass and herbaceous growth, this increases the food supply for many species, itself increasing the likelihood of animal population growth.
So in addition to its many other advantages, opting for wood is undeniably good for the environment. The production and processing of wood is highly energy efficient; every cubic metre of wood used as a substitute for other building materials reduces CO2 emissions by on average of 1.1 tonnes. It is thermally efficient and it stores carbon throughout its life, every cubic metre of wood contains 5kg of it.
Greater use of wood products will stimulate the expansion of the forests and so reduce greenhouse emissions. A 4% increase in Europe’s annual wood consumption would sequester an additional 150m tonnes of CO2 every year. Looked at another way, a 10% increase in the percentage of wooden houses in Europe would produce sufficient CO2 savings to account for around 25%of the reductions prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol. And Europe alone grows enough wood annually to build such a house every single second. Furthermore even at the end of its life a wood product can be reused, recycled or used as a carbon- neutral, biomass energy substitute for fossil fuels.