Public and private sector procurement policy shape the marketplace, influencing and, to an extent, dictating what products and materials specifiers, end users and consumers can choose.
So, from the outset, the STTC has promoted sustainable timber procurement policies and encouraged both private and the public sectors to implement and monitor sustainable timber procurement policies.
To the end of 2016, the STTC supported the timber trade federations of France, Spain, Germany and Denmark to work with members in developing a nationwide policy for promoting and monitoring market uptake of sustainable tropical timber. The Netherlands Timber Trade Association and the UK Timber Trade Federation had already implemented responsible purchasing policies.
The STTC has also supported ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) and its Sustainable Timber Action project. This helped European public authorities ensure the timber products they bought were produced and traded in a sustainable and fair way. One of the main outcomes of is The Buying Sustainable Timber guide, which provides clear guidance for public authorities on procuring sustainable timber products.
To facilitate leverage, exchange and learning between countries, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), in collaboration with Probos and ICLEI, has also set up a database providing guidance materials, tools and training resources for public authorities on procuring sustainable timber products. The tools focus on Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The database is available here (updated until 2014).
The EU FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (www.flegtimm.eu) has also produced a report on EU Public Sector Timber Procurement (May, 2019). This examines the criteria of public sector timber procurement policy and the emphasis placed on buying certified and EU FLEGT-licensed timber and wood products. It states that the policies of the 22 EU countries which have one vary widely, but all require or at least encourage government buyers to source legal and often sustainable timber. And as government procurement accounts for a significant proportion of all timber purchasing, it has major potential to influence buying policy and promote good business practice across the wider market. You can download the report here.
In 2016 the theme of the STTC’s annual conference was ‘Real impact through timber purchasing policies’. All presentations and insights are available online.