Green Deal does good – now the sequel.

The Green Deal initiative, aimed at making certified sustainable timber the Netherlands’ market mainstream norm, has gone a good way to achieving its goal in its three-year life.

That was the verdict of Paul van den Heuvel, Director of the Royal Netherlands Timber Trade Federation (VVNH) and Green Deal steering committee President, summing up the programme’s achievement as it ended in December.

With the underlying aim of promoting sustainable forest management, Green Deal brought together 27 organizations across the Dutch timber sector, plus government and other interested organisations representatives.

“We’ve monitored the programme in an impact study and it shows we’re  well on our way,” said Mr van den Heuvel. “Participants have done a good job promoting sustainably produced timber, helping increase awareness across the timber sector and resulting in organizations and governments becoming more open to using it.”

But he acknowledged more needs to be done, notably the certified proportion of Dutch tropical timber sales, which was just 40.4%, against 75% for other wood types last year. Consequently work is underway on the Green Deal sequel.

“To date we’ve worked closely with market partners, enabling us to map the strengths and problem areas of the sector in driving the sustainable timber market,” said Mr van den Heuvel. “Now it’s time to involve more parties, such as NGOs and local authorities. We hope to be a sustainable timber example throughout the European market!”