Latest analysis of Dutch timber imports reveals a further rise in the proportion certified ‘from demonstrably sustainably managed forests‘ under FSC or PEFC schemes. There has also been an increase in the volume of FLEGT-licensed timber and sheet materials imported from Indonesia.
The report, commissioned by the Netherlands Timber Trade Association (NTTA) undertaken by forest and timber sustainability advisors and analysts Probos, shows that in 2020 93.7% of the 2.047 million m3 of timber and panel products imported by NTTA members (who account for the vast bulk of Dutch imports) was chain of custody certified. This compared with 91.9% of the 1.76 million m3 imported in 2019.
The proportion of the Netherlands’ 319,000 m3 of hardwood imports certified was 67.2%, up from 62.4% in 2019. Within that figure, the percentage of the 269,550 m3 of tropical imports certified was 65.1%, compared to 61.6% in 2019, while that of the 49,482 m3 of temperate hardwood imports was 78.6% as against 67.2%.
The figures show Dutch FLEGT-licensed imports up substantially; from 26,934 m3 in 2019 to 47,944 in 2020. This gave them a 17.8% share of total tropical timber imports. Probos highlighted that a proportion of FLEGT-licensed imports were also certified sustainable.
Looking at other timber product categories, the certified sustainable proportion of the Netherlands’ 1.09 million m3 of softwood imports in 2020 was 98.8%, while for its 616,462 m3 sheet materials import total it was 98.2%.
Increased transparency through Thémis
After reporting on sustainable timber sourcing in the Dutch and Belgian market for 15 years, Probos is now working on a timber data gathering tool and information portal to help timber trade federations across Europe to monitor, benchmark and promote verified sustainable timber procurement in their countries to support sustainable forest management in producer countries.
Launched earlier this year, Thémis is being developed in association with French trade association Le Commerce du Bois (LCB), Fedustria of Belgium, the UK Timber Trade Federation, the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT) and IT company Graphius. Thémis is supported by PPECF and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative.
By tracking sustainable procurement, says Probos, trade bodies can increase timber trade transparency, monitor progress and target interventions to grow certified timber market share. By highlighting the level of wood sourced sustainably it can also help ‘positively brand the sector and timber generally’. The first round of monitoring amongst members of Fedustria, LCB and ATIBT has taken place.