Research and data on forest commodity supply chains and policy

Polygon of a forest management plan in the Amazon

TimberCheck launched the WoodFlow™ app to help you know the wood flow of a product.

Why know the wood flow?

Buying good wood from well managed forests is critical for the survival of natural forest ecosystems.

Buying good wood:

  1. Supports the companies investing in sustainable forest management;
  2. Funds their cost of managing forests;
  3. Makes forests an attractive land use option; and,
  4. Reduces demand for illegal wood.

But when it comes to knowing where a wood product originates, most wood you buy is probably a mystery wood. It was brought to you by people you hope are nice. From somewhere you hope is managed sustainably, or at least in accordance with the local laws. Unless you logged the timber (or bought the logs in the forest), delivered it to the sawmill (or milled them yourself), and watched the logs be milled into lumber, it’s extremely difficult to to know where a wood product originated. And if you don’t know where it originated, how can you know whether it’s “good” wood?

Mystery wood and old ways

Traditional methods have failed to reveal the origins of mystery wood. It used to be that a company’s claim of sustainability was sufficient information about the origin. Unfortunately, decades of greenwashing have eroded trust in such messaging.

Likewise, labels by third-parties who claim to guarantee sustainable origins, fall short of such claims and have also been used as vehicles for greenwashing. As a result, trust in their ability to even guarantee legality is questioned by professional timber merchants. When asked can FSC labelled wood also be illegal wood, 44% of respondents answered yes.

See: Over 100,000 tons of fraudulent FSC plywood? – EIA

More recently, governments of importing countries, often at the requests of environmental watchdog agencies, have raised the penalties for companies who buy wood without conducting adequate due diligence on the forest origin of their products. However, these processes are often based on documentation that is often falsified.

How does WoodFlow™ help?

WoodFlow takes another approach to revealing the mystery of wood origins. WoodFlow helps you understand the journey of a wood product, and explore its forest origin. But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself. Request early-bird access to the WoodFlow app here.

Want to know the forest origin of a wood product? Start a WoodFlow™

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