As we all become more conscious of our impact on the environment the question of sustainability happily comes up more and more often, but what is sustainable wood flooring and how do you know you are buying it ?
For wood flooring to be considered sustainable the timber it's made must come from forests that are responsibly managed to maintain their biodiversity, productivity and regeneration capacity, now and in the future. Given that European Oak trees take 125 years to get to a size that can be felled for timber this takes forward planning, but thankfully in the European timber industry it has been integral to forestry management for centuries.
There are also certification schemes like the FSC and PEFC which forests and manufacturers of wood flooring can join to prove that their timber comes from sustainably managed forests. For a fee these schemes audit forests to confirm that they are managed according to sustainable principles and manufacturers to confirm that they can trace all the timber they handle and keep timber from different sources separate. Once certified, forests can sell their timber as sustainably managed and manufacturers can sell what they produce from this as being made from sustainable timber. Its important to know though that just because a company is part of the scheme doesn't mean that everything that they supply is meets their criteria, so you need to look for products that are specifically identified as certified.
All of the timber that we use to make Broadleaf floors is sourced from responsibly managed forests, the majority of which are FSC or PEFC certified. We are also members of the FSC®Chain of Custody Certified under the licence number C145463.
Sustainable wood flooring doesn't just mean sustainable timber though. It also means applying sustainably based production principles including paying fair wages, good health and safety practices and looking to reduce the impact of transport and production on the environment wherever possible. This is one of the key reasons that we manufacture here in the UK - so that we can control these things as well as quality and ensure that our wood flooring is as sustainable as we can make it. From finishing products with minimal VOC's, to waste recycling to heat our factory and a sourcing policy focussing on minimal carbon emissions we are constantly looking at ways to reduce our footprint and make our wood flooring even more sustainable.
If you have questions about sourcing or specifying sustainable wood flooring that you would like answers to, feel free to email us at email@example.com