Timber veneer is renewable, reusable, recyclable, and completely biodegradable. Veneering is a highly efficient use of wood and environmentally friendly. Adhering thin slices of timber to stable substrates delivers all the positive features of solid timber whilst maximising resources.
Sustainable wood, as compared to any other wood on the market, was obtained legally and gathered in ways that protect other existing trees in the forest, as well as the waterways, wildlife and the environment in which the wood was harvested. For wood imported from other countries, sustainability also means gathering the timber in a way that respects the rights of indigenous people in the area. In a sustainable lumbering practice, new seedlings are planted faster than trees are removed, thereby ensuring that forests regrow.
Wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is guaranteed to be sourced sustainably using low-impact logging methods. While all timber-gathering impacts the surrounding environment, the goal with sustainable logging is to have the least possible negative impact on the surrounding area. FSC-certified wood comes from forest areas that are well-managed to ensure sustainability. This wood features an FSC label to make it easier to find in lumber and home-improvement stores. More than 380 million acres of forest are FSC-certified globally, with 150 million of those acres situated in North America. Even so, less than 20 percent of wood materials sold in the United States is FSC-certified.
While the FSC isn’t the only organization that certifies wood’s sustainability, it’s one of the most widely accepted in the United States and beyond. Other large organizations that certify sustainable wood harvests include the Canadian Standards Association, American Tree Farm System, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
What is sustainable wood?
Sustainable wood comes from sustainably managed forests. It’s renewable because the forest stewards manage the landscape to prevent damage to eco-systems, watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, taking a long term rather than short term view of the resource.
Sustainability in this context means the forest should still be there for your grandchildren and great grand-kids, and be able to soak up carbon emissions and keep our air clean for generations to come, as well as a being haven for wildlife.
Wood from unsustainable sources, on the other hand, is chopped down without a second thought leaving bare areas that, unless they’re carefully treated, never really recover to their former glory. The effects are clear – illegal logging leads to wholesale destruction.
Common Sustainable Species
As with any other lumber, some sustainably sourced species are more common than others. This is due to the abundance of the trees the wood came from, and therefore the number of certified forests containing such trees. Sustainable hardwoods are used for everything from wood flooring to furniture and even baseball bats. Some of the easiest to find sustainable woods are:
- White ash: Coming from North America, this hardwood is used for sports equipment and furniture, as it’s both durable and flexible.
- Oak: Most sustainable oak also comes from North America. This light-hued hardwood is used for floors, cabinets and furniture, thanks to its long-term durability.
- Maple: Another abundant North American wood, the hardest versions of maple are used for stair treads, furniture and guitar bodies or necks.
- Black cherry: A beautiful red-tinted wood from North America, black cherry is often used for veneer, furniture, cabinets and doors. Guitar makers sometimes use cherry for both the beauty of its fine grain and the tone the wood produces as part of a guitar body. It’s sometimes used in place of mahogany, which is typically imported.
- Mahogany: This wood offers a gorgeous red hue when finished, making it a popular choice for furniture. FSC-certified mahogany comes from Asia, Africa or South and Central America.
- Pine: Pine, generally viewed as a soft wood, is sustainable largely because it grows quickly, meaning forests can be replenished without the wait it takes to regrow an oak or other hardwood forest.. Yellow pine is used in home and boat construction due to its density, while white pine, which is softer, is used for crafting, carpentry and furniture. It also resists warping.
Going one step further: recycled materials.
Remember: we don’t always have to cut down a tree. Working with reclaimed or salvaged woods prevents unnecessary logging and its associated greenhouse gas emissions; it also provides incentives for municipal recycling programs. Take a look at our Prefabricated and Engineered Veneers Products .