About Our Eco Friendly Certifications

August 19, 2022 By ,

Here at Hardwood Decking Supply, trees are our lifeblood. That’s why we’re dedicated to doing our part to make sure that forests are harvested sustainably. We do this primarily through our membership and involvement with two incredible organizations: Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance. Let’s learn more about these organizations and why you should only choose wood that’s certified.  

About Forest Stewardship Council

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was founded in 1993 in response to growing concerns over deforestation. As a nonprofit organization, it provides certification criteria for forest products. It both sets the standards and independently confirms those standards have been met. These qualifying products can be marketed with the certified FSC logo. The logo serves as a visual indicator to customers that the item they’re purchasing is a sustainable alternative to a product that doesn’t have the logo.

FSC logo

Certification, which covers a wide range of wood and paper products, takes the entire ecosystem into account to ensure that wildlife and all plant species benefit from the sustainable management. Humans are a factor in certification, too, as FSC wants to work with the people whose livelihood is dependent on forest products. 

About Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect forests while improving the livelihood of farmers. This group also promotes human rights and works to help forest communities adapt to the climate crisis. Their sustainable agriculture standard, which focuses on commodities such as coffee, cocoa, and wood, is used around the world. Certified products with the logo are a symbol of environmental, social, and economic sustainability.  

Rainforest Alliance Certification logo

Why do forests matter?

Our forests are complex systems that provide food, fuel, medicine and jobs for over a billion people. Not only that, but forests are home to 80 percent of land animals and 750 million people, including 60 million indigenous people.  

The Amazon rainforest, and other tropical forests, are incredibly important in particular. Their vegetation rapidly absorbs and stores carbon dioxide, which mitigates the effects of climate change and increasing levels of greenhouse gases. Tropical forests possess an incredible level of biodiversity and natural resources.  

Medicine is just one of these resources. It’s estimated over 25 percent of all current medicines are derived from tropical plants. Since only five percent of tropical plants have been studied for medical benefits, we lose possible cures as we lose rainforests.  

In addition to the human and economic factors, forests are vital for the health of the planet for many reasons:  

  • Prevent soil erosion: Converting forests to agricultural land or pastures speeds soil erosion. Eroded soil isn’t fertile, which reduces agricultural outputs. It’s estimated that 12 million hectares of land are lost annually (which could be used to grow 20 million tons of grain) due to desertification and drought. 
  • Act as a carbon sink: After oceans, forests act as the largest storehouse of carbon, which slows the warming of the earth. During photosynthesis, plants release oxygen and take up carbon dioxide. The carbon is stored in stems, roots, and leaves during the plant’s lifetime. When plants or trees die or are cut, this stored carbon is returned to the air or soil. Globally, forests are thought to store about 400 gigatons of carbon. Tropical forests absorb and store more carbon than other types of forests. 
  • Provide clean water: Forests are important for filtering water, protecting watersheds, and reducing erosion and pollution.  
  • Reduce flooding: Trees also provide a buffer during rainfall and flooding events. Tree roots soak up water and help keep soil in place, which also helps to absorb water. Even leaves slow flooding, as raindrops will fall on leaves and don’t hit the ground with as much force.  

How do certifications help?

Seeking out FSC and Rainforest Alliance certified tropical wood is one way consumers can help protect valuable tropical forests. These certifications protect ecosystems while respecting local economies and cultures. Pesticide use is limited on certified products and lumber is selectively harvested instead of being clearcut. Only through sustainability can we have enough resources for all the people and animals that depend on forests.  

A pond surrounded by woods.

Shop Hardwood Decking Supply

Contact our decking experts today and shop our variety of certified wood. With over 25 years of experience, we take pride in working with our customers to ensure that their unique needs are not only met, but surpassed. By providing mill direct lumber, we can pass along the savings to our homeowners and contractors. See why we’ve been trusted for over 25 years! 

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