Here at Havwoods, we do our utmost to ensure our timber is ethically and sustainably sourced. This includes being certain that we're working with reputable timber companies who aren't involved with importing illegally logged wood froom around the world.
Many timber suppliers will tell you, often in good faith, that their supplies are from 'managed' or 'sustainable' sources. However, unless they have an independent certification system in place, there's really no certain way to verify their sources, or for you to demonstrate to your clients that you've met their expectations for ethical trading.
We know that deforestation is having a huge impact on the environment. Global warming, soil erosion, the loss of habitat for plants and animals, and the destruction of local populations and the water cycle, to name a few. Helping local populations preserve their forests is the task of international non-profit organisations like the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC®). Indeed, the FSC's mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. This includes addressing issues such as illegal logging, deforestation and global warming, with positive outcomes on economic development, environmental conservation, poverty alleviation and social and political empowerment.
Another international organisation that you'll find referenced throughout Havwoods' publications is the PEFC (Program of the Endorsement of Forest Certification) who concentrate on ensuring that certification is accessible even to small and family owned forests. Meanwhile, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovations Institute (administrator for the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Programme) addresses issues from a different angle - educating and empowering manufacturers to become a positive force for society and the environment.
Opting to use more wood is undeniably good for both the individual and the environment - just make sure that you're choosing wood from a sustainable source.