In our last post, we discussed why forests are so important and the many positives they provide such as creating oxygen, filtering out toxins, preventing erosion, combating climate change, providing food, and housing wildlife, among other attributes. We also talked a little about how sustainability efforts are striking a balance between acquiring wood for projects and preventing harmful deforestation.
This post delves deeper into those conservation efforts, the regulations involved, and the ways logging and other timber-related companies are protecting wooded environments. Read on for a quick guide to how hardwood flooring and other related industries are protecting forests.
Sustainable Practices for Lumber Creation
Several organizations are ensuring lumber companies are procuring their materials in environmentally friendly ways. These include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), among others. Here’s how these agencies are impacting sustainable lumber sourcing.
FSC — The organization is protecting forests for future generations, ensuring “forests for all forever,” and promoting “environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.” Its mission is to meet “current needs for forest products without compromising the health of the world’s forests for future generations.”
USGBC — Committed to transforming building design, construction, and operation, the USGBC’s mission is to enable an “environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life” through community, collaboration with industry experts, market research, and global staff.
SFI — An “independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management,” the SFI works to “address local needs through a unique grassroots network.” It offers a certification based on forest management, water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, at-risk species, and more.
In addition, U.S. Forest Service Forest Management legislation and directives like Forest and Range Renewable Resources Planning, National Forest Management Act (NFMA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act of 1973, National Historic Preservation Act, Clean Water Act, and Wilderness Act of 1964 are all having lasting impacts on the lumber industry’s reach.
The Results of Sustainable Practices Done Right
Lumber is not simply cut and sold. Mills are required to replant to avoid depleting one of Earth’s most important renewable resources, and they can’t cut in protected areas or those that were recently impacted by lumber-related activity. They also can’t cut if ecosystems could be wiped out, or if an endangered species inhabits a particular patch of forest.
This means deforestation is being avoided. Negative industry impacts are minimized when firms adhere to sustainable lumber practices. Most now follow strict national standards, planting new trees, managing and maintaining planting projects, and preserving habitats. Planting one, if not multiple, trees to replace one that is cut creates a positive overall result, and plenty of agencies are doing their part to ensure forests remain a renewable natural resource.
Work with a Flooring Expert You Trust
If you’re wondering whether your hardwood flooring expert uses sustainable practices when creating its materials, call and ask. Many, like District Floor Depot, only partner with mills that use sustainable milling practices. If this is important to you, work with a team that also finds sustainability and environmental protection a must.