Industry Hardwood Conference Focuses on Environmental Issues
More than 150 delegates from both Europe and the United States travelled to Warsaw, Poland to attend a convention exploring the future of hardwoods. Much of the convention concentrated on issues of sustainability and environmental consciousness in the harvesting, manufacture and use of hardwoods, with ‘Sustainable American Hardwoods – A Market Opportunity’ a particular focus.
Environmental Product Declarations, or EPDs, were discussed as being an important step forward in the timber industry. “EPDs already form the basis of material selection in European green building initiatives,” said Rupert Oliver, a consultant for Forest Industries Intelligence. Oliver went on to refer to EPDs as “the environmental equivalent of food ingredient labels.”
The initial EPDs for hardwoods originating in the United States will soon be released. The information is expected to help German, French and UK hardwood markets more easily make use of American woods. “EPDs will allow customers to make like for like comparisons on products’ environmental credentials and put us in a strong position to press for other materials sectors to adopt the same standards as timber,” explained Oliver.
The emphasis on hardwoods has significant implications for both the construction and home-renovation industries. Hardwoods are highly desirable and increase the value of homes for sale and resale.
This means that one of the most important things a homeowner can do in order to realise maximum value for a home is to arrange for wood floor repairs. This may involve not just maintenance and restoration of flat floor surfaces but may also encompass sanding floorboards so that they can be freshly stained and polished.