Business backs ecolabel | WWF

Business backs ecolabel

Posted on
27 March 2001
Brussels, Belgium Decospan, Europe's biggest manufacturer of veneer panelling, announced today it will buy as many wood products as possible from well-managed woodlands - becoming the 50th Belgian company to join Club 97 (Forest and Trade Network Belgium): a group of firms in Belgium backing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a unique initiative enabling consumers to identify timber products from environmentally and socially well-managed forests through forest certification and product labelling. "Decospan will buy FSC certified timber because more and more of our customers want environmentally-friendly products" said Jan Desmet, President of Decospan. "The FSC provides an excellent way to protect the world's forests through the responsible management of woodlands. It is a very good and practical scheme which Decospan will recommend to our suppliers and customers." Nearly seven hundred companies with an annual turnover of US$180 billion support FSC - either by producing FSC timber or buying it whenever possible. These companies represent 7% of the world's wood consumption. Retailers stocking FSC goods include IKEA, Brico, Gamma, B&Q and The Home Depot, the world's largest DIY store. Decospan has two plants in Menen, Belgium and another in Northern France plus sales offices in Germany and the UK. Decospan employs 160 people, produces more than 5 million m2 of veneered panels a year and has a turnover of 50 million euro. About 15% of this turnover is realised in France and 10% in the UK and Germany. The daughter of Decospan, Par-ky, produces 1 million m2 of veneered flooring a year and export worldwide to more than 40 countries. "Today we offer FSC-veneer in american cherry, american maple and american red oak. We aim to motivate our customers and suppliers for FSC and hope to enlarge our FSC-range as soon as possible" says Jan Desmet. FSC, bringing together forest owners and managers, the timber and paper industry and ngos, is attracting increasing interest from business. A recent seminar on FSC in the Flemish part of Belgium attracted eighty representatives from some 50 paper and timber companies. "The interest in FSC in Flanders reflects the FSC's growing impact on the timber market in Europe and worldwide" said Geert Lejeune of WWF-Belgium. "Companies value the guarantee of good forest management that FSC brings to their products. Companies know face ever more detailed scrutiny over the ethics and sustainability of their activities. The fact that FSC involves independent certification is a benefit" said François Foisil, Quality and Environment Manager, IKEA Trading, Paris "IKEA supports FSC because it makes good business sense, for our customers and for our supplies of timber. IKEA is in a position to be a force for good in forestry due to the size of its business, we have to succeed." For further information: Julian Scola, Press Officer, WWF European Policy Office, tel +32 2 743 8806, jscola@wwfepo.org ; Edith Verhoestraete, Communications Officer, WWF-Belgium, tel +32 2 340 0949 Hans Gheldof, Decospan, tel +32 56 528 842 hans.gheldof@par-ky.com