How do we ensure the legality of the wood we source?
We don’t trade wood featuring on the list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
By preference we buy exclusively certified timber that complies with the major international third party verification schemes:
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Program for the endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
Origine et Légalité des bois (OLB)
NEPcon LEGAL SOURCE standard.
We ensure European standards compliant due diligence (EUTR/FLEGT):
We undertake field visits at forest management units and/or
We perform yearly audits on suppliers
We use satellite data, information gathered from GPS loggers and digital fingerprints
We permanently investigate the latest traceability technologies such as Block chain and advanced Digital fingerprint recognition.
Where feasible, commercial partners assist by conducting the checking and verification of documents.
We verify compliance with the applicable legislation in the country of harvest through independent audits
In 2019 Vandecasteele has appointed a local Sustainability Field Supervisor in Brazil.
How do we contribute to the environmental value of wood?
Complying with all major international certification standards, we permanently promote sustainable forest Management (SFM). This safeguards the preservation of forests, protects biodiversity, combats deforestation and illegal logging and halts the loss and degradation of forest ecosystems.
By responsibly trading wood, we preserve sustainable managed forests that are carbon neutral: the amount of carbon that can be released as a result of harvesting is equal to or smaller than the amount taken from the atmosphere.
We actively promote the responsible usage of wood as the most environmental friendly construction and production material as eco-friendly substitutes to less sustainable materials such as steel or concrete.
We also trade a large range of lesser commercially known species that might otherwise miss their environmental value: 33 different species from African forests, 32 different species from South-American forests.
In comparison with many other timber traders, we also accept to trade all dimensions of the wood harvested from a log to minimize the waste of unused wood that does not comply with standard commercial dimensions.
We keep stock for our customers, so our supplier can optimize the production and the transport to Europe in one go.
In order to pro-actively protect the environmental value of tropical wood from 2019 Vandecasteele has appointed a local Sustainability Field Supervisor in Brazil.
How do we contribute to the economic value of wood?
In the long run, local communities worldwide surely depend on the environmental AND economic value of their forests if these latter are sustainably managed.
In the short run however, the main cause of deforestation is actually not the harvesting of wood but agricultural expansion. This has a pure economic reason. The benefits of one hectare of palm oil, soy plantation, or cattle breeding outweigh the long-term economic value of the forest.
However, harvesting trees in well-managed forests directly reduces the opportunity costs of not converting forests to plantations. At the same time this secures the long term economic value of the forest as a secure bank account for local populations. This by guaranteeing healthy forests that will perpetuate harvesting and thus recurrent income. This can only be achieved if sustainable harvesting rotation cycles, sustainable forest inventory management and selective cutting standards of commercial species are being respected.
How do we contribute to the social value of wood?
As a socially responsible company, Vandecasteele aligns with international best practices, such as the standards set out by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Wherever possible, our audits also include a check whether our suppliers respect the core ILO conventions, ILO Code of Practice Safety and Health in Forestry work, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the United Declaration on Human rights.
Vandecasteele is committed to extending these international best practices to all of its sourcing and suppliers.
What is the target date to achieve 100% certification?
Vandecasteele is committed to source 100% from certified suppliers by 2025.