Coillte celebrates 10 years of FSC certified forest management
FSC Certification has been vital in positioning Coillte as a leading European supplier of timber and panel products
Guest speaker Kevin McCloud from Channel 4’s Grand Designs says timber sector has a bright future
Coillte, Ireland’s largest forestry and forest products company, today hosted an event at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium to celebrate 10 years of independent certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This certification is an independent endorsement of Coillte’s management of its forests and has been a major factor in allowing Coillte and its customers increase exports of timber and timber panel products. The event also recognised the role of all of Coillte’s customers, contractors and stakeholders in maintaining this certification and was attended by approximately 200 people.
Kevin McCloud the writer, designer and television presenter best known for Channel 4’s Grand Designs, was Master of Ceremonies and keynote speaker at the event.
Speaking at the event David Gunning, Chief Executive of Coillte said: “FSC Certification gives our customers and stakeholders the assurance that we meet strict environmental, social and economic criteria in managing our forests. Our timber panel products manufactured in Clonmel and Waterford Port – Medite MDF and SmartPly OSB – are also FSC certified, enabling us to increase our exports to markets in the UK and Europe.
“FSC certification has also been instrumental in the ability of our saw mill customers to grow their exports of timber, with the UK again being a major market.
“Securing and maintaining an internationally recognised certification such as FSC for our forestry management over the last 10 years is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the innovative and sustainable management of natural resources.
“I want to pay special tribute to the Coillte teams across the country who, through their effective management of the estate, have contributed to this success. I also want to recognise the role all of our customers, stakeholders, contractors and suppliers in the achievement of this great milestone.”
Kevin McCloud commented: “It’s great to have been part of today’s event and to share in Coillte’s celebration of 10 years of FSC Certification. Timber is one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly construction materials. It’s vital that timber is managed and harvested in accordance with sustainable principles, and Coillte’s FSC certification demonstrates their commitment to this approach – not just in theory but in practice.
“I believe there is a really positive outlook for the timber and timber products sector as it has a major role to play in ensuring we have energy efficient and truly sustainable homes, offices and other buildings.
“In my work I promote the benefits of a sustainable approach to building and development and I believe it is the key to energy efficient buildings and truly sustainable communities.”
Some facts and figures
Over the period 2000 to 2010 the volume of sawn wood which has been exported by the saw mill sector in the Republic of Ireland has increased by 227%. One of the reasons for this is the availability of FSC certified timber from Coillte’s forests. This has helped this sector access new markets as domestic demand has decreased.
Over the period 2007 to 2010 Ireland was the largest exporter of medium density fibreboard (MDF) to the UK. This is again a clear indicator that Coillte’s ability to produce certified MDF at its plant in Clonmel has been a key driver in exports.
Coillte manages 7% of the land in Ireland in a sustainable and responsible way. Coillte’s role also includes the innovative use of this land estate for the development of renewable energy and telecommunications infrastructure to derive the maximum commercial benefit from the estate. Coillte is also Ireland’s leading provider of world class recreation facilities such as mountain bike trails and forest parks and is very active in encouraging people to enjoy the great natural resource on our doorstep.