Meeting our certified companies – A/S Global Timber
5 October 2020 Certification on the ground
For our first interview in the series ‘Meeting our certified companies’, we spoke with Per Friis Knudsen, A/S Global Timber Director for Asia, about sustainable sourcing, business ethics and the current challenges in the forestry sector.
What is A/S Global Timber? Can you give us an idea of the company’s position on the market?
A/S Global Timber is a significant player in the wood trading business worldwide. We hold the largest timber warehouse in northern Europe, where at least 70% of our business is conducted. Direct sales into Asia account for about 25% of our business. Our goal is to further grow and be known and acknowledged worldwide for our good business ethics.
How did you hear about PEFC?
PEFC is one of the best-known certification systems in Europe. In Denmark it has been active since its foundation in 1999. We can see a rapid development of PEFC in Asia – and we are happy to be a part of it. That is why we obtained PEFC chain of custody certification in 2012.
What led you to choose PEFC certification?
We strive to conduct socially responsible, ethical and sustainable behaviour in all our processes – at home and abroad.
The forestry sector is often blamed for deforestation, even though it has nothing to gain from it. Research has shown that the major contributors to deforestation are agribusinesses and mining. When sustainably managed, all types of forests are renewable ecosystems providing essential goods and services to people worldwide.
Global Timber is working closely with sawmills around the world, helping to grow the forestry sector and sustain rural communities. By paying a fair, competitive price to primary producers, we provide them with an incentive for keeping forests standing.
How has PEFC certification benefited your company, and helped achieve your goals?
We want to eliminate illegally logged timber from the market. We import and export across 30 countries and six continents, so the degree of complexity is large.
This is where a certification for sustainable forest management is very useful. A PEFC certificate ensures that sourcing is in accordance not only with local rules, but also with the highest international standards.
Documented sustainability is also something that more and more of our customers request.
We are striving towards buying as much verified and certified timber as possible and in 2019 we succeeded to bring the numbers to 50%.
A/S Global Timber
A/S Global Timber is an independent, Danish-owned wood trader and distributor, buying, selling and shipping hardwood in more than 40 countries around the world. The company’s mission is to ensure sustainability in worldwide hardwood forestry and to continuously provide customers with knowledge, innovation and customer value.
Photo credits: Christian Berg