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Charpente Houot - Certified Since 2009

Houot-medCharpente Houot is a French company specialized in the conception, construction and implementation of wooden frames and structures.The company CEO, Philippe ROUX, describes their experience with PEFC certification and its benefits.

Why did you choose to get PEFC certified?
Charpente Houot was one of the very first companies in the wooden construction business to obtain PEFC certification in France. From the outset, it seemed to us that this approach which brings together economic, ecological and social imperatives dovetailed neatly with our own concerns for sustainable development. We also wanted to respond to a strong level of demand from our customers. PEFC certification allowed us to offer assurances about the origin of our wood and our own use of materials that contribute to the sustainable management of forests.

What are the commercial costs and benefits of certification?
In our particular case, the costs of certification were not relevant because certified wood is no more expensive than non-certified wood. Certification simply represents an extension of our daily activities that can be turned into an investment. To begin with, certification required an investment in terms of time, however as it becomes integrated, this "time investment" is amortized. The implementation of the Chain of Custody was facilitated by the fact that several of our suppliers (notably the sawmills at the start of the supply chain) were already PEFC certified. Finally, the cost of certification remains marginal in relation to company turnover and its impact in terms of our customers.

In the beginning, some of our customers were indifferent to certification; we therefore started a campaign to explain its benefits. Whereas other customers were impatient for us to become certified. A lot of our work is for the tertiary sector: And we are involved in the creation of structures aimed at the general public (leisure centres, restaurants, retirement homes, etc.). PEFC certification therefore comes with important economic benefits: it enables us to retain our traditional markets while at the same time responding to new demand from the public and private sectors. Using the PEFC logo on our products allows us to offer guarantees about their origin and adds value. Further down the chain, PEFC certification allows our customers in turn to communicate their commitment to sustainability to their own customers.

What changes has PEFC certification brought within your own company?
PEFC certification has been very well received within the company and has helped us to generate greater internal cohesion. In the medium term, our core business is evolving. We are increasingly moving from simply creating wooden frames and structures towards assembly requiring a great number of certifications and audits. PEFC certification fits in neatly with these new challenges facing our company, and has, since 2009, been an integral part of our activities opening up pathways to new business activities and skills. As part of this, for example, in the last two years we have launched a programme to assess the carbon footprint of our activities.

Further Information

More information:

Charpente Houot - Certified Since 2009 (227.09 kB)