Dutch timber research institute rolls out new certification mark to facilitate responsible buying

New mark assures buyers that they are procuring timber from a business that sources it legally and responsibly. 

Independent Netherlands timber research institute Stichting Hout Research (SHR) has unveiled a new business certification mark, guaranteeing customers that timber is sourced from sustainably-managed forest, regardless of sustainability certification scheme.

The STIP (Sustainable Timber in Product) scheme has been approved by the Dutch Timber Procurement Assessment Committee, TPAC.

SHR Director Oscar van Doorn said it also aligns with the objective of supporters of the Netherlands’ multi-sector-backed Green Deal and new Wood Covenant to remove logistical barriers to use of sustainable timber.

“It’s a breakthrough,” he said. “Removing uncertainties about mixing woods with different chain of custody (CoC) certificates and facilitating achievement of the broad-based goal that 100% of timber is from responsibly managed forestry.”

The STIP is not itself a CoC but a business mark, confirming that a business only sells timber from sustainable sources, for example FSC- or PEFC-certified forests.

“It entails fewer administrative and logistical obligations and less paperwork for woodworking companies and their customers,” said Mr Van Doorn.

He explained that to become a STIP company, a business must be evaluated by experts from an accredited certification body to ensure all their timber is sourced from responsibly and sustainably-managed forest.

Once approved, they are periodically audited to ensure maintenance of STIP standards.