At The Forest
A fully renewable natural treasure, timber is the pinnacle of sustainability. Trees not only capture carbon dioxide but the timber when used acts as a carbon store; retaining its carbon dioxide content without releasing it back into the atmosphere. It is now trapped, so in the face of climate change it is easy to see why we only use timber in the manufacture of our wooden windows and doors at Bereco.
We use predominantly softwood when making our timber windows and doors. Our favourite timber, used in the manufacture of all our wood windows and doors we supply, is the softwood European Redwood (Pinus Sylvestris) also known as Scots Pine.
European Redwood is an evergreen, coniferous tree that grows to around 30 meters in height and around 1 meter in diameter. Sourced from Northern Europe, at Bereco we love our European Redwood for many reasons:
- Redwood forests are remarkable carbon storage units
- Redwood forests are some of the most sustainable in the world. Over 48% of the forest in Europe is FSC® certified, the highest in the world, so you can be assured your wood windows and doors are being responsibly forested.
- Redwood moisture uptake compared to other species is relatively low making the wood less prone to dimensional change and movement a necessity for timber windows and doors.
- The natural tannins that give European Redwood its distinctive colouring also give it a natural resistance to insects and decay so gone are the days of rotting timber windows.
- Slow growing we harvest the wood at between 90 and 130 years of age this gives the wood tight growth rings and a high heartwood content helping to prevent cracks and shakes appearing in the timber.
- European Redwood is lighter than most other species of wood with a density of around 500kgm3, compared to that of Oak at around 700kgm3 for its density is an extremely durable and stable wood perfect for wooden windows and doors.
Bereco use only FSC® 100% wood sourced from FSC® certified forest. By buying Bereco timber windows and doors you are helping to promote growth of the forest in Europe and worldwide and are protecting our planet from deforestation and climate change by not choosing the alternative. The more we demand sustainability in our products and services and the demand for non-sustainable products decreases the better off our planet will be.
There are more than three trillion trees worldwide but 15 billion trees are being cut down each year. Deforestation is a major concern for all of us and for our planet and is a subject we take very seriously. As a population we are destroying an area of forest equivalent to the size of a football field every 2 seconds worldwide through illegal logging and forest clearing. Including burning down areas of forest which is releasing tonnes of stored carbon into the atmosphere and all for the production of cash crops like palm oil. Sustainably sourced timber from protected forest is the only wood you should ever consider buying.
A few facts about what the FSC’s work with the forest in Europe is doing:
- The forest area in Europe is increasing in size. Today forests cover 45% of Europe’s land area and continue to expand increasing at rate of 770,000 ha per year.
- Timber is not only being harvested from the forests of Europe but at the same time the replanting of trees is happening. Every year foresters in Poland plant about 500 million new trees, on average that’s 57 thousand new trees per hour being planted.
- 48.2% of the forest in Europe is now FSC certified. This equates to a massive 94,728,048 ha of forest.
Growing Our Trees
Foresters harvest timber in accordance forest management plans. A properly managed forest can take up to 130 years before it’s ready for felling and harvesting with any well managed forest going through a management plan like the one below.
- Years 1-3 Soil Preparation and Planting of Saplings
- Years 4-5 Regeneration Inspection
- Years 10-20 Thinning
- Years 20-30 Surveying the Young Forest
- Years 30-60 Thinning
- Years 60-80 Fertilising
- Years 80-90 Forest Inventory & Road Construction
- Years 90-130 Harvesting & Felling
Did you know?
- There are more than 3 trillion trees in the world.
- Trees turn carbon into oxygen. Every 1m3 of tree growth converts 1 tonne of CO² into 0.7 tonnes of O².
- In 2015 worldwide a record 296 gigatonnes of carbon stored by our trees.
- A timber window of 1.82m² has a negative carbon impact of -60kgCO2e. It doesn’t contribute to carbon and actually offsets carbon.
- A PVCu window of 1.82m² has a damaging carbon impact. Contributing 100kgCO2e for every 1.82m² of window purchased.
- The average size of a Bereco product is 2.88m² thus a saving of 252kgCO2e is achieved by purchasing a Bereco timber window or door over a PVCu equivalent.
- Bereco since starting our business have supplied over 180,000 wooden windows and doors saving over 45million kgCO2e.
Now let’s put that CO2e saving in perspective.
Protecting Our Forest
When it comes to the process of harvesting it’s no longer a case of heading into the forest and cutting down trees with an axe or even a chain saw. Ask people to tell you how it’s done and your brain will conjure up images just like this when asked; but the process has become much more efficient and much more considerate of the nature of the area being felled.
Trees can now be harvested with ease with the use of a machine called a feller buncher; where one man can cut down around four trees every minute. Not only is the feller buncher ideal in terms of economies of scale for felling forest areas but the machines ability to remove the non-usable limbs from the trunks and by laying these on the forest floor they protect the all-important soil from damage by the machines weight; invaluable to the ecosystem of the forest.
Trees are not pulled from the roots; stumps are left to ensure the vital underground root system stays healthy ensuring the longevity of the forest. Wildlife corridors and transition areas are always left in areas of harvesting. These allow any wildlife to move easily and discretely through areas of felling migrating to greener pastures in the standing forest.
Peace of Mind.
The Forest Stewardship Council® or FSC®, are dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management. Forests are inspected by independent organisations approved only by FSC® as of 2nd May 2017 195,597,731 ha of forest has now been certified by FSC® worldwide. The forest in Europe makes up a massive 94 million of those hectares of forest.
Checking FSC® Certification
FSC® not only certify the forest from which the timber is harvested they also track the timber from the forest through the supply chain to make it clear for the end user of the product or item that it came from a truly sustainable source.
The FSC’s tick tree logo is used to identify an FSC® approved product. When you see their logo you can buy forest products with a confidence that you are helping ensure our forests continue to flourish.
There are three types of FSC® label: FSC® 100%, FSC® Mix or FSC® Recycled. All our wooden windows and doors are made from only FSC® 100% timber. When you buy timber windows and doors from Bereco you can be certain that the material was harvested with no harm to nature and the environment from which it came. We can trace our chain of custody all the way back to the forest view our FSC® certificate for peace of mind.
To check of a suppliers labelling is legitimate you can check chain of custody here.
Timber for a sustainable future in construction
At Bereco we strongly believe that the only way to a sustainable future for our planet is through the use of timber in construction and production in place of non-renewable materials such as oil used in the production of UPVC. These sentiments are mirrored by Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thisleton Architects who explains in this video how timber is the only choice for the future of the UK’s construction industry.
Sources for reference