The National Wood Flooring Association has announced that it has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in an effort to further the goal of environmental sustainability in the wood products industry. The collaboration will focus on three major areas:
- Promoting environmentally responsible procurement of wood imports by NWFA members
- Promoting better understanding about US buyer expectations regarding technical and quality specifications
- Seeking opportunities to connect NWFA members with WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) participants
To accomplish these goals, the two organizations will work together to share information and provide educational opportunities for their respective member companies.
This MOU expands on the body of work the organizations accomplished together under the prior MOU, such as promoting market linkages among NWFA members and GFTN participant companies and increasing understanding about wood sourcing risk identification and mitigation. Multiple NWFA members participated in GFTN trade missions in Peru and Bolivia to explore potential new sources of responsible wood. GFTN also attended the 2013 and 2014 NWFA Expos to promote market linkages between GFTN producer companies and NWFA members. Additionally, GFTN offered an education session on responsible wood sourcing for NWFA members as well as a webinar on sourcing legal and sustainable wood from the Russian Far East.
“We’re pleased to be able to provide additional resources for our members when sourcing wood from other countries,” states NWFA President & CEO, Michael Martin. “This will be especially useful with the increased industry scrutiny and compliance surrounding the Lacey Act. NWFA members will now have a credible industry resource that is recognized world-wide for its forestry conservation efforts.”
WWF’s Manager, Wood Sector Engagement, Amy Smith, adds that NWFA members will have access to tools, training and on-the-ground technical assistance in conservation matters with GFTN managers in key source countries. “This can be a valuable resource for NWFA members as they source wood from overseas,” says Smith. “It can provide the feet on the ground expertise in areas where forest governance and enforcement is weak to help companies to identify and manage sourcing risks and ensure the wood they’re procuring is responsible.”
WWF-GFTN will present a one-hour education session during the NWFA 2015 Wood Flooring Expo in St. Louis April 28-May 1. The session will be titled “Lesser-Known Timber Species: Good for Business, Good for the Forest.” The course will be registered with AIA & IDCEC for architect and designer continuing education credits. Additional educational opportunities will be offered throughout the year, including a possible trip for NWFA members to China to meet with GFTN in-country experts. More information is available at 800.422.4556.