As a manufacturer of wooden garages and outbuildings, I would have thought Passmores’ green credentials were obvious. But apparently not. Most of our customers are surprised when they discover that our decision to use sustainable timber isn’t just based on commercial factors but is also because we care about the planet.
Passmores has been a family run business for over 100 years and because of this, we feel an acute sense of responsibility to ensure that it thrives long into the future. This means that sustainability must be at the heart of all we do and luckily our core business is something that benefits the environment in a very significant way.
We build quality Wooden Garages, Sports Pavilions, Carriage Houses & Cart Lodges, and our range of Garden Buildings using sustainable timber. But what is sustainable timber and how does it help with climate change?
What is sustainable timber?
Sustainable timber is either produced from recycled material or, alternatively, harvested responsibly from well-managed forests that are continuously replenished. This means that for every tree that’s felled, two more are planted. Responsible harvesting using this method ensures the forest is never depleted.
To ensure that the timber we use comes from truly sustainable sources, Passmores has achieved certification under the Forest Stewardship Council ® Chain of Custody Scheme (FSC® Licence Code FSC-C013961).
This means that all the timber we buy from Stenvalls, our principle supplier, can be traced back to sustainable forests in Northern Sweden. Look for our FSC® - certified products.
We should not underestimate the importance of forests to the environment. First, they have a significant impact on improving air quality. For every tonne of carbon (CO2) that a tree absorbs from the atmosphere, it produces nearly three-quarters of a tonne of oxygen. Second, forests are rich in biodiversity, possess flora and fauna that enrich the soil and provide a perfect habitat for different species. It’s no surprise that so many environmental charities and organisations have a tree symbol somewhere in their logo and branding. Forests are also green, a colour now synonymous with caring for the planet.
When choosing a timber building, as well as looking for quality and value for money we ask our customers to consider whether the wood contained in the product comes from a truly sustainable source. At Passmores, we’re proud of our FSC credentials not only because they are recognised globally but also because the trademark is endorsed by the major environmental charities like Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth, and the Woodland Trust.
FSC Chain of Custody certification at Passmores
Achieving FSC Chain of Custody certification more than 15 years ago was a time-consuming and complicated process. On an annual basis we undergo a detailed inspection by an external auditing body to ensure that we comply with FSC’s exacting standards. But the process was, and still is, an integral part of what we stand for so spending that time has proved to be a worthwhile investment.
We were the first company in our product sector to take this route and to this day we remain one of only a handful of timber building manufacturers to have achieved FSC Chain of Custody certification. Over the years, our customers have responded positively and many of them have told us that the only reason they bought from Passmores was because of our responsible practices in sourcing sustainable timber.
As the climate crisis has grown, our Chain of Custody certification has become even more important. Timber building businesses without this cannot guarantee that their timber comes from sustainable sources. These days, with customers more alert than ever to the harmful effects of climate change, the FSC mark makes strong business sense. It demonstrates that we comply with the highest environmental standards, improves our credibility, and protect our brand and reputation for offering high-quality timber products.
How does the FSC Chain of Custody Scheme work?
Chain of custody certification from forest to end-user ensures that FSC materials and products have been checked at every stage of processing so that customers purchasing FSC labelled products can be confident that they are genuinely FSC certified.
Our Swedish timber supplier Stenvalls is diligent in its methods of wood and lumber felling and abides by high standards of responsible forest management. Its wood-extraction processes use the entire log to provide timber for different purposes thus minimising waste and ensuring maximum forest sustainability.
At every step of the way, materials are checked so that Passmores’ customers can feel assured that the products they purchase from us are not made by plundering the earth’s resources in a thoughtless way. In fact, quite the opposite: they can be confident that by buying FSC certified products, they’re doing their bit towards helping keep forests alive long into the future.
Sustainable timber in building construction
Whilst we use sustainable timber to build quality garages, carriage houses, and pavilions, there is a growing trend to make more general use of wood across the construction industry. Timber is the most sustainable and renewable material on the planet and, according to one study by the Yale Forestry department, using it to construct new buildings can avoid the greenhouse gas emissions that come from producing cement and steel, materials more typically used today.
There’s another environmental benefit. Timber buildings are carbon sinks and store all the CO2 absorbed by a tree during its lifetime. When the tree is harvested in a sustainable way and used as engineered timber, the carbon stays trapped within the wood throughout the life of the product.
So wood buildings are actually helping improve the environment. When we at Passmores think of this, we know we’re in the right business. It’s ironic that in a world of high-tech innovation and 21st Century green solutions, that we are increasingly turning to a completely natural material that’s been around for thousands of years as a viable way forward in helping reverse climate change.