ATIBT highlights the important work carried out by the Interholco teams for the sustainable forest management and the development of a responsible forest-wood industry. It relays the press release published by Interholco on this occasion.
Deforestation and forest degradation are non-negotiables: millions of us depend on how far we are ready to go, to protect our forests i.e. our climate, our health, our food, our water, not to mention some of the world’s most extraordinary plants and animals.
INTERHOLCO’s first place in SPOTT’s 2021 assessment of timber and pulp and paper companies shows exactly that: if we do not want to lose forests to agriculture and cash crops, forests need to be given value. This can happen at the same time as harvesting forests responsibly, with minimal impact that is only temporary, so that forest inhabitants can continue to hunt for their livelihood and trade non-wood forest products (honey, fruits, medicine, caterpillars…). Other benefits include, states receiving income from taxes and protecting forests with their carbon stock, and a local workforce accessing jobs, training and capacity building.
Hardwood from Africa is a valuable product that serves local and international markets. That is especially relevant for architects, designers and specifiers who are increasingly looking at wood in housing and construction. Wood from sustainably harvested natural forests is a forever renewable, beautiful raw material, fire resistant and statically efficient, playing a key role in the CO2 capture and storage processes. ‘Sustainable Hardwood – Made in Africa’, INTERHOLCO’s flagship product is engineered to advance a circular economy, to ‘build back better’ and to satisfy the needs of future-minded consumers, via a solid commitment to turn it into a forest of solutions: for forest, people and planet. All of which, independently verified based on the most demanding criteria currently available, those of FSC® certification (FSC® C022952).
In order to attain this goal, we cannot stay within the four walls of our business, we need to act together. We can only succeed when we engage with a large alliance of partners, such as employees, local communities, indigenous peoples, government representatives, researchers, scientists, donors, trade federations, international organizations, NGOs, civil society, the construction sector and even journalists. Their needs, expectations and concerns need to be listened to and their expertise, mobilized, to keep giving value to forests whilst protecting them. This includes, mobilizing suppliers, customers and end consumers, empowering them to co-create change in the Republic of Congo, where our production site is based.
2021 marks the fifth year in a row that our company leads 100 timber companies worldwide, based on transparent data and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments that are publicly available.
Check SPOTT’s 2021 transparency assessment: https://bit.ly/SPOTT-timber-assessment-2021