The concept of recycling forest products goes back quite a while. The reclaimed wood industry got its start as early as the 1970s, using wood from barns, snow fences and corrals. For anyone concerned about conserving forests and preserving our natural heritage, using recycled wood is a good step – but it requires trust in the source of the wood. When reclaimed wood first became popular, there was no certifying body to assess the origin of the wood, to make sure that it was a genuinely re-purposed product. This led to the FSC® Recycled 100% wood certification.
The Forest Stewardship Council® is an international non-profit organization that audits and then certifies that a product is made from responsible sources. The Council was founded in 1993 and is constantly reviewing their standards to make sure that products with their labels are sourced as responsibly as possible, whether from forests maintained in an ecologically sound way or from post-consumer reclaimed sources.
The FSC® introduced a new set of labels in 2005, one of which was the Recycled label. In order to get this label, a product has to be made of at least 85% post-consumer recycled products, meaning they come from a business or individual that is done using the wood for its original purpose. The other 15% must be pre-consumer waste, which is waste from before a product goes to market. This label went into effect July 1, 2005.
The FSC® awards the Recycled label only after an independent third party audits the “Chain of Custody,” similar to the way forensics labs track the journey of pieces of evidence. The auditor finds where the wood was used originally and how it arrived at its current state. It can be a lengthy and involved process.
Wyoming boasts abundant pine snow fences, among other sources of reclaimed wood. The chain of custody auditors can attest to the supply. If you want to find out more about our FSC Recycled certified wood, please contact us.