Qual­ity as­sur­ance of NZ wood prod­ucts moves to new level

New Zealand Logger - - Timber Talk -

THE SUR­PRIS­ING FACT ABOUT THE LOGS that are har­vested from the forests around Wan­ganui is their route to ex­port mar­kets.

Wood pro­ces­sors are work­ing on a new en­vi­ron­men­tal ver­i­fi­ca­tion scheme that will fur­ther lift qual­ity as­sur­ance of wood prod­ucts made in New Zealand.

New Zealand wood prod­ucts al­ready un­dergo strict and in­de­pen­dent, third­party scru­tiny to en­sure that they com­ply with the NZ Build­ing Code.

But cus­tomers re­quire much more, says Wood Pro­ces­sors & Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Chair­per­son, Brian Stan­ley, adding: “Our cus­tomers want to be as­sured that the prod­ucts they are buy­ing come with hard ev­i­dence that they are do­ing the right thing for the en­vi­ron­ment.”

“This is why I’m de­lighted to an­nounce that the WPMA and Thinkstep Ltd are work­ing to­gether to en­able pro­ces­sors and man­u­fac­tur­ers of NZ wood prod­ucts to state with cer­tainty the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts of the prod­ucts they pro­duce and the pro­cesses they use.”

Cur­rently, all NZ wood prod­ucts are made to stan­dards and codes set by the of­fi­cial NZ stan­dards body, Stan­dards New Zealand, and by the build­ing in­dus­try reg­u­la­tor, the Min­istry of Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment. Ad­her­ence to th­ese stan­dards is then as­sured through in­spec­tion by in­de­pen­dent ver­i­fiers op­er­at­ing through­out the coun­try. As­sur­ance of fit­ness for pur­pose is pro­vided by Build­ing Con­sent Au­thor­i­ties check­ing that the cor­rectly spec­i­fied prod­uct goes into the right place in the struc­ture. All of this means that cus­tomers can be con­fi­dent in NZ wood prod­ucts.

Mr Stan­ley says that while it is widely ac­cepted that wood prod­ucts have a rel­a­tively low en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print, there is at this stage only one recog­nised and au­dited means of cal­cu­lat­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing rel­e­vant en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts: the En­vi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tion (EPD).

An EPD is a ver­i­fied and reg­is­tered doc­u­ment that com­mu­ni­cates trans­par­ent and com­pa­ra­ble in­for­ma­tion about the life-cy­cle en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts of prod­ucts. The EPD will be pub­lished un­der the Aus­tralasian EPD® Pro­gramme – part of the global In­ter­na­tional EPD® Sys­tem – fol­low­ing in­ter­na­tional stan­dard ISO 14025 and Euro­pean stan­dard EN 15804.

Mr Stan­ley says WPMA mem­ber com­pa­nies have contributed to the devel­op­ment of this EPD and it will cover a wide range of wood prod­ucts, in­clud­ing struc­tural tim­ber, ap­pear­ance tim­ber, treated tim­ber, fin­ger-jointed tim­ber and glue-lam­i­nated tim­ber.

WPMA mem­ber com­pa­nies be­lieve that sup­ply­ing au­thor­i­ta­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact data to ar­chi­tects and devel­op­ers, in a for­mat that en­ables the to­tal en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance of build­ings to be cal­cu­lated will re­sult in their wood prod­ucts be­ing pre­ferred, both over tim­ber from other sources and to non-tim­ber prod­ucts in en­vi­ron­men­tally-dis­cern­ing mar­kets.

“Grow­ing the mar­ket de­mand for qual­ity-as­sured NZ wood is not only good for the en­vi­ron­ment but is also crit­i­cal for en­sur­ing more em­ploy­ment and eco­nomic growth in re­gional NZ – a win-win-win for New Zealand,” adds Mr Stan­ley.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.