Barncrest have rigid and onerous environmental policies deliberately designed to set us apart from the crowd. Having traveled the world searching for different timbers, we have witnessed some truly shocking practices which we wold never have believed if we hadn't seen them with our own eyes. These offenses are not just against nature, but against the human and animal inhabitants as well. Our first step was to gain FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certification, which we did in 2006. For any timber which is not from either France, Germany or the USA, we will only purchase fully certified FSC timber. There is no wiggle room here.
We travel to every other saw mill we buy from. In the USA, we use three Amish saw mills who supply with some of the finest hardwoods on the planet. Their ethics and code of conduct need no introduction or certification. As far as sustainability goes, replanting outstripped cutting by 15% between 1997 and 2007. The US Forestry Service estimates that further increases of 15 - 20 % are expected in hardwood stock through 2030. Last year 2.3 billion trees were planted in the States. And there are 483 million of commercial forest alone, plus 350 million acres of privately owned forest. So sustainability is no issue. Nor are environmental or social problems an issue.
For European timbers, our saw mills are all members of the PEFC scheme (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), which we are not (Just a cost / benefit thing - we chose the FSC for their global reach, that's all). So whilst we sell certified timber from them, we do not claim the certification credentials. We also know the mills personally. And of course France and Germany equal the USA in environmental and social standing.
Africa, however, is a whole different ball game. Hence our completely inflexible attitude to FSC certification. The same is true for South America, although there are many hundreds times more mills with FSC certification than there are in Africa. Actually, in Africa we know of only ONE. Any other specialty timbers, like teak for example, must again have the full FSC certification.
At Barncrest, we recycle everything that is not used in the manufacture of our products. Literally 100% is used, either as fuel to keep the workshops warm, or made in to briquettes, which are the perfect sustainable bio fuel. Timber arrives in giant bundles with thick metal bands. These are kept and recycled, and the money we recover from these goes to Help the Heroes. Nothing is wasted. All of our equipment is very modern, with low consumption electric motors, and are maintained to keep them running as efficiently as possible. Every vehicle we have is less than four years old, and is always serviced to keep it running efficiently. Many of our lights work on PIR switches so when not used, they are off. We have a culture of keeping things turned off to save electricity. That whole culture is about lean manufacturing. It starts off about saving money, but becomes ingrained as a habit to stop waste.