Sustainable certifications

An important positive message comes from the World Bank, which was often sponsor of the most destructive actions undertaken in the past regarding tropical nature, dams, roads and mining exploitation. Although, in a document signed in July 1991, the Bank committed to block any financing referred to tropical deforestation projects, favouring instead reforestation projects, development and forest conservation. Moreover, since public opinion has become aware of the importance of tropical forests and how dangerous continuous deforestation can be, the timber market has created an ecological certification of wood to satisfy the share of consumers careful about environmental issues. The international certification trademark FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) proves to be the most widespread at a global level and is sustained by the major environmental associations; FSC wood has arrived also in Italy. Thanks to this certificate it’s possible to recognize items realised with raw products coming from forests managed sustainably according to well defined and verifiable criteria. This certificate, moreover, allows to know the forest of origin of a timber lot, even if the route followed from the wood to the shop is long. There are already 10 million hectares of forests in 26 countries all over the world which have received this certificate.The timber market is closely related to the paper market. It’s been estimated that in Italy each person consumes on average 200 kilograms of paper per year and so that a class of 30 pupils over one school year consumes a quantity of paper equivalent to the weight of an adult elephant and it’s difficult to establish where paper comes from. If we want to save forests it’s necessary, first of all, to lower waste and accurately differentiate waste to allow recycling. It’s also necessary to prefer recycled paper to “white” paper which, nonetheless, must have been produced without using substances which are harmful for the environment: for this reason, paper must hold a trademark guaranteeing it’s made “without chlorine” or that it’s “chlorine free”. In Germany, instead, there is a guaranteed symbol which stands for pure recycled paper: “the blue angel”. Paper with this label is made of 100% recycled paper, employing a low-polluting industrial procedure, and therefore surely hasn’t damaged forests in danger.

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