102: DIYing? Use only wood from approved forestry

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL

Think about the environmental cost of construction materials

This action is aimed at DIY’ers, and is about the wood often used around the home or in construction projects.

The action is … make sure you are using FSC certified wood.

The FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council. Details of the organisation can be found at these links:

FSC (Worldwide)


What does this mean?

The FSC certifies that the wood you are using for your DIY project has been produced ethically and sustainably. The FSC system allows businesses and consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources.

Why is this important?

Wood is a hugely important construction material but as we all know, production, purchase and use has to be managed carefully if we are to avoid unethical practices, deforestation, over-exploitation of slow growing tree species, and all the associated environmental damage.

It is virtually impossible for end consumers, buying their wood from the local hardware store, to research or to know for sure that it has been produced in a sustainable, ethical way. This is where the certification can help – it clearly labels approved wood and related products as suitable to purchase.

By using certified wood you can be sure that:

  • you are limiting CO2 emissions or even contributing to negative carbon. Fast growing trees absorb CO2 as they grow
  • every cubic meter of certified wood used can save 2 tons of CO2
  • you are limiting energy use – trees need little more than sunlight and rainfall to grow, whereas other materials – plastics, concrete, and metals use many times the energy needed to produce and distribute certified wood
  • you are using an efficient building material; in fact wood has the best thermal insulation properties of any mainstream construction material
  • certified wood is a renewable resource – wood and paper are renewable, reusable and recyclable
  • if your wood is sourced from FSC certified forests, buyers and sellers can rest assured that their wood products come from forests that are managed responsibly

Avoiding exploitation

Action 108 FSC logo
Look for the logo!

You can avoid buying wood that exploits threatened species, destroys habitats and leads to damaging deforestation by buying wood with the FSC logo (pictured).

In the UK, for example, the FSC label can be found not only on construction timber but on garden furniture, decking, sheds, conservatories, tools, bird boxes and bird tables, kitchen, bathroom and general housewares, brushes, wall paper, flooring, doors, shelves, furniture, toilet paper, office paper, pencils, charcoal – in fact most things made from wood! The label can also be found on non-timber forest products such as natural latex, cork and bamboo.

Learn more about how the scheme works at

Take action

It’s simple, the checking has been done for us by FSC, just look for the logo and you can be assured that your wood has been produced ethically and sustainably.

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