Module: Environmental aspects of wood Unit: Sustainable sourcing

Date Published

16 August 2022

Document Type



The significance of the world’s forests should not be underestimated, for in addition to providing us with raw materials, they have many important environmental roles, such as: releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, providing wildlife habitat, and storing carbon.

However, currently, approximately 13 million hectares are being lost each year mainly in tropical areas. Typical reasons include: loss through natural causes, logging (both legal and illegal), and converting land to other uses, such as for agriculture.

By contrast, forest areas are now increasing in most of the developed countries with temperate and boreal forests, as well as in the Middle East and Asia.

Key Information

Sustainable management of forests is essential.

Certification and chain of custody help to maintain standards.

Tree species fall into two main groups: deciduous and coniferous.

Case studies

Westonbirt, the National Arboretum near Tetbury in Gloucestershire is one of the most spectacular collections of trees in the world.

The holiday and sailing resort of Dartmouth in Devon was chosen by Sainsbury’s as their first new site to trial ‘green building’ in earnest across all aspects of the store’s design and operation.