Olympic Park gets gold for ethical wood sourcing

05 April 2012

Soil Association Woodmark is delighted to announce certification for ethical wood sourcing at 19 different sites around the Olympic Park following a ground breaking, collaborative project. Sites include the iconic Velodrome and track, the Aquatics Centre and all the bridges, fences and benches. The project involved over 12,500 cubic metres of timber – from European construction timber to Tropical hardwoods - and is a world first that involved adapting existing standards to suit a demanding and complex site.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) worked with Soil Association Woodmark to achieve certification to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standards.

Noah Bold, ODA Park Operations Environment & Sustainability Manager, was pleased with how it all went: “A huge thanks to Soil Association Woodmark for guiding us through the certification process. Right from the start we knew we wanted our construction work to have the smallest possible environmental footprint and supporting sustainable forest management around the world was a big part of that. We hope that other large scale developments can be inspired by the scale of what we have achieved and that ethical wood sourcing will become the norm for future Olympic sites and construction projects globally.”

Charles Thwaites MBE, Executive Director FSC UK, congratulates the ODA for going down the route of certification: “It was a huge leap of faith for the Olympic Delivery Authority to have embarked on such a challenge. Nevertheless a project of this scale proves beyond doubt that developers, given the sort of commitment seen here, can always find sufficient certified timber for their needs.”

Alun Watkins, who heads up PEFC in the UK, comments on the pioneering nature of the project: “This is the first dual certified project in the world and we are proud that the UK has provided an example for others to follow in the future. We applaud the Olympic Delivery Authority’s decision to source only certified timber."

Beck Woodrow, Woodmark project manager, takes stock of the biggest project Woodmark has ever undertaken and looks to the future legacy of the site: “Managing the certification process for such an iconic site was a positive and fulfilling experience. It’s great to know that after The Games take place these buildings, and all the supporting infrastructure, will be enjoyed and appreciated by Olympic Park visitors and the local community for years to come. The sheer scale of the project was impressive, the largest we’ve ever been involved in, and Soil Association Woodmark can now offer tailored Project Certification for large, complex construction sites through to micro-projects - the smallest so far is an FSC certified Japanese woodcarving event!”

You can see more pictures from the project up on the Soil Association Flickr site here

About Soil Association Woodmark
Woodmark is the Soil Association’s international certification scheme for responsible forest management and certifies over 7.4 million hectares of forest to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards, and over 1000 operations to FSC or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) chain of custody standards. Certification work includes:

  • Large state forests in Eastern Europe
  • Plantations in Southern Africa
  • Community forests in Indonesia
  • Small-scale farmers in Kenya
  • Cork stopper manufacturers in Portugal
  • Large DIY chains in the UK
  • The print and paper industry worldwide
  • Construction projects – both large and small scale

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