Holzindustrie Schweighofer is committed to strengthening a sustainable timber industry in Romania. The company has therefore already established an action plan to strengthen a sustainable timber industry in Romania in January 2017. The measures of this action plan are going beyond the requirements of the Romanian legislation.
For a wood processing company such as Holzindustrie Schweighofer, supporting sustainable forest management begins with the purchasing decision. Following the principles of the action plan, the company has now updated and significantly tightened its purchasing policy. “Our aim is to better reflect our customers’ needs and answer the concerns of various stakeholders,” says Jürgen Bergner, member of the Management Board of Schweighofer Group.
The new Timber Sourcing Policy follows a period of discussions with stakeholders and its purpose is to clearly indicate what the core principles of Holzindustrie Schweighofer’ s purchasing activities are. It also includes new commitments, especially regarding protected areas such as virgin forests. In 2015 Holzindustrie Schweighofer already introduced a zero timber from National Parks policy. This policy is maintained.
“While partnership and long-term relationships - especially with our suppliers - are crucial for Holzindustrie Schweighofer, the new policy now includes clearer rules for suspending or excluding business relations with partners who do not comply with our requirements for a sustainable timber industry.” Bergner says. This procedure has now been reinforced in order to further mitigate the risk of potential wood supply contrary to the sourcing policy.
A continuous quality evaluation of managed forests is important for supporting sustainable forest management. Holzindustrie Schweighofer is therefore committed to a target of buying exclusively certified material by 2025 and publicly reporting progress against this target annually.
Schweighofer wishes to establish, maintain and intensify dialogue with stakeholders and this was and will maintain to be a major focus. “We appreciate the feedback received from different sides in recent months. To signal our willingness to openly engage with all groups, regardless of their standpoint, we are also publishing a responsibility statement on the role and moral responsibility of our company related to wood sourcing,” Bergner says.
WWF and Agent Green were some of several stakeholders providing input to our new policy and the accompanying statement on our role and moral responsibility related to wood sourcing. HS wants to prove it has reached a new stage in the discourse on its engagement in Romania, legal and sustainable forest management and trade issues. “We are convinced to encourage other stakeholders to join the initiative towards a sustainable forest industry in the country,” Bergner finally concludes.