The image of Tropical Timbers is often subject to misunderstanding with clearance for agriculture and domestic consumption.  It is almost counter intuitive, but for good certified forestry to remain, our markets must demand more volume and only work through properly certified timber merchants for responsible sourcing.

A well managed tropical forest always maintains its canopy and has a reserve of trees kept for the future which far outnumbers what is taken out with selective logging, using reduced impact logging techniques.

These forests are managed for the future, they are a carbon store, the material delivers carbon storage materials, the forest maintains biodiversity, the sawmilling and felling creates employment in fragile areas, creating GVA for source countries and delivering education and training for staff.

The list of UN Sustainable Development goals goes on.

PEFC Logged Forest in Mainland Malaysia where Meranti and Keruing come from.

Responsible Sourcing

Responsible Sourcing is a key part of sustainability in terms of ensuring the timber purchased is legal timber.

Gilmour and Aitken Ltd is committed to a policy of responsible sourcing.   The company has invested in a robust Chain of Custody and can offer Category A of the UK Timber procurement Policy compliance through:

  • Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and
  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes® (PEFC®)

In addition, Gilmour and Aitken Ltd holds a Forest Products Chain of Custody Certificate that allows the company to handle timbers sourced under various national certification schemes such as MTCS (Malaysian Timber Council), TFT (Tropical Forest Trust) and other emerging local schemes.

As a signatory of the Timber Trade Federation’s (TTF) Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP), the company has committed to performing due diligence on all purchases, certified and non-certified, by professionally risk rating all materials.  A key element of the RPP is to encourage all company suppliers towards continuous improvement and as a result Gilmour and Aitken maintains an Approved Supplier database which is audited annually as per the RPP.

For decades Gilmour & Aitken Ltd has done their own auditing on the legality of the supply chains and over time have incorporated any existing national standards or emerging certification schemes.

Gilmour and Aitkens experience of doing this auditing over the years has made adherence to the European Union Timber Regulations (EUTR) and the new UKTR regulations post Brexit a relatively smooth process.

Director Roderick Aitken checking log stumps

United Kingdom Timber Regulations.   EUTR was legislation brought in by the European Union in March 2013, which changed into UKTR in January 2021 which putting the emphasis on the importer to gather evidence that the timber imported is legally sourced.  Gilmour and Aitken Ltd do this by both having certified chain of custody, and also by conducting due diligence on all the suppliers and have done for many decades.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Gilmour and Aitken Ltd is proud to conduct trade in some of the world’s poorest developing countries, supporting local industry and reducing reliance on aid.  In many developing countries there are limited, if any certified forests.  It is important for buying markets to request certified to help give sufficient demand.

When forests are responsibly managed for the future the contribution of the industry to the UN Sustainable Development goals, it contributes 14 of the 17 goals.  It is the only carbon negative, renewable and truly sustainable constructional material of scale that exists today.