Monday, August 18, 2014

A cut above: building the market for fair trade timber


What support is needed to build a market for fair trade timber?
View full report

This handbook explores how climate change and variability affect southern Africa. By analysing a number of case studies, the handbook presents how climate has changed in the region, the impact of climate change to key sectors and ways to deal with climate-related challenges. The report argues that some of the global changes in surface air temperature can be unequivocally linked to a human influence. The report notes that according to climate model projections, southern Africa’s surface temperature, as well as minimum and maximum temperatures, are likely to continue rising during the 21st century. The handbook also identifies areas and groups that are most vulnerable and suggests priority interventions.

The report gives the following recommendations.
  • Climate change risks should be considered when planning development projects and programmes.
  • Vulnerability and risk reduction and the mainstreaming of adaptation measures must be included into development initiatives and activities.
  • New institutions and coordination mechanisms need to be created for the implementation of integrated disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts. 
  • New mechanisms for information sharing and knowledge management must be established.
  • Institutional frameworks that allow the participation of all relevant stakeholders, such as NGOs, need to be created.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Supporting Fairtrade in Timber


Sustainable Timber Action

Fair Trade

Copyright: Pilas María SalazarAccording to the report Fair Trade and Development of the European Parliament, Fair Trade has proved to be an effective way to support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and plays an important role in raising awareness of North-South relations, particularly through public campaigns and the strengthening of citizen-to-citizen cooperation.The European Parliament report calls on public authorities in Europe to integrate Fair Trade criteria into their public tenders and purchasing policies.

Defining Fair Trade

The currently accepted definition of Fair Trade, as agreed by Fairtrade Labelling International (FLO) and the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), is the following: 

"Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the right of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in the South".

Fair Trade and Fairtrade

Copyright: Miguel A. BernalFairtrade is used to denote the product certification scheme operated by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO). The approach is called the “product certification route” whereby products complying with international standards are certified indicating that they have been produced, traded processed and packaged in accordance with the specific requirements of those international standards.
Fair Trade Organisations are organisations that include Fair Trade as part of their mission and as a core element of their objectives and activities. WFTO is the global network of Fair Trade Organizations. This approach is called the “integrated supply chain route” whereby products are imported and/or distributed by organisations with Fair Trade at the core of their mission and activities, using it as a development tool to support disadvantaged producers and to reduce poverty, and combine their marketing with awareness-raising and campaigning.
The European Parliament has recognised both approaches as suitable for public procurement. 

Timber and Fair Trade

Although more than 20 percent of the world’s population relies on forest resources for its livelihood, thus far there have been relatively few Fair Trade initiatives in the timber section. The STA project is seeking to address this gap. More information combining sustainable forest management and Fair Trade can be found here.

Further information

For more information on Fair Trade in the EU please visit the website of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO).
For procurement-specific information on the topic please visit the European Observatory on Fair Trade Public Procurement.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bruce Uhler, CV, Nybro, Sweden

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Name              Bruce Uhler
Linneavägen 2c
                        Nybro, Sweden 382 32
Telephone      070 253 04 76 Work and Mobile

1977               Bachelors of Science Business Administration
                        Finance Major, Marketing Minor
                        University of Central Missouri, US
                        University of Missouri, US (Journalism/Real Estate)
January 2010 – Present
Kährs Holding, AB
Triton Partners, owner, a €12 Billion sales group with 50,000 employees and 27 companies.
Environmental Sustainability ambassador responsible for Kährs Holding, AB, sustainable vision, environmental marketing, sustainable marketing and CSR, ESG, CMS, EMAS, FSC, PEFC, FLO CERT and work under a triple helix program.
-Responsible for keeping the company aware of market and regulatory certification demands in our major country markets and moving the company forward towards sustainability the brands Kährs, Karelia, and Upofloor.
Integration team member for our merger with Karelia Upofloor in Finland, Russia, Romania.  Also responsible for certification demands for our Chinese partners production.
-Define new market and CSR opportunities with in-depth research, making the complex simpler, then deliver a valuable, factual message that creates profits and a sustainable future for the environment and society, environmental, social and governance.
-Work on project solutions with both sustainability and sales/marketing globally for large and mid-size organizations. Brand builder, strong networker and relationship builder while being an integral part of the commercial sales team.
-Create and present transparent information, motivational and future trends information to architects, industry organizations, educational groups, and government officials.

Specialties: international marketing, international sales, public speaking, research, storytelling, brand building, relationship builder, research, VOC reduction, product environmental certifications, corporate social agenda, and problem solving. Seeing, informing, and acting on trends in the world that impact our customer's lives and community.

-Responsible for Fairtrade, FloorScore, EMAS, LEED 2009, LEED V4, EPD/BPD’s, CMS, LCA, BASTA, BVD, REACH, CE.CPR DOP, EUTR, Svanen, Lacey Act, EPA FSA, work with DIBt, , French VOC, M1, CARB, BREEAM, Blue Angel, CDPH 1350, PEFC, JIS F****, FSC and PEFC. 
-Sustainability and Environmental Operations
Externally I interact with E-NGO's such as RainForest Alliance, DNV, NEPCON,SCS, SSC Forestry, SIFI, TMF, Brands of Sweden, IKEA, Universities, Ekfrämjandet, WWF, EIA, GreenPeace, Fairtrade Sweden, FSC Sverige, FSC International, FLO Cert, and our CSR, ESG and CMS activities.
-Internally I work across operations to tie our environmental plan into our sustainable operational plan and to help our customers understand our environmental and social responsibilities while building our brand. Work with our supplier code of conduct (CoC) requirements, audits, green energy-water efficiency, and customer education. I started our support for the first FSC and Fairtrade certified timber from Chile, to alleviate poverty and increase bio-diversity with help from the Swedish Foreign Ministry, SSC Forestry, FSC, Fairtrade, Chilean Foreign Ministry, FLO-Cert.  Created DfS program for new product development using a Design for Sustainability process to ensure compliance and leading edge environmental parameters for our products.
Give corporate presentations on sustainability, trends, sales and marketing presentations frequently to groups, customers & global forest officials here in Sweden also to groups in US, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland.
-Work directly with our team, markets & customers on environmental and standards questions in regards to meeting customer and regulatory requirements with large developers, builders, architects globally. Deliver three different AIA educational programs and have presented to over 1000 architects, under the AIA/CES program. Heavily involved with brand building with stakeholders and meeting our ESG/CSR vision. Responsibility to our sites in Sweden, Romania, Finland, Russia and China. With sales support in fifty plus countries today.
Previous Related Position
2004 – 2010
-Networked and built relationships with large builders, developers and industry professionals at NAHB, NCHI, CSI, Green Councils, StarNet, USGBC, FSC.
Worked extensively with emerging trends in green, environmental construction and products through interaction with architects, designers, developers, environmental consultants and builders.
-First VP of Commercial Sales hired to enter the commercial/contract sector.  This accounted for 50% of our sales when I transferred to Sweden after six years.
Became the source for green and product questions within the company including LEED construction, VOC emissions, sound ratings IIC/STC, Lacey Act, CARB Act and was offered to be the first environmental ambassador for the company based in Sweden.
Traveled extensively, three weeks per month 90% sales related, 10% public speaking and industry research. Project sales and CEU’s in LA, NYC, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Vail, Boulder, San Juan, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Quebec City, Phoenix, Albuquerque, London, Stockholm, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Virginia Beach, Washington DC, Boston and smaller areas as well.

Expertise with relevance for Project Wood 2New
My expertise in regards to Project Wood 2New are in the areas of industry support for information, guidance, marketing communication, sales and NGO relationships.  My focus is on keeping a premium price for our wood products in the marketplace while being a good company using CSR principles.  Our support for the FSC and Fairtrade timber project is one way that we can affect our industry but getting others to follow our examples. Doing good by being good.  Extensive experience in market research converting that information to relevant market information and generating sales.  Started doing medical research for new medical rehabilitation devices and then presenting findings in a sales environment to the medical community.  Extensive research today on new wood markets, environmental and CSR trends and sales needs for our company.
My main contribution to Wood2New is my knowledge of wood products industry from the business operations side.
Project experiences of interest
2010 to Present
First supporter of FSC and Fairtrade dual certified wood project, Curacautin, Chile. 

Assisted with writing of a forest MOU, memorandum of understanding, between Sweden and Chile for the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

2013-14 Fairtrade Teak Project -Indonesia

Organizations United States & Europe

FSC International – Company representative
FSC Sverige – Company representative
PEFC – Company representative
USGBC Member – Company Representative

Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Construction Specifications Institute – US former member
Developed with a CSI-Fellow member our company's 3 part CSI specifications for our line of building materials.

NABH-NCH – former member, national council
National Association of Home Builders, was on the National Council of the Housing Industry in Washington, DC participating in National meetings with other large building material companies and interacting with the largest home builders and developers in the US.

USGBC – company representative US
The USGBC sets the standards for LEED, Leadership in energy and environmental design.

American Institute of Architects – US educator
Certified Education System - Instructor
Created three CEU programs for architects in North America. Presented these programs to over 800 architects in regards to sustainable design, IIC/STC sound control and multi-family construction. Architect presentations in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Vail, Boulder, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and more.
Construction Trade Shows – former US director
Made all arrangements, participated, and presented at construction and green tradeshows such as the NAHB, GreenBuild, SE Builders Show, Texas Builders Show Dallas, PCBC Show, Multi-family Builders Show, Foresite Speaker Lake Tahoe, Presented at Surfaces Show Las Vegas.

Guest Speaker

Nordic Homeworx
Architect Day
Hammarby Sjöstad and Green Cities of Tomorrow
Media City, Dubai, UAE 2014

Architect Days
Valencia, Madrid, Valladolid, Spain 2014

West Coast Flooring Dealers and Distributors
IIC & STC Sound Control
Lake Tahoe, California 2007 and 2008

Architect Presentations
New York Sheraton Hotel
IIC & STC Sound Control
New York, New York 2009

Architect Presentations
Hammarby Sjöstad – New City of Tomorrow
Union Hall
New York, New York 2008

TMF Trä Möbler
Industry representatives
Challenge for the Wood Industry
Göteborg, Sweden 2012

TMF Trä Möbler
CSR and the Future of Wood Products
Borås, Sweden 2011

TMF Trä Möbler
Annual Directors Meeting
CSR and Making Better Companies
Kosta, Sweden 2012

Svensk Trä and Skogsindustrierna
Annual Meeting
Venture Capital, New Uses of Wood, Furfural Production
Stockholm Sweden 2013

FSC International Directors Meeting
“Using the FSC Label”
Crowne Plaza
Copenhagen, Denmark

Featured Articles
Trä & Möbler Magazine

Cover - Kährs växer så det knakar

April 2012

Hardwood Flooring Magazine
Kährs Debuts First Ever FSC/Fairtrade-Certified Flooring
August/September 2011

Timber Trades Journal Online

“Welcome Change of Tropical Heart”

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Introducing  the world’s first multi-layer parquet flooring made with FSC® and Fairtrade certified wood. These beautiful new hardwood floors are possibly the most environmentally conscious and socially responsible wood floors available in the world. They exude a warm, calm ambience and are suitable for any natural feeling living and working space. These floors truly embody our “Beauty with a Conscience”© philosophy at Kährs.

Sourced from the first FSC and Fairtrade certified forestry pilot project in Chile’s Curacautin Valley, the collection not only supports the restoration of biodiversity in the local forests but will help provide rights and a fair, sustainable income to the indigenous Mapuche (“of the land”) inhabitants and the descendants of pioneer families.

In 1938 a sawmill opened in Curacautin, Chile.  It was the first plant in Chile to export. At its peak, one thousand employees and their families were dependent upon the Mosso/Focura plywood plant for income. In 2000, the mill filed for bankruptcy when all of the large trees in the whole area had been cut down and no trees replanted. This deforestation in the valley led to poverty, negative landscape impacts, water flow alterations, and destroyed wildlife habitats. Today the valley is becoming one of the first in Chile to re-establish its native forests.  A new, efficient sawmill from Logosol has been built by SSC Forestry and the local forest cooperative is being provided with fair pricing, forest education, safety equipment, business, forestry and technical training under FSC and Fairtrade rules. The pilot project also recognizes the different peoples, their cultures and respects the Mapuche ceremonial sites like Nguillatun and the sacred tree Canelo. It is our hope that the success of this project, in cooperation with other forward-thinking producers, NGO’s and governments, will lead to the creation of numerous other FSC® and Fairtrade certified operations globally. This dual-certification timber standard brings with it the hope and the long-term vision of alleviating poverty, restoring forest rights and forest biodiversity while bringing a sustainable income opportunity to the tree farmers/foresters of our world. The World Resources Institute says there are 1.6 billion people dependent on the forests, most live in poverty.             

Roble, Nothofagus obliqua, also known as (Chilean) Oak, Hualles, Pellín and Coýan by the Mapuche is a beautiful, deciduous hardwood tree from Chile.  Known for its durability it is prized for use in furniture and construction.  Although Roble means oak in Spanish, it is more properly classified as  a southern Beech.   It is one of the forest species of greatest distribution and abundance in the south of Chile, it often occurs in mixed species stands with Raulí and Coigue. The wood is resistant and durable and offers beautiful reddish tints and hues and that accepts color tinting very well.
Raulí, Nothofagus alpina, grows in the same environment as Roble, with low temperatures and strong winds. The stable wood is highly prized with its fine grain and beautiful pale pink colour and is widely used in all types of construction. Nothofagus alpina means “of the mountain”.  Raulí, is the  Mapuche name of the tree and it is a species that is endemic to the sub-Antarctic forests of southern Chile, specifically in the mountains at altitudes between 300 and 1,200 meters above sea level.  The wood is of high quality, strength and stability, it is fine-grained and is mainly used in furniture, floors and large beams.

The two wood species, Roble and Rauli, are mixed together to create a beautiful floor. The surface wood is purchased from the small-scale, community-based timber producers certified to both FSC® and Fairtrade standards while the middle and bottom layers are FSC Mix sources. These floors are elegant, new additions to our World Collection© for 2013.
Tierra (152N1BRRFEKW 0) is a rich, dark brown tinted oiled floor with many color variations that bring the floor to life.
Roja (152N1BRRFBKW 0) has a warm red tone with color variations and a subtle, even grain.
Piedra (152N1BRRFGKW 0) has a grey finish and variation that brings an edgy, modern look to the range.
Cautin (152N15RRF0KW 0) with its warm natural hues, has the strongest color variation of all and has a smooth surface.

“Quality in Wood Since 1857”
Kährs is one of Europe’s leading producers of hardwood floors. With more than 150 years in the business, it is also one of the oldest and one of the most coveted flooring brands in the world having a long history of introducing leading  interior design trends and flooring technology. Our floors can be found in beautiful homes, offices, brand name boutiques, coffee houses,  luxury hotels, auto showrooms, fine apartments, and resorts around the world.  And yet our hearts and headquarters are still in the small town of Nybro, in the Southern Swedish province of Småland in the middle of the forest.                                                               

Multilayer parquet
15 mm
200 mm
2,42 m
Joint system
Surface treatment
Tinted Oil or Natural Oil
Surface refinement
Brushed, (Cautin is Smooth)
30 years
24 kg
6 pcs
2,91 m2
2,6 (similar to birch)
BASTA, EUTR, DIBt, French VOC, FSA, E1, FLO-Cert

LEED NC MR Cr 4.3 Option 2
FSC® and Fairtrade certified (FSC Pure top layer wood, FSC Mix, core
FSC Mix source overall, W11.5.5
Other LEED Credits Possible
Meets all Svanen requirements

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wood flooring from FSC and Fairtrade certified wood

FSC-Fairtrade certified wood floors

Kährs has launched a world-first range of floors made from FSC®-Fairtrade® certified wood. One of the most eco-conscious and socially responsible wood floors on the global market, this stunning range has been produced as part of the first FSC-Fairtrade certified timber, small scale forestry project in Curacautin Valley in Chile. Kährs collection supports not only the restoration of biodiversity in the forest, but also reduction of poverty and restoration of rights to the indigenous Mapuche and descendants of pioneer family foresters.

Made from a combination of sustainable native Rauli and Roble hardwood timber, the new range of two-strip floors features Kährs multi-layer construction and glueless Woodloc® joint, which provide enhanced stability and promote a fast, precise installation. The surface of the floor is crafted from 100% FSC-Fairtrade certified wood whilst FSC Mix certified wood is used for the core layers. The products can also contribute to BREEAM or LEED certified project.

Forming part of Kährs World Collection, designs include: Roja - an even grained floor with a warm, red tone and lots of colour variation; Tierra - a rich, dark brown stained floor with a more even tone and subtle colour variation; Piedra - an on-trend grey toned floor for a modern, urban look and Cautin, with the boldest colour variation and warm natural hue. Each unique floor, except for the smooth-finished Cautin, is brushed and all products are finished with Kährs Nature Oil for minimal ecological impact and easy care.

Fair and responsible forestry forms the foundation of Kährscorporate social responsibility and its "Beauty with a Conscience" philosophy. As one of the leading global wood floor producers, Kährs also only purchases tropical species certified by FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).