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Explore in-depth analysis on trends in timber trades and FLEGT VPA.

Study of EU public timber procurement policies, private sector policies and related giudance

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CATEGORY
Special Study

PUBLISHED DATE
September 2021

AUTHORS
George White

EDITORS
Sarah Storck, Mike Jeffree

DESCRIPTION

The first IMM special study to consider purchasing policies was published in 2018 and the most recent in 2020. This study seeks to draw together all of the initiatives previously assessed and to update the previous analysis.

KEY FINDINGS

The first IMM special study to consider purchasing policies was published in 2018 and the most recent in 2020. This study seeks to draw together all of the initiatives previously assessed and to update the previous analysis.

Companies have begun to embrace FLEGT Licencing as evidenced by the numbers that have revised their purchasing policies to now explicitly include a positive reference to FLEGT Licencing. Whilst the sample of twenty companies is not statistically representative of the EU27&UK market, it does indicate the fact that some of the significant players have valued the availability of licensed material. Given the relative size and purchasing power of some of these companies, plus the relative sectoral influence, a trickle-down effect could be anticipated within their supply chains.

Overall, the growth in acceptance of FLEGT Licencing across the wide range of initiatives is visible but remains modest. While the private sector and those seeking to influence their purchasing behaviour have begun to recognise it, many other areas have yet to revise their policies or to recognise FLEGT Licensing’s value. The modest wider recognition matches a similar level of growth in recognition of certification.

The most fertile area with respect to renewal and re- evaluation of policy lies within the private sector. The selected companies have an average revision date of 2019 and CSO rating systems (targeting the private sector) have an average renewal date of 2020. Other private sector initiatives are also fairly up to date with an average renewal date of 2017 (i.e. post the introduction of FLEGT-Licensed material to the market). The assessed green building rating systems are also targeting the private sector and average a renewal date of 2018. Trade associations appear to lag the other private sector initiatives, though in reality those assessed were fast to embrace FLEGT and adapted their policies well in advance. Overall, the private sector initiatives as a whole have proven most willing to keep their policies current.

The public sector policy initiatives are more slowly evolving. With an average revision date of 2013 most EU member states green procurement policies are still in the process of broadening their scope with respect to timber and timber products. Whilst around two thirds accept FLEGT Licences they continue to vary in their product or usage scope and often are not the powerful market driving tool that they might be.