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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Wood-for-Good - Misleading claims from new UK television campaign

Wood-for-Good - Misleading claims from new UK television campaign

Date : 5th Mar 2002, Source : Article/Email

Have you seen the recent advertisements on television (in the U.K) recently?


WoodForGood is promoted as being benefical to the environment but did you know the real story?

What starts as a serene advert showing wood being used for all manner of things, a voice over tells us that wood is environmentally friendly and helps stop Global Warming and at the end, it claims 'there are now more trees than ever before'.


Okay.....We decided to email Greenpeace and check out the website for this new campaign. The website adds further to this campaign, 'From all you see and hear in the media, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world was running out of forests, that timber was a rare resource' and 'Remember - the more you choose wood, the more you save the earth.'

Now lets state a few facts here. Timber is a rare resource in parts of the World where 70-80% of the Rainforests have been cut down and used by humankind in all manner of ways.

Timber is not a rare resource in sustainable forests which are grown, and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, for the purposes of supplying wood to industry. We are not against this and support sustainable forestry but their advertising comments and website statements are very misleading and misinformative.

Their statement that "the more you choose wood, the more you save the Earth" is incredulous as its the trees that absorb the carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere, thereby allowing us to live on this World. If the statement had stated "Choosing sustainable wood will save the Earth" would have gathered applause from environmentalists across the Earth but instead, it belittles the hard work being carried out by those protecting unsustainable forests.

And by stating "there are more trees than ever" will spread misinformation amongst the population who will fail to see the significance of saving the Rainforests, as "there are more trees than ever" !

Oh and the small side note to all of this.....WoodForGood is sponsored by timber companies who sell wood !!


We'll be interested in your views, please vist the Contact Us section





Greenpeace replied :


I had a look at the website you mentioned. If you go the 'About' section you
can see wood.for good's research is funded by a number of timber producing
companies so immediately you can see why they are promoting wood products.
Their claims are misleading. Although many countries do plant trees, they
are doing so to make timber not to increase the habitat for endangered
species or for environmental reasons but to make money. These forests would
probably mono culture forests of short life spans that have no value for
wildlife or have environmental benefits.

They miss the point of deforestation. The problem is not the cutting down of
mono culture forests that are planted for timber in Europe but the illegal
logging of ancient forests all over the world that are home to endangered
species and indigenous people. Wood is only an environmentally friendly
renewable resource if it is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Contact the organisation below for more information on forest certification.


Forest Stewardship Council
01686 413916
www.fscoax.org

We also have a lot of information on deforestation and ancient forests on
our websites. Please go to:

http://www.greenpeace.org/~forests





WoodforGood replied :

Dear Ms Tansley and Mr Naughton,

Once again, please accept my apologies for having taken so long to reply.

There are two sides to this discussion, especially to do with global warming and energy consumption. It is good to use wood as a building material if it sourced from sustainably managed forests for the reasons I outline below. It is not good to cut down virgin or ancient woodland sites which will cause irreparable damage to forest ecosystems. The intention of the advert was to encourage more people to use wood as a building and manufacturing material because it is the most environmentally friendly material in the world. During manufacture, energy is used to change raw materials, such as wood, plastic or steel, into products. In comparison to other materials, the embodied energy for wood is low. Embodied energy can seriously damage the environment. The greater the energy needed to manufacture a product, the more fossil fuels, such as oil, gas or coal, are burnt, and the greater the emission of greenhouse gases to the environment. These contribute to global warming. As you are no doubt aware, trees help to soak up greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide.

Timber is not only a renewable resource, it can also be recycled. Recycling is vital for environmental conservation. Materials which cannot be recycled require disposal either by incineration or landfill, both causing environmental damage.

Wood is the only renewable, and therefore sustainable building material available. Illegal logging does take place and you are right to draw people's attention to it; the timber industry is against illegal logging too. It was not our intention in the ad to make people believe that what the rainforests contribute to the earth is negligible. Indeed, we have not received comments or complaints from anyone apart from you on this score which may indicate that people seeing the ad do not take a negative message from it about the rainforests.

The more people buy wood products, the stronger the industry will be and the better the forests will be managed. This is part of what we are trying to do with the campaign.

Regards

Charles Trevor
Managing Director
wood. for good



Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

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