Housing associations, local authorities and contractors involved in concealing fire sprinkler pipework as part of their ongoing tower block fire protection upgrades, could be inadvertently contravening compliance and sustainability policies, as non-FSC® certified plywood boxing is still available in the UK.
As these products are manufactured from wood, contractors should be purchasing only FSC® or PEFC certified products, as required by the government’s ‘Timber Procurement Policy’ (TPP) guidelines, as well as the latest edition of the Timber Procurement Advisory Note (TPAN) from Defra.
Extracts from Defra’s guidance on compliance with the TPP states:
Government procurers and their suppliers should have documentary evidence to show the timber supplied is at a minimum from legal and sustainable sources. This evidence should include full chain of custody from the forest source(s) to the end user. Suppliers and buyers must check evidence to verify its validity.
Also, The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has stated, ‘If you don’t know where your timber and paper come from, you could be part of the problem’. The FSC’s procurement factsheet provides clear recommendations on procurement procedures and compliance checks that should be made:
• Check that delivery notes and invoices clearly identify the FSC certified products and includes the supplier’s FSC certificate code. In addition, from our experience of supplying FSC® sprinkler and pipe boxing, Encasement also advises that to be confident of compliance, always ensure that the individual product description for every item listed is identified specifically as FSC® compliant.
• Specify FSC certified materials when placing your order and let your supplier know that you need them to make an FSC claim on their sale documents.
• Source from an FSC certified supplier. All FSC certified organisations are included within the FSC certificate database at
Our Managing Director, Martin Taylor, explained: The best way for HAs and LAs to enforce this is to explicitly specify the use of FSC Chain of Custody certified products as the default and diligently monitor the products used by contractors and suppliers. Ignorance is no defence, especially when guidance and information on procedures is readily available.