Maersk’s shipping containers all have hard wood flooring and until now they were using tropical woods that were often from unsustainable sources. Now, with the environmental implications in mind, Maersk has decided to only used wood from sources that are certified as sustainable from now on.
The wood Maersk will use in the future will be marked with the Forest Sterwardship Council (FSC) certification, which guarantees the wood used for the containers’ floors are not the product of illegal logging. The firm is also expected to use recycled plastic and bamboo as a sustainable environmentally friendly option for its flooring.
Stephen Kelleher of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, said that he hoped other business will follow Maersk’s lead: "Achieving sustainable development and environmental conservation will not be possible without the full engagement of the private sector, and we hope this bold move will inspire other businesses to follow suit.”
AAA is welcoming the news as it supports investment in sustainable projects, like the planting of sustainable forestry crops in emerging markets such as Brazil. These kinds of projects can help to protect the natural resources that are so precious to developing economies. AAA’s analyst partner Anthony Johnson explained, “Generating a larger market for sustainably produced timber will increase returns on investment for anyone looking to buy up sustainable forest land and trees that can be harvested some years down the line.”
“As demand increases, the price of sustainably produced timber goes up, and investors in projects such as the those run by Greenwood Management in Brazil and Costa Rica, see the benefits,” added Johnson.
Currently, the shipping industry purchases as much as 1.5 million cubic meters of tropical hardwood, so it is easy to see how a change in policy would reduce demand for timber that is the product of deforestation, claimed AAA. Mearsk’s decision alone will reduce the demand for uncertified tropical hardwood by 6 per cent from the shipping industry – having a potentially major impact on the demand in general.
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