QWEB represents wood products manufacturers who conduct their business with integrity and according to social, commercial and environmental standards generally recognized and accepted. In order to support the members of the Hardwood group who wanted to certify their respect of these standards, QWEB has developed a certification of Environmental, Social and Commercial Compliance (ESCC).
This certification is not mandatory. A compliance certificate is issued to the manufacturer adhering to the requirements of the certification. The list of all the manufacturers certified may be found using the search engine of QWEB’s website.
Wood grows naturally; it is renewable, recyclable and has a low environmental impact compared with other building materials. In fact, this is the only truly environmentally friendly material.
In Canada and Quebec, the wood comes from forests managed according to the principles of sustainable forest management. This ensures that forestry practices maintain a balance between different forest values, including water quality and soil, the habitat of fish and wildlife, biodiversity and the use for recreational purposes for communities. In addition, sustainable forest management practices mean that forests are harvested legally and managed to meet the needs of society for forest products in the long term.
Wood is also a practical way to fight against climate change because the use of wood products can help reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment. Moreover, several life-cycle analyses have repeatedly confirmed that the use of wood provides better results than steel or concrete regarding embodied energy and water pollution. These studies take into account the environmental impacts of materials throughout the life cycle, from extraction or harvesting of raw materials, processing, transportation, installation, use, maintenance, recycling up to disposal.
Also, the wood products industry reduced its waste by optimizing sawing and using wood chips and sawdust for the production of paper and composite products or wood pellets. In North America, all producers of the wood industry can use 99% of each harvested tree.
Finally, recovered wood products after the demolition of a building can be reused or recycled without further processing to manufacture value-added products such as panels, insulation or wood pellets.