The European situation

This IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative‘s report,  explores Europe’s impact on tropical forests as a result of secondary tropical wood imports (doors, moldings, other joinery, and windows). It builds on our 2019 report that analyzed the primary tropical wood sector, and reveals the way that these two aspects of the tropical timber trade impact tropical forests. Volumes of secondary tropical wood product imports (187,500 tonnes in 2019) are significantly less than primary tropical wood (1,473,000 tonnes in 2018), but the impacts are still meaningful.

The results show that secondary timber largely mirrors primary timber – in 2019, 33% of Europe’s direct imports of the analyzed secondary tropical wood products from ITTO producer countries were exposed to certification (compared to 28.5% of primary timber in 2018). This level of certification positively impacts at least 763,000–925,000 hectares of tropical forests.

Ramping up demand for SFM-certified products to 100% of imports would impact an additional 1,160,000–1,322,000 hectares of tropical forests. Combined with primary timber, shifting Europe’s demand to certified sustainable products could impact 18 million hectares.

Want to know more about how we can get to 100% SFM-certified and protect tropical forests in perpetuity? Download the report!

Report’s full title

Understanding sustainable secondary tropical wood products through data


  • George White | GTF
  • Mark van Benthem, Jan Oldenburger & Sander Teeuwen | Probos

Commissioned by

IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative
Chih-Ching Lan, Program Officer
October, 2020

Other individuals and organizations who participated in the study

  • IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative;
  • The STTC Technical Committee;
  • ATIBT and their producer members in the Congo Basin;
  • Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Madeira Processada Mecanicamente (ABIMCI);
  • Asociación de Exportadores Peru (ADEX);
  • Union des Forestiers et Industriels du Gabon (UFIGA);
  • FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM);
  • The Borneo Initiative (TBI);
  • UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF);
  • Corporate and Association interviewees in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK;
  • The interviewers: Robin Fisher; Alberto Romero (AEIM); Nicola Andrighetto (ETIFOR); Gunther Hentschel;
  • National offices of both FSC and PEFC who responded to our survey;
  • Those companies who responded to the survey.