Dutch Construction Company Invests in Climate-Proof Forestry

The Dutch construction company VolkerWessels aims to climate-proof a minimum of 500 hectares of forests in the Netherlands during the next two years. To reach this goal, the company recently signed an agreement with FSC Netherlands.

By taking smart measures, forests can capture more carbon and become more resistant to the effects of climate change. In the long term, VolkerWessels wants to use wood from these climate-proof forests for its own construction projects.

The signed agreement also includes Unie van Bosgroepen– a local cooperation providing support to forest and landowners in their land management – as a third partner.

Up to 100,000 euros invested in tree planting and management

VolkerWessels will invest up to 100,000 euros in climate-proof forest management until 2022.

With this amount, Unie van Bosgroepen will take actions in three FSC-certified forests spread across the Netherlands to enable the forest to capture more carbon, increase biodiversity and boost the positive perception of these climate-proof forests. These measures include promoting natural regeneration of forests, planting tree species that are more resistant to climate change and strategies to promote more carbon storage in the soil.

“The use of materials and CO2 emissions are inherent in building and have a considerable impact on the natural environment. At VolkerWessels, using sustainable materials, including wood from well-managed forests, is therefore one of our top priorities,” said VolkerWessels CSR director, Lars van der Meulen. “By contributing to climate-smart forest management, we are involved in the sustainable production of wood in the Netherlands and the capture of CO2 and we actually contribute to a healthier, sustainable living environment.”

Climate-proof forest management is desperately needed

According to FSC group certification manager for Unie van Bosgroepen, Gerard Koopmans, climate-proof forest management is desperately needed: “We are seeing a sharp decline in the quality of the forest, for example due to the drought in recent years. Tree species such as ash, Norway spruce, but also larch die off en masse. The Dutch forests need tree species that are more resistant to drought, but also tree species, such as winter lime and hazel, that promote the production of humus (a buffer against drought) and play an active role in making nutrients available. ”

FSC’s role in the project

According to VolkerWessels and Unie van Bosgroepen, the involvement of FSC in this project ensures the sustainable management of these climate-proof forests due to its high standards.

FSC has also developed an ecosystem services procedure for FSC certificate holders to demonstrate the positive impact of their forest management activities on ecosystem services – such as increased carbon absorption by forests or an enhancement of biodiversity. The procedure will also allow VolkerWessels to make well-informed statements about the effectiveness of this project.

Source: FSC International News, December 03, 2019