Today, 21st March, is the International Day of Forests. A day that was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 to raise awareness of the importance of caring for and preserving all of the planet’s forest areas and, consequently, the survival of all species. This year’s theme is “Forests and Health”, to raise awareness of the potential of forests to contribute to greater personal wellbeing. At Astigarraga Kit Line, we celebrate this date every day, because our forests give us so much, including the wood that we use to manufacture the wooden furniture we enjoy in our daily lives. That is why our responsibility to these carbon stores is sacred – we work every day to ensure that forests are protected for current and future generations.
Forests and health
This year’s theme aims to change the way human beings relate to nature. The text “Forests for human health and well-being”, produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), states that, “Raising awareness of the fact that forests are essential to the well-being of all people, and creating an environment that enables people to benefit from them, can help transform people’s interactions with forest ecosystems, especially in a world that is rapidly becoming more urbanised”.
Forests are tranquil spaces for relaxing and unwinding, hiking or just sitting and enjoying the environment, and they offer a wide range of benefits for human health. In fact, many studies have shown that contact with nature improves mental health and prevents illness.
Why is the International Day of Forests important?
The FAO states that forests cover one third of the earth, and are one of nature’s great providers that performs life-supporting functions.
- They are a source of life. They provide us with shelter, life, water, wood from trees, fruit, paper, etc.
- They contribute to climate change mitigation. Forests act as a climate temperature regulator. They absorb the carbon dioxide that is fuelling global warming from the atmosphere.
- They are a natural noise barrier. Sound fades in forest stands; in the same way, trees have a kind of dampening effect on the noise of cities, industries or roads.
- Biodiversity is key. Forests are much more than just trees, as they are home to 80% of the species of animals and plants on the earth.
At Astigarraga Kit Line, we only manufacture with certified wood
The furniture industry is one of the sectors that is most committed to the environment, perhaps because its activity has a direct impact on it. But if you’re wondering what Astigarraga Kit Line is doing to mitigate that impact, read on.
- 100% of the references contained in our catalogue are of sustainable origin. We only manufacture with certified wood. Our raw material comes from the forests of the Basque Country, so it is local wood. This is one of the great values of the company. As a company, we are very attached to our land and to our forests.
- “Timber is a sector where we need to clearly explain the origin of the product and how things are done in the forests. The processes involved are much more natural, with a carbon footprint infinitely lower than other raw materials. To those people who insist that, by cutting down a tree to make a piece of furniture, you are deforesting, we have to explain that this is not the case. If I cut down a tree, and clean and heal the area, then I’m leaving space for another one to grow,” Belén Noriega, general secretary of PEFC Spain, told us in a recent interview.
- We guarantee reforestation through the use of PEFC-certified wood. This is the world’s largest forest certification system and “it works throughout the supply chain to promote good practice in the forest, and to ensure that forest products are produced to the highest environmental, social and ethical standards. The PEFC certification certifies that we extract our raw material from forests in a responsible manner.
- At Astigarraga Kit Line, we utilise 100% of the pine trees. Although a high percentage is destined for furniture production, there are always odds and ends that cannot be optimised for these purposes. This is the case for bark, which we turn into biomass, or sawdust and wood chips, which are used by paper companies. Another effective way to minimise our impact on the environment, leaving a positive footprint on our surroundings.
- Our company also has the Ecolabel from the European Union. This is an environmental excellence label that is awarded to products and services that meet high environmental standards throughout their life cycle: from wood extraction, production, distribution and what we just talked about: waste. Ecolabel promotes the circular economy, as it relates to the generation of less waste and CO2 during the manufacturing process. At Astigarraga Kit line, we develop products that are durable, easy to repair and recycle.
- We do not only apply sustainability to the raw material itself, but also to the design, manufacturing process, distribution and social commitment. We have strict control of the entire supply chain: from the origin of the wood, until a piece of furniture reaches the hands of a distributor or the end customer.
Sustainability is therefore our responsibility. The environment that we have grown up in and lived in deserves all our care in looking after it and respecting it. We only understand our business from the perspective of a natural and unwavering commitment to the manufacture of sustainable, environmentally-friendly products. Happy International Day of Forests!