Sustainable procurement funding project gathers pace

Interest in the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition’s (STTC) funding programme is growing among industry Federations, timber companies and local authorities across Europe.

The STTC announced earlier this year that it had over €1 million to allocate for the establishment of sustainable timber procurement policy, code of conduct and project action plans that matched its goals and criteria.

Initially the lion’s share of the funding will go to trade bodies and timber businesses in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain and France. But there is also money available for action plans elsewhere.

“So far we’ve had positive approaches from the timber trade federations of four of the five initial funding target countries,” said André de Boer, Secretary General of STTC Principal Partner the European Timber Trade Federation. “And project proposals from the private and public sectors are building up, which we expect will lead to other projects and participants in the STTC programme.  It’s a very encouraging start to the programme.”

Under the funding initiative, companies and local authorities are eligible for match funding up to €15,000, or 30% of the cost, to implement procurement strategies and other STTC-aligned activities. Federations can receive up to €30,000 to introduce sustainable procurement policies and codes of conduct.

The STTC’s aim, through supporting wider establishment of sustainable procurement policies, programmes and initiatives and through communication, awareness raising and a drive to build its partner and membership base, is to increase EU certified tropical timber sales 50% above 2013 levels by 2020. This, in turn, it maintains, will provide added incentive for the spread of sustainable forest management in tropical supplier countries.