Premier Forest Products
Premier Forest Products


Dec 2007

All Aboard as Premier Cut Carbon Footprint

Leading timber importer Premier Forest Products is demonstrating a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by importing 8,600 cubic metres of German timber by sea, taking the equivalent of one hundred lorries off the road.

Newport-based Premier has been importing timber in from Germany since the beginning of the year, but as demand for the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified product increased significantly, the company decided that bringing the product in by road was not the most environmentally sound option.

Paul Ford, Softwoods Director at Premier Forest Products, said:

Paul Ford Premier Forest Products

"The amount of timber we were importing from Germany has doubled since our initial order due to high demand, so it makes sense both environmentally and financially to switch from lorries to an alternative mode of transport.

"The timber industry is always looking for ways to become more 'green' – at Premier, for example, we are importing increasing amounts of certified wood each month, including all our German timber,
which is 100 per cent PEFC-certified.

"One of the main ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to 'reduce car use', so taking a hundred lorries off the road in Wales will have a huge impact on our country's carbon output."


Shipping was reported to be one of the more carbon friendly methods of transport in last year's Stern Report. Despite carrying 75 per cent of world trade, shipping and rail combined produced 1.75 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, while road transport produced 10.5 per cent.
The distance the lorries would have to travel from Stuttgart to Newport would be 692 miles each – 69,200 miles for all one hundred lorries, producing over 119,000 kg of CO2*.

Premier's headquarters is located in Newport, which was recently named Britain's greenest city by environmental campaign group WWF, using fewer natural resources than any other urban centre in the UK. The city scored well in factors such as housing, food, consumer goods and transport. All five Welsh cities surveyed by the WWF, including Cardiff and Swansea, had a lower carbon footprint than the UK average.

German timber is in high demand in the UK, due to the quality of the product. Premier has struck up supply deals with three major German mills – Klenk, Ante and Schwaiger – to ensure their supply of fully certified timber is consistent. Premier are importing the timber from Bremen to Newport, where it is being held on the quay. 

Paul Ford Premier Forest Products

Paul Ford continued:
"Historically, German timber has been expensive compared to other products on offer in the UK, but due to a number of factors the German market has become flat, and mills there are looking to the UK to export their product. This means that in the UK, we can now get this high quality timber which has not been cost effective before, for a reasonable price.

"The timber industry can do a lot to help reduce the carbon footprint of not only the UK, but the world itself. This may sound dramatic, but it is a fact – according to the Environment Investigation Agency, huge amounts of illegally logged timber are still turning up in the UK. Our industry has a responsibility to ensure everything we import is from a credible, responsibly managed source, certified by a recognised regulatory scheme such as PEFC".

*Figures based on emissions for a HGV: 1.07kgCO2/km (DEFRA)


  • The PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification.  Premier can supply PEFC-certified products under their certificate: BMT-PEFC-0236.


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