As an Australian-owned supplier who has been importing timber into Australia since 1879, ForestOne has seen significant change in the industry throughout the company’s lifetime. And it’s fair to say that some of the most significant shifts have happened in sustainability. “It has certainly gathered significant momentum over recent years,” says Darryl Ball, Group Decorative and Specification Manager at Forest One. “Today, simply claiming that you are sustainable is not enough nor acceptable, you need to be able to show and demonstrate it factually.”

Darryl notes that the perception of sustainability within the industry has changed both very little, and vastly at the same time. Where once sustainability encompassed an outwards focus for the business (and others in the industry), it must now also incorporate what happens within the business to be of value. “Sustainability has always been embedded into our business, but a few years ago, that meant things like product sourcing from reputable suppliers, anti-slave labour practices and all things ESG. Now, that philosophy is no different, but what we do in our own business has changed significantly. When we talk about ‘Specified Responsibly’, that doesn’t just mean the brands and products we distribute, but indeed our own practices as a business. Every single employee understands our need to minimise our impact on the environment and to ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to sustainable practices.”

At a supplier level, ForestOne aims to only supply products that are FSC® or RW/PEFC Chain of Custody (CoC) certified. These certifications mandate that every organisation along the supply chain must meet additional standards relating to quality systems, material sourcing, production controls, transaction documentation, and labelling. But that’s just the beginning.

“Our ‘Specified Responsibly’ approach is at the forefront of our ethos and marketing. We understand the importance of acting in a way that is consistent with our message, which is why we go beyond searching for suppliers who share our environmental, social, and governance values,” says Darryl. “We also look inward, continuously exploring ways to reduce our environmental impact. For example, we have installed stellar solar panels on four of our seven Distribution Centres across Australia so far, reducing our carbon footprint by 255 tonnes of CO2 annually. In addition, we have invested in hybrid cars and trucks for our fleet and are sourcing power from green energy sources. These recent initiatives have dramatically reduced our carbon footprint.”

For a business that has already advanced so far along their sustainability journey, ForestOne remains laser-focused on the road ahead. “Our primary goal is to establish ourselves as the leading supplier of sustainable interior building products in the Australian market,” explains Darryl. “We strive to take on the responsibility of conducting thorough due diligence and rigorous evaluation processes for our customers, so they can have peace of mind knowing that all our products meet the highest standards of sustainability. Our commitment to sustainable sourcing and responsible business practices is reflected in the portfolio of sustainable ForestOne brands, and we are proud to provide our customers with a reliable and trustworthy source of eco-friendly panel products.”

ForestOne relishes its position at the vanguard of the sustainable panels industry in Australia and is under no illusions as to the responsibility it has to uphold. This is something Darryl is only too happy to wax lyrical about. “In all our supply and purchasing decisions, sustainability is a top priority. We are committed to taking tangible actions toward a more sustainable future, both our operations and product offerings.”