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Measures of the action plan

Our own environmental expert Michael Proschek-Hauptmann, together with representatives from various civil society organisations and other stakeholders, continuously evaluates our high environmental standards and actions and develops methods for improvement. The measures we have implemented in Romania by far surpass all the legal requirements there. Since 2017, we have invested more than €1 million in this state-of-the art security system.

Due Diligence System

The HS Timber Group has a Due Diligence system in place based on specific analyses of the procurement risks in each country from which deliveries of logs originate.more ...

We ensure the legality of each individual delivery by reviewing all documents in detail, having our own or external experts carry out extensive on-site inspections of suppliers and forest owners, and performing a further conformity check when accepting deliveries of timber. Any non-compliant deliveries are rejected.... less

GPS-tracking – full transparency in the supply chain

Each delivery of Romanian timber is minutely checked on arrival and the results of this check are presented transparently for the general public.more ...

Our state-of-the-art GPS monitoring system Timflow www.timflow.com tracks every truck delivering Romanian saw logs to our sawmills, and verifies where the timber comes from. This information, which includes the GPS coordinates of the loading place and the entire route, photographs taken of the loading and references to the official documents, is publicly accessible at all times – something that is unique in the European timber industry.... less

No timber shipments from national parks

The HS Timber Group does not accept timber shipments from national parks although Romanian legislation does allow for logging in what are known as national park buffer zones and in the case of sanitary cuttings.more ...

Our suppliers are contractually obliged to comply with our policy. To ensure compliance with this policy, we check each log truck arriving at the mill to determine whether it contains timber originating from national parks. For this, we use the GPS monitoring system Timflow, which records the truck’s exact route. In addition, the legally required documents of origin (document proving the harvested amount) and the delivery note (Aviz) that the supplier is required to have are compared with the national park documents for purposes of verification. Suppliers with timber yards that also purchase timber from national park buffer zones may only sell to the HS Timber Group if they ensure through physical separation that no such timber is delivered to us. Suppliers that source such volumes are continuously audited. Those which are unable to guarantee physical separation are suspended for the duration of the harvesting permit for this area.... less

Strict controls for sensitive forest areas

The HS Timber Group has developed Due Diligence system, based on risk-bases analyses of the purchasing areas, careful verification of all documents and on site audits for all timber it purchases.more ...

We use all available maps and information to make sure we do not sources from Romanian National Parks, at the same time considering the Virgin Forests and the UNESCO heritage sites, for a strict verification. If the HS Timber Group receives transports from these areas or from logyards located in the close vicinity of national parks or virgin forests, our supply chain control employees perform on site audits and verify the documents required for wood harvesting (the APV, harvesting permits, maps) to ensure that the wood does not originate from such areas. Otherwise, all transports are rejected. All these maps, containing the limits of National Parks, UNESCO heritage sites and of Virgin Forests, but also possible Virgin Forests (PIN-MATRA) are available in the Timflow system.... less

Electronic verification of delivery quantities

We use an electronic 3D measuring system to ensure that the delivery quantity indicated in the consignment note corresponds to the actual delivery.more ...

A calibrated laser scanner measures the delivered round wood. The quantities determined by the supplier at the loading place and set out in the consignment note are checked. Volumes of timber in excess of the legally admissible threshold are separated out and reported to the authorities, leading to their exclusion from production.... less

Strict controls - all tip-offs investigated

We audit all suppliers in depth to assess legal and financial aspects as well as the suppliers’ business ethics before allowing them to deliver timber to the HS Timber Group.more ...

A “new” supplier is also one that has not delivered timber to us for at least a year or whose suspension has been lifted. Going forward, our suppliers will be required to take part in an audit programme, which will ensure that all suppliers are audited regularly. Suppliers with timber yards will be audited on site at least once per year, depending on their size. We are grateful for all tip-offs about possible irregularities and naturally investigate every single one of them.... less

Exclusion of suppliers that do not comply with the Code of Conduct or the HS Timber Group’s purchasing policy

We have very high standards for selecting and collaborating with suppliers. In particular, they must commit to following our Supplier Code of Conduct.more ...

This, along with uncompromising compliance with the timber sourcing policy, is part of the supply agreement. If we encounter irregularities in the supply chain, we take immediate action. We do not do business with suppliers convicted of illegal logging or corruption.... less

Continuous improvement – regular inspections by external experts

The HS Timber Group is keen to maintain its high standards for supply chain security in the long term. Assisted by external experts who examine and evaluate the systems, we ensure that we have the latest measures and systems in place at all times.more ...

In the past, independent expert organisations such as INDUFOR from Finland and KPMG Canada carefully examined the company’s security systems, confirming the efficiency of the steps taken and helping to advance a continuous improvement process at the same time.... less

EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) audits

Since the EUTR entered into force in 2013, the HS Timber Group’s Due Diligence system has been audited by the competent authorities a total of 17 times.more ...

All official EUTR audits to date have confirmed the observance of statutory duties of care (Due Diligence).... less

Compliance programme and regular anti-corruption courses

The HS Timber Group’s Code of Conduct for employees constitutes the basis for ethical behaviour in our company’s business environment.more ...

An independent and, if necessary, anonymous reporting channel directly to the Group Compliance Office is available to all employees wishing to report violations.The HS Timber Group’s employees periodically attend training courses given by external experts. Regular anti-corruption courses serve to train and raise awareness among our employees, especially those working in purchasing.For these courses the HS Timber Group also cooperates with the International Anti-Corruption Academy (www.iaca.int), which supports the company with bespoke training programmes and access to an international network of experts in its compliance programme.... less

Open doors policy for NGOs

In line with its commitment to transparent communication, the HS Timber Group has implemented an open door policy for non-government organisations (NGOs).more ...

Representatives of recognised NGOs can visit our mills unannounced after registering with the company’s Compliance department and signing a standard non-disclosure agreement regarding the technologies used. Our goal is to demonstrate our efforts with the utmost transparency to ensure a secure supply chain.... less

Intensive, active dialogue with stakeholders

We engage in regular dialogue with environmental protection organisations and other stakeholders and take criticism and suggestions seriously.more ...

We hold regular consultations to brief our stakeholders on our activities and actively incorporate external viewpoints into our business practices. Tip-offs about the supply chain are investigated in depth as part of our security procedures.... less

Expanded compliance team

The HS Timber Group has significantly expanded its Compliance and Supply Chain Control departments.more ...

Over 16 specialists now ensure integrity in the supply chain and ethical business conduct.An organisational separation between Supply Chain Control and Timber Purchasing has also been established to rule out conflicts of interest.... less

Sustainability process and environmental management

In 2017, the HS Timber Group implemented an internal sustainability process to anchor the principles of sustainable development extensively within the Group.more ...

For this, the HS Timber Group set itself environmental targets such as reducing energy use per product unit by 25% and cutting CO2 emissions by 30% by the year 2025. The Group has also committed to purchasing timber only from certified, sustainable forestry up to 2025.... less

Promotion of sustainable forest management

To promote sustainable forest management, the company integrates awareness-raising and information measures for Romanian timber harvesting companies into its on-site audit system.more ...

In order to measure progress, criteria such as water and soil protection have also been assessed as part of these forest audits since 2018, and harvesting companies have been actively briefed on sustainable harvesting and management practices.... less

Occupational health and safety

The HS Timber Group has developed comprehensive guidelines on occupational health and safety.Our stated goal is to have no accidents in the factory. Employees receive regular training so that this goal can be achieved in a sustainable manner.more ...

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Forward-looking project: protection of Romanian forests via satellite monitoring

In 2018, the HS Timber Group teamed up with GRAS (Global Risk Assessment Services, www.gras-system.org) to develop a methodology for identifying potential tracts of virgin forest in Romania.more ...

State-of-the-art satellite analysis tools are able to detect, evaluate and localise changes in the vegetation canopy. The findings could be used in the future to record potential tracts of virgin forests or to provide information for local mapping. The HS Timber Group has made the methodology available to NGOs and the Romanian government with a view to rapidly achieving sustainable protection of these forests.... less

Reforestation and CSR commitment

In September 2017, Romania saw the launch of a multi-year afforestation project called Tomorrow’s Forest in conjunction with the Romanian Association of Forest Administrators and supported by academics from the University of Suceava.more ...

The project, which targets degraded forest areas held by small, private owners and local communities, aims to add value and bring security to forests in Romania. The goal is to plant around one million trees over the next few years. Since 2019, the project has been run by the Tomorrow’s Forest Foundation. The HS Timber Group and the Tomorrow’s Forest Foundation have forged a strategic partnership for joint implementation of environmental and social projects. Established in 2019 with funding from the HS Timber Group, the foundation has the mission of contributing to the protection and responsible management of the forests and the development of sustainable forestry in Romania. By entering into this strategic alliance, the HS Timber Group aims to implement the company’s CSR commitment more purposefully and more effectively. To date, the HS Timber Goup has already invested over €6 million in projects for the common good in Romania alone.... less

The HS Timber Group also funds environmental, social and educational projects in other countries such as Austria and India. Would you like to find out more about our actions?

If you would like more detailed information on our measures, please contact:

Michael Proschek-Hauptmann
Head of Compliance and Sustainability
michael.proschek[at]hs.at