Where does our wood come from? A step towards circular stand building

Rick Westenenk
May 6, 2024 3:30:00 PM

Sustainability in the world of trade show construction is becoming increasingly important. From using material passports to reusing decor materials. But how certain are we about the sustainability of our materials? Are they truly sustainable?

To investigate this, I decided to call Ivo Verlaan. Ivo is the account manager at our trusted wood supplier, Leeuwerik. We discussed the traceability of the wood and panel materials we use for our stands and the role of the Chain of Custody (CoC) in ensuring sustainable wood use.


So, who is Leeuwerik?

Ivo explains, "We are an importer and wholesaler specializing in a wide range of panel materials, aimed at the Netherlands and Belgium. We not only supply high-quality materials, but also support our customers with reliable, efficient service."

Leeuwerik exemplifies sustainable business practices. Their headquarters are sustainably built and energy-positive, thanks in part to a solar park with more than 4000 panels and a Heat Cold Storage (WKO) installation on the warehouse floor. These efforts demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

The solar park on the roof of Leeuwerik 


Why are FSC® and PEFC certifications important?

"Our FSC and PEFC certifications prove that we maintain a strict Chain of Custody," says Ivo. "These certifications ensure that wood products come from responsibly managed forests, which is crucial for sustainable projects. The labels are essential for maintaining a transparent and uninterrupted chain from the forest to the end user."


"Cutting trees and yet protecting the forest seems like a contradiction, but it isn't."



What is responsibly managed forest?

A responsibly managed forest involves selective logging and gives areas an average of 30 years to recover. This contributes to forest protection.

With tools like the FSC Forest Calculation Tool and the FSC Impact Calculator, we can concretely demonstrate the positive effects of using this wood.

  • The FSC Forest Calculation Tool (in Dutch) offers a choice between tropical hardwood and Northern wood.
  • The FSC Impact Calculator goes a step further for tropical hardwood. This tool indicates the "prevention costs" for CO2 emissions, the positive impact on biodiversity, and even the social impact for workers in logging.


FSC-keurmerk op plaatmateriaal KOPFSC certification on pine plywood in KOP's warehouse


The Chain of Custody sounds good, but how can you ensure that it remains intact?

According to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the entire chain is verifiable. Each company in this chain has a unique FSC number on all documents. Regular audits and strict documentation ensure that every wood product is guaranteed to come from responsibly managed forests. This traceability, from end user back to the forest, provides full transparency.


Why is traceability of raw materials important to you?

Ivo: "As an importer and distributor of panel materials, we ensure that every piece of FSC or PEFC wood that leaves our warehouse is traceable back to its source. This ensures our clients, like KOP, are assured of a responsibly sourced product," Ivo states.


FSC Handelsketen

FSC-Chain of Custody. Source: FSC Nederland


Do you see a shift in demand towards circular and sustainable wood?

According to Ivo, we are at a turning point. "The demand for sustainable alternatives is growing exponentially, and we are capitalizing on this with innovative solutions."

"For example, we offer two sustainable alternatives in panel materials: DecoBoard and OrganicBoard Pure from Pfleiderer:"

  • DecoBoard is Cradle to Cradle certified. This means that it can be circularly reused after use..
  • OrganicBoard Pure is made from 100% recycled wood and bound with 100% biogenic glue, making it an even more sustainable solution.

Ivo believes that within the next 5 years, sustainable alternatives will become the standard. "Of course, quality must remain paramount. We do not compromise on the quality of the product."


KOP EXPO - NEDAP - EUROSHOP 4Sustainable stand by Nedap with poplar wood with PEFC certification


What does this mean for KOP?

At KOP, we take the lead in designing and realizing sustainable and circular stands. That's why we actively focus on innovative solutions. We fulfill an advisory and informative role to guide our clients towards the most sustainable choices.

Solutions such as material passports, sustainable alternatives for stand decor, and circular furniture are green steps that we can implement for every stand design. By collaborating with partners like Leeuwerik, these steps are possible.

In recent years, the demand for sustainable stand construction from companies has increased tremendously. Trade fair organizations are also taking concrete steps to reduce their footprint. Organizations like PROVADA indicate that good communication between stand builders, clients, and trade fairs enables us to take that step forward towards a better future. For stands like those of Nedap, Rabobank, and Belimo, for example, we have taken sustainable steps.

Are you also taking the step towards a greener future today?



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Rick Westenenk
By Rick Westenenk

Rick is our Content Marketeer! Someone who thrives on talk and visuals. They genuinely get happy from creating content.

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