Wenge wood has always been in high demand due to its luxury appeal and durability. This exotic wood is considered ideal for a wide variety of projects right from exterior cladding and flooring to furniture and musical instruments. That’s the reason why most woodworking and furniture-making companies want to get their hands on wenge wood for sale at the earliest opportunity.
However, its all-time high demand has made this wood rare and expensive and pushed wenge trees among highly exploited species. This, in turn, has led to wildlife displacement and biodiversity loss in the forests where wenge trees are found (wenge trees grow in Central Africa, across Cameroon, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo).
Now, the question arises:
Is wenge wood a sustainable commodity?
Wenge wood is typically a sustainable wood due to its carbon sequestration and storage. But due to decades of exploitation and its widespread illegal logging, this tropical timber has become less sustainable than the timber sourced from temperate forests.
With that said, it is critical to remember that wood is much better for the environment than plastic, especially when the wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests.
How is the sustainability of wenge wood determined?
To understand how sustainable wenge wood is, experts assess the life-cycle of projects of wenge wood such as flooring and furniture. This life-cycle assessment (LCA) allows professionals to evaluate the environmental impact of each stage in the life cycle of a product right from manufacturing or growing to recycling.
When it comes to determining the sustainability of wenge wood, the following five stages are analyzed.
- Growing Stage: Growing wenge trees for harvesting wenge wood for sale is sustainable due to the carbon sequestration (wenge trees are carbon sinks).
- Manufacturing Stage: Converting wenge wood into furniture and other items has relatively a low carbon footprint when the waste produced is used to make by-products or bio pellets. Carbon emissions can also be significantly lowered by using fossil-free energy.
- Transporting Stage: It is a carbon-intensive stage because it involves hauling vehicles to transport timbers to saw-mills and factories and then finished items to stores. When wenge wood in the UK or the USA is sourced from Central Africa, wenge wood furniture has high carbon footprint than furniture made with regionally available wood.
- Usage Stage: This stage is also sustainable because of the high durability of wenge wood.
- End-of-Life Stage: Wenge wood products are sustainable during this stage if the wood is reused or burned as bio-energy.
Therefore, wenge wood is sustainable in general. However, the actual environmental impact of any type of wood also depends on other factors.
For instance, high demand for wenge wood has encouraged unsustainable and illegal logging practices in Central Africa. As a result, wenge tree species have been labeled as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
At this point, most people would ask, should we stop using wenge wood then? No, of course not! The key to buying wenge wood ethically and sustainably is to source wenge wood from companies that follow ethical approaches and use sustainable development practices.
At Trading Expression, we, being a responsible Cameroonian company, understand the increasing threat on the wenge wood and other wood species. Therefore, we have placed the sustainable development of tropical forests at our forefront. Our sustainable development program is supported by the Friends of the Forest fund that we finance with a portion of the income we make on each sale.
So, if you need wenge wood for sale, connect with us to make sure that your efforts are making a positive impact on the environment, biodiversity, wildlife, and the life of local people who maintain these forests sustainably.