Frequently asked questions about Legal Lumber™

Q: How does the LEGAL LUMBER™ Due Care Environmental Compliance Certification Program contribute to the promotion of best practices associated with using natural and renewable wood products? 

The LEGAL LUMBER™ Due Care Environmental Compliance Certification Program was established by Tropical Forest Products as a corporate environmental compliance and education program designed to assist building product users in establishing an ethical approach to acquiring and sourcing building products that incorporate comprehensive environmental ‘Due Care’ practices, as well as educate both suppliers and consumers about the environmental benefits associated with using natural and renewable wood products compared to their non-renewable, non-wood substitutions.

Q: What are requirements you need to meet to obtain “LEGAL LUMBER™ Certificate of Compliance Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures”?

To comply with the requirements of “LEGAL LUMBER™ Certificate of Compliance Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures”, a product carrying our LEGAL LUMBER™ certificate of compliance and/or on-product labeling must:

  • Be derived from a naturally occurring, renewable, and sustainable resource.
  • Be 100% organic having grown without the use of genetic modification or chemical fertilization.
  • have a useful service life that exceeds its natural growth cycle.
  • Sequester and store carbon throughout its useful service life cycle.
  • Generate zero post-industrial and post-consumer non-biodegradable waste.
  • Be 100 percent biodegradable at the end of its useful service life returning to nature as natural organic waste.
  • Not require any petroleum-based or inorganic chemical treatments, bonding agents, or coatings for maintenance.
  • Not require any high energy consumptive thermal or chemical modification for maintenance.
  • Be safe for contact with humans and animals.
  • Not require any specialized handling, storage, or disposal procedures when being serviced.
  • Meet Low VOC emission standards, being free from any inorganic off-gassing.
  • Be used, reused, or recycled without the use of chemical processing.
  • Not be listed in CITES (Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species) Appendixes I or II.
  • Be derived from member countries of the ITTO (International Tropical Timber Trade Organization) having signed the ITTA (International Tropical Timber Trade Agreement)
  • Be harvested from forest areas where traditional or civil rights are not violated.
  • Be harvested from areas where natural forest has not been converted for plantations or non-forest use.
  • Be third party verified as having been harvested legally and sourced in compliance with all national and international laws and regulations pertaining to the trade of wood products and more specifically in compliance with Legal and Due Care compliance requirements as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S Department of Justice, including but not limited to the U.S. Lacey Act, U.S. Buy American Act, U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and U.S Forced Labor Laws.

Q: If I purchase materials from a Legal Lumber™ certified company does that mean my products are FSC® certified?

Not necessarily. Certified companies have the right through their FSC® certification to make and sell FSC® certified products, but this does not mean that all the products they sell are FSC® certified. Most certified companies sell both certified and non-certified products. To ensure the products you source from the company are FSC® certified, you must specify this requirement at the beginning of the purchasing process, with the supplier and check the invoice from the company to verify it contains an FSC® certification claim and the company’s FSC® certificate code.

Q: Who is Legal Lumber?

Legal Lumber™ is the non-profit division of Tropical Forest Products that works to support better land management and business practices that benefit people, companies, and most importantly, nature. Our sustainability certification programs support awareness and contribute to developing practical solutions that generate positive impacts on production landscapes and supply chains around the world.

Q: What are the benefits to communities that stem from responsible harvesting?

For forest production to be considered sustainable, the well-being of the local population and their economy must be maintained and improved. Thus, job opportunities, training, and other complementary services are sought to support the increase of quality of life, through access free of discrimination. In this type of production, local and indigenous communities maintain control over the natural resources. They are also rewarded in the cases in which they share their traditional knowledge about forest species or management systems.