In the dynamic world of construction and design, the importance of building material certifications cannot be overstated. These certifications serve as indicators of quality, and responsible sourcing, guiding professionals towards choices that align with ethical and environmental considerations. The significance of these certifications has become even more pronounced in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which prompted many organizations, including the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) to revoke its certification of Russian Baltic birch. The international community has also imposed heavy sanctions on the popular export, although recent reports from The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) have revealed that Russian Baltic birch is still finding its way into North America through alternate routes, thus evading duties. This not only undermines government efforts to penalize Russia but also puts companies’ FSC certifications at risk, as Russian timber no longer holds these accreditations.


Amidst the evolving landscape of building materials, Garnica, a leading producer of premium sustainable plywood, has set itself apart in the industry by subjecting every one of its products to rigorous manufacturing processes. The company has a wide range of certificationsto show its dedication to sustainable practices. 

  • FSC Certification: The Forest Stewardship Council certification embodies the ethos of sustainable forestry management. By obtaining FSC certification (C116880), Garnica assures customers that its products are sourced responsibly, contributing to the preservation of natural resources. 
  • ISO 9001: Acknowledged globally as the standard for quality management systems, ISO 9001 certification is a testament to Garnica’s commitment to delivering products that consistently meet customer and regulatory requirements. This certification guarantees that every product leaving its facility adheres to stringent quality controls.
  • ISO 14001: In an era where environmental consciousness is paramount, ISO 14001 certification holds immense significance. Garnica’s adherence to this international standard for environmental management systems underscores its effort to both continually measure and improve its environmental impact.
  • PEFC Certification: The Pan-European Forest Certification offers yet another layer of assurance regarding Garnica’s commitment to sustainable forestry management. With a PEFC chain of custody certification, Garnica ensures that its products are sourced from responsibly managed forests.
  • EcoVadis Recognition: Garnica’s silver medal in EcoVadis, an ISO 14001-certification, highlights its dedication to managing its ESG and environmental impact, as well as its commitment to integrating eco-friendly practices into its overall business strategy.


The influence of building material certifications extends far beyond the products themselves. In an interconnected world, the decisions made by industry professionals reverberate through supply chains, economies, and ecosystems. By opting for certified materials, professionals actively participate in shaping a more sustainable future for the construction and design sectors. Such choices drive demand for ethical practices, create avenues for innovation in sustainable materials, and encourage manufacturers to innovate and meet the growing demand for environmentally conscious solutions. As the construction and design industries continue to evolve, the role of building materials certifications becomes increasingly pivotal. Russian Baltic birch serves as a solemn reminder of the importance and fragility of certifications as well as the need for constant vigilance. Manufacturers must embody this new era of rigorous product scrutiny, providing architects, designers and woodworking professionals with high quality, sustainable, and responsibly sourced building products.


The path ahead is clear: embracing certified building materials is not just a choice; it’s a responsibility.

About the Author:

Jaime Alvarez is the head of marketing at Garnica, a leading global manufacturer of premium, sustainable plywood. For more, visit

Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2023
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.