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Accelerating the transition to a net zero economy

P.O. Box 161, Dixcart House, Sir William Place, St Peter Port Guernsey GY1 1GX
ilene.hardy@woodbois.com | +44 (0)20 7099 1940



I am proud to introduce this, our fourth Sustainability Report – and first Integrated Report – on behalf of the wider Woodbois team and related stakeholders. With Woodbois’ key purpose of delivering sustainable forest management becoming an increasingly important focal point in the mitigation of deforestation and climate change for ESG investors and all of our stakeholders, this year’s Sustainability Report serves as a reminder of our commitment to providing leadership in standards of transparency and best practice. This purpose nurtured a deep-rooted resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic shock, enabling us to not only keep our employees safe but to take steps to significantly strengthen the company and deliver value to our supportive spectrum of stakeholders.

Our previous sustainability reports have allowed Woodbois
to communicate how we align with the standards and best
practices set out in the Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT). In 2020, we saw our annual SPOTT ranking improve within the top 10 of more than 100 companies globally, to become the highest-ranking public company on the list. This recognition serves to reinforce our leading position among the

timber and pulp companies assessed by SPOTT and reflects just how foundational sustainability is to our business.

We have aimed to stay ahead of the curve again this year
by expanding the scope of this report to align with the
Integrated Reporting (IR) model. The IR approach offers further transparency and connects different parts of the business to provide a broader view of how Woodbois creates and preserves value.

While coronavirus lockdowns reduced shifts and the number of employees allowed at Woodbois manufacturing sites during 2020, we took this opportunity to invest in up-skilling and training, with a heavy focus on health and safety. We also implemented continuous improvement initiatives and lean manufacturing processes with the aim of building a culture in which everyone is encouraged to contribute to enhancing workplace safety and production efficiency. The impact has been considerable – we have since set consecutive production records and consider our approach to continuous improvement to be of an industry leading standard. Looking to the future, Woodbois has an exciting opportunity to deliver reforestation projects at scale in Africa that can sequester carbon and create supply for the rapidly developing Voluntary Carbon Market. This initiative is set to further boost our standing as a somewhat unique, best-in-class ESG investment.

I would like to thank the entire Woodbois team for contributing to this report and hope that it continues to help us build new partnerships among stakeholders aligned with our vision for sustainable forest management.

The IR approach offers further transparency and connects different parts of the business to provide a broader view of how Woodbois creates and preserves value.


Integrated Reporting <IR>

This Woodbois Integrated Report aims to provide an overview of our strategy, performance, opportunities and future outlook in relation to material financial, economic, social and governance issues. The report also addresses value creation considerations for investors and all key stakeholders.

  • The time frame considered is the 2020 fiscal year (ending 31 December 2020) for information relating to the reporting aspects, while the prospective framework refers to the upcoming three-year period (2021-2024). 
  • This report is based on the principles proposed by the International Integrated Reporting Framework () and published by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). As such, the report contains information that is both financial and non-financial in nature. Some of the information in the report refers to the standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
The Integrated Reporting approach:
  • Explains how an organisation creates, preserves or erodes value over time to all stakeholders.
  • Aims to provide insight about the resources and relationships used and affected by an organisation – these are collectively referred to as the capitals (financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural capital).
  • Reinforces the importance of integrated thinking within an organisation. This consists of analysing the relationships between the operating units and functions of an organisation, as well as the capital it uses or influences.
  • Facilitates an integrated decision-making process and actions aimed at creating value in the short, medium and long-term.

This report is referring to the UN SDGs and the GRI standards.

All disclosures made in this report are governed by the AIM  regulation on reporting. Information on Economic Indicators provided in this report is therefore restricted and we advise investors and other stakeholders to consult the financial  statements available on our website:

The IR approach offers further transparency and connects different parts of the business to provide a broader view of how Woodbois creates and preserves value.

Value is created through an organisation’s business model which takes inputs from the capitals and transforms them through business activities and interactions to produce outputs and outcomes that, over the short, medium and long term, create or destroy value for the organisation, its stakeholders, society and the environment.”

IIRC’s definition



Woodbois produces, processes, manufactures and distributes sustainable African hardwoods and hardwood products to customers around the world. Originally founded in 2004 by two former DLH Group employees, Woodbois is now listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange, one of the world’s leading growth markets for small and mid-cap companies. Our trading team is based in Copenhagen, with African operations in Gabon and Mozambique, and with a network of over 100 suppliers.

Woodbois manages and operates approximately one
million acres of natural forest concessions in Gabon and Mozambique, with production facilities in both countries. The company’s forest concessions are managed sustainably and ethically.

In Gabon, Woodbois operates a 13-hectare sawmill and a 5-hectare veneer factory in Mouila. Both sites are located within 70km of the forestry concessions, which are issued for 20-year terms. The sawmill is equipped with new Shenyang vertical bandsaws and a new Mebor horizontal bandsaw complemented by new Mebor and Woodmizer edgers.

New 1,000m3-capacity Techdri kilns were installed at the sawmill in 2019, allowing all processing to take place onsite. The veneer factory, which opened at the end of 2018, is equipped with a full Cremona peeling and drying line and a new custom-built heating system.

In Mozambique, Woodbois’ five-hectare bushmill is located in Uape.

Woodbois has developed a sustainability strategy to define its core priorities and commitments, which are used to align company actions with the London Zoological Society’s Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit1 (SPOTT) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals2 (SDGs). Woodbois’ commitment to sustainable and transparent forestry

practices has gained recognition through the SPOTT survey, which ranked the company third among more than 100 global timber and pulp producers and traders with a score of 75.9% compared to a 22.6% average.

Woodbois is well-positioned to leverage its global trading platform and on-the-ground experience to scale its model through long-term partnerships with local producers across the African region. We believe that our unique access to markets makes us an attractive partner for local operators who lack the scale, experience and technology to navigate the complex global marketplace. Through such partnerships, we plan to extend our sustainability and transparency practices to local partners across the timber-producing region of Africa.



Sustainable hardwood products (Lumber, Veneer, Plywood) manufactured at our own facilities or sourced from vetted and sustainably compliant third-party suppliers


- Okoume

- Padouk

- Okan


& countries of operations

UK: Office

Denmark: Global trading headquarters

Gabon: 95,000 hectares of natural forestry concessions on 20-year renewable licenses located within 70 km of sawmill and veneer factory

Mozambique: 310,000 hectares of natural
forestry concessions on 25 to 50-year
renewable licences

Mauritius: Operational headquarters for
Treasury, Forestry and Trading

South Africa: Office (finance function)



To enable the transition to a carbon neutral global economy.


1. Provide the nature-based materials required for the global construction sector to transition to net-zero carbon emissions;

2. Set industry-leading standards for responsible, sustainable forest management;

3. Provide rewarding equality focused employment and  training  opportunities;

4. Create value for all stakeholders while preserving  forest ecosystems for present and future generations;

5. Implement large-scale afforestation and reforestation projects to create supply for the voluntary carbon market.




In Brief



Woodbois’ organisational structure reflects our operations and geographies. Our production, processing and manufacturing operations are based in Gabon (Woodbois Gabon) and Mozambique (Argento Mozambique). Woodbois International is the group’s trading company.


The Board is committed to achieving the highest standards of corporate governance,
integrity and business ethics with Paul Dolan, as Chairman and CEO, responsible for
this. The Board has adopted the Corporate Governance Code produced by the Quoted
Companies Alliance

We set out how the Group complies with the QCA Code below

1.     Establish a strategy and business model that promotes long-term value for shareholders. Capital allocation must be both performance and potential driven, and investment will only be forthcoming for strategies that can demonstrate significant return to shareholders over time

2. Seek to understand and meet shareholder needs and expectations

3. Take into account wider stakeholder and social responsibilities, and their
implications for long-term success. Woodbois is in a unique position to bring
a positive impact to Africa’s economic transformation, social development and
environmental management through our operations and the responsibility for
our sustainability strategy lies with our Board.

4. Embed effective risk management, considering both opportunities and
threats, throughout the organisation.
The forestry and timber trading business
involves a high degree of risk. Our approach to risk management is set out in
the Annual Report for the year ending 31 December 2020

5. Maintain the Board as a well-functioning, balanced team led by the Chair.
The Board is responsible for establishing the strategic direction of the Group,
monitoring the Group’s trading performance and appraising, and executing

development and acquisition opportunities. The Company holds a minimum of six
Board meetings per year at which financial and other reports are considered and,
where appropriate, voted on.

6. Ensure that between them, the Directors have the necessary up-to-date
experience, skills and capabilities.
The Nominations Committee oversees the
requirements for and recommendations of any new Board appointments to ensure
that it has the necessary mix of skills and experience to support the Company’s
ongoing development. Any appointments made will be on merit, against objective
criteria and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the Board, including
gender. The Nomination Committee is also responsible for succession planning

7. Evaluate Board performance based on clear and relevant objectives, seeking
continuous improvement.
The internal evaluation of the Board, the Committees
and individual Directors is seen as an important next step in the development of
the Board

8. Promote a corporate culture based on ethical values and a laser sharp focus on
. The Company is committed to complying with all applicable laws and
best corporate governance practices, wherever we operate. It is a core aspect of our
mission to act with integrity in all of our operations. The Board expects all employees
to comply with both the letter and spirit of the law and governance codes.

9. Maintain governance structures and processes that are fit for purpose and
support good decision-making by the Board.
The Company is committed to high
standards of corporate governance. Both Management and the Board are dedicated
to implementing best practices as the Company grows.

10. Communicate how the Company is governed and is performing, by maintaining
a dialogue with shareholders and other relevant stakeholders
. The Company
encourages regular communications with its various stakeholder groups and aims
to ensure that all communications concerning the Group’s activities are clear, fair
and accurate


The following matters are reserved for the Board:

• Overall Group strategy;
• Approval of major capital expenditure projects;
• Approval of the annual and interim results;
• Annual budgets and revisions thereto

Paul Dolan

Chair and CEO

Paul held senior management positions at Barclays, DE Shaw and Nomura prior to joining Woodbois in 2016. Paul has consistently built award-winning, world-class teams employing technology to manage substantial pools of human and financial capital across a diversified group of asset classes, ranging from fixed income and equity derivatives to forestry.

Carnel Geddes


Carnel is a dually-qualified chartered accountant in the UK and South Africa, and is also a certified fraud examiner. During a 15-year career at the global audit, tax and advisory group BDO, Carnel served as Director, Forensic Services of BDO London and Partner of BDO Cape Town. She has been a Director and Board Member of Pomona, the largest South African pomegranate farm company, since 2008.

Hadi Ghossein

Deputy Chairman

Based in Gabon, Hadi has 25 years of experience managing forestry operations, including full ownership of a forestry business. He previously served as a diplomat, travelling extensively across Africa, as well as owning various trading
and real estate companies. Hadi is fluent in Arabic, French, Portuguese and English and holds Gabonese citizenship.

Henry Turcan

Non-Executive Director

Henry is a representative of the funds managed by Lombard Odier. Henry has worked in financial services since 1996, with a focus on equity capital markets. He has spent the majority of his career advising growth companies within investment banking.

Graeme Thomson

Non-Executive Director

Graeme is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has been a public company director for many decades, as a CEO, CFO/Company Secretary and as a Non-Executive. He has a wide variety of commercial UK and international experience.


Woodbois strives to bring an increasing range of
social and environmental benefits to our communities on both a local and national level, and at the heart of our strategic growth objective is a particular focus on regional employment opportunities and skills development.

We are committed to providing a safe environment for all staff and parties for which we have responsibility. Our company believes that protecting whistleblowers is integral to safeguarding public interest, promotes a culture
of accountability and integrity in both private and public institutions, and encourages individuals to report corruption, misconduct and fraud. We believe that a person raising concerns should be supported and protected against reprisals, and Woodbois will not tolerate the victimisation
or adverse treatment of any employee who has raised a concern.

Woodbois is committed to ethical and fair conduct, as well as the prohibition of corruption, including bribery and fraud. We work to uphold these commitments by implementing the corporate best practices outlined in the Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT), and adhering to definitions and guidelines published by leading international

We ensure that this ethos is integrated throughout the entirety of our operations by conducting due diligence before establishing new business relationships with any suppliers (our due diligence process is described in this report’s Responsible Production and Trading section). We
systematically inform third parties of our policies so they are aware of our standards and expectations, and we will terminate partnerships or avoid them altogether if third-party companies cannot guarantee acceptable standards for wood
procurement, which are verified by our legality audits.

Sustainability sits at the core of everything we do. As well as strictly adhering to responsible forestry guidelines set out by relevant governments, and by actively engaging with
local communities, we strive to demonstrate sustainable leadership within our industry with bold targets designed to protect our natural environment. Woodbois is committed to creating net zero CO² emissions from its combined activities and aims to achieve a balance between the greenhouse gases it produces and the amount it is able to sequester from the atmosphere by 2030.

Woodbois is committed to transparency and the clear articulation of all of its objectives. Our strong internal accountability mechanisms have been designed to effectively implement commitments as well as ensure that outcomes are measured and communicated efficiently.


Holistic approaches to achieving more sustainable production and consumption practices are emerging. These approaches incorporate systems thinking, business model innovation and the circular economy. Tackling sustainability issues will therefore involve taking different stakeholder perspectives into account and collaborating across the value chain. These perspectives include those from investors, local communities, high-level representatives from international organisations, local governments, industry experts, suppliers, customers, end-consumers and NGOs.

The pandemic-related challenges of 2020 led to the decision to concentrate our efforts in engaging with PPECF, the programme for the promotion of certified exploitation of forests (Programme de Promotion de l’Exploitation Certifiée des Forêts). The objective of the PPECF is twofold: one, to prevent the loss of certification in companies already certified, and two, to support the third-party certification process. Through this programme COMIFAC4 (Commision des forets d’afrique centrales) and German state-owned development bank KfW offer forestry companies support until their initial certification audit. Once this is completed they are better positioned to more easily meet the requirements of the European timber regulation5 (EUTR).

We’ve also continued our partnership with Congo Basin
Forest Partnership (CBFP).

A new source of focus for us is the Open Timber Portal
(OTP), which in 2020 expanded to include Gabon for the first time. The purpose of the OPT is to increase the
effectiveness of regulations on illegal logging, such as the US Lacey Act, the Korea Act on the Sustainable Use of Timbers, the Japan Clean Wood Act, the Australia Illegal Logging Prohibition Act, and the EUTR.

We regularly engage with our suppliers to align policies
and commitments towards increasing transparency and
sustainability. We also regularly engage with our employees to collect their feedback to help us create a positive, safe and healthy work environment that provides development and growth opportunities. The remote communities in which we operate are deeply dependent on forests – understanding their needs, supporting their development and helping local causes is core to our business.

One of Woodbois’ largest shareholders, Lombard Odier,
recently announced a new Natural Capital Strategy, 
developed in partnership with the Circular Bioeconomy
Alliance, to invest in companies that utilise the renewable aspect of nature with a core focus on the timber sector. This Natural Capital Strategy is in line with Woodbois’ plans. The company has developed a five-layer approach to making sure our business objectives are aligned with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance’s proposal.


In Integrated Reporting, a matter is material if it can substantively affect the organisation’s ability to create
value in the short, medium and long term. The process of determining materiality is entity-specific and based on industry, multi-stakeholder perspectives and other factors.

A materiality analysis is an exercise that identifies a company’s critical Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. It engages with internal and external stakeholders to build a full and accurate picture of all organisation issues and then uses these insights to define core business priorities, guiding both strategy and communication.

Woodbois followed this approach as part of our last annual Sustainability Report, where we worked on defining the organisation’s material matrix. This year, we submitted our materiality survey to a wider range of stakeholders to have them validate our results from the previous year. The relevant
issues for Woodbois were identified using the Sasb materiality map, which analyses the operational performance of companies in various industries, including the construction material and forestry sectors.


Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will require the implementation of a circular economy, better use of renewable resources, and the regeneration and sustainable management of
natural systems.

This ‘wedding cake’ model of the SDGs highlights the
connectivity of a functioning biosphere (land, sea, climate) and a healthy society (no hunger or poverty,
sustainable communities, peace and justice, clean
energy, good health and education, gender equality).
Without one it’s hard to have the other. And without
either of these we can’t create an economy that can
be truly sustainable (decent work, innovation, reduced
inequality, responsible consumption). At the centre of
all of these interrelationships and systems is the need
for partnerships.

Leading the way in aligning our sustainability strategy with the SDGs is Hadi Ghossein, who oversees Woodbois’ sustainability practices on a day-to-day basis.

Leading the way in aligning our sustainability strategy with the SDGs is Hadi Ghossein, who oversees Woodbois’ sustainability practices on a day-to-day basis.

Our Reforestation and Sustainability Manager in Mozambique is Eng. Macedo Uachuacho, who graduated from Eduardo Mondlane University in Forestry Engineering and has 12 years experience in the field working with different government entities and NGOs.

Our Reforestation and Sustainability Manager in Mozambique is Eng. Macedo Uachuacho, who graduated from Eduardo Mondlane University in Forestry Engineering and has 12 years experience in the field working with different government entities and NGOs.

In engaging with the SDGs, our aim is to drive the sustainable CORE SDGs development of Africa while embracing the continent’s vision of moving towards higher-value-adding activities. This includes creating new and better job opportunities in secure work environments where skills development and equal opportunities are encouraged. This will address SDG 8: Decent Work and
Economic Growth, and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and

We also recognise the unique position we are in to take action on climate change. The development of the forest sector can present a solution to greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions, while sustainably-sourced wood is a cost-effective and renewable source of energy, which can potentially supply a big share of global heat demand, as well as powering our own operations. Our innovations in this area will address, SDG 13: Climate Action, and SDG 15: Life on Land.

With these endeavours in mind, we are also focusing on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, while SDG 17: Partnerships to Achieve the Goal will underpin all of our activities.

Considering the interrelated nature of the SDGs, we have also
identified a number of additional supportive goals that will help
to inform our operations. These are SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG: 4:
Quality Education, and SDG 5: Gender Equality


Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Strengthen the means of implementation & revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all


Vertically Integrated Value Chain

Value Creation

There is an increasing focal shift away from shareholder value creation and investors’ needs in favour of the recognition of interdependence between the value a business generates for itself over the short-, medium- and long-term, and the wellbeing of the society and the environment it operates in (IIRC, 2013)

As investors and end customers become progressively
concerned about social impact, climate change and corporate responsibility, companies are facing increasing scrutiny and are expected to be held accountable for their business practices. It is therefore vital that a business strives to create value – social and environmental, as well as financial – across its operations. According to the IR framework, the value a company creates, preserves or erodes has an impact on two levels: the company itself, which affects capital return for investors; and society
at large. Given this, investors evaluate companies based on
these two value streams (i.e. identifying whether a company can create value for a broader range of societal stakeholders while also creating value for itself). A wide range of activities, interactions and relationships can have an impact on the interrelation between these two value streams. When these interactions, activities, and relationships are material to a company’s ability to create value for itself, they are included in the Integrated Report.

A company cannot achieve longterm profits without embracing purpose and considering the needs of a broad range of stakeholders.” (Fink, n.d)



Forests are of critical local and global importance. They are home to some 70% of the world’s plant and animal species, including the pollinators essential to the sustainability of our food systems. Forests play a central role in the equilibrium of delicate ecosystems that supply water to communities and plants for medicines, and – crucially – they are the planet’s largest carbon sinks, absorbing and sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere and helping to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. But forests are under threat

Climate change
While forests help to mitigate the impact of climate change, they are themselves at risk of its consequences.
These include destruction by wildfires and storms, as
well as devastation by invasive species encouraged into
the area due to temperature and precipitation changes.

Illegal logging
Illegal logging is responsible for the destruction of swathes of forest, leaving behind areas of land so badly affected that natural regeneration is no longer possible. This practice also contributes to biodiversity loss, conflicts with indigenous and local populations, corruption and both human and animal rights abuses.

Population growth
It is projected that the world’s population will reach nearly 10 billion by 2050. This will put extreme strain on resources provided by forests, including natural materials for manufacturing and land mass for increasing urbanisation.

The sustainable solution

The forestry industry faces a number of very significant challenges, and Woodbois recognizes the role it must play in advocating for sustainable forest management if we’re to ensure the longevity of these important natural environments. We are committed to demonstrating positive leadership in this area, and doing so brings about a wealth of social, environmental and business opportunities, both for us as a company, and for the wider population.

Woodbois operates in a very fragile industry, environment and region. At the same time, sustainable forestry in Africa (as well as other developing regions) represents a tremendous opportunity to contribute to circular economies, increase individual and state revenues, and enhance skills and ethical job opportunities.

Forestry in Africa

A significant contributor to deforestation in Africa is the industry’s largely informal nature. Much of the deforestation caused by logging is the result of unsanctioned forest clearing outside of regulated concession areas. Timber is just part of this problem, with land also cleared for farming, hunting and plantation development. Even within the formal market, logging in Africa is  therefore dominated by thousands of small- scale producers that are largely isolated from global end markets.

This isolation means such producers – the majority of which employ fewer than 50 workers – often view the forest and its resources as a short-term means to an economic end (often driven by poverty), rather than a long-term asset requiring best practice sustainability and conservation efforts.

Local timber suppliers also face challenges in the form of high costsrelated to certification and management capacity. For investors and end users alike, the African natural timber market’s opacity and the scarcity of certified suppliers creates an obstacle to identifying companies that meet their sustainability requirements.

The fragmented nature of the market is compounded further down the supply chain. As timber changes hands, it can become increasingly difficult to identify whether the timber was sourced sustainably. This traceability problem can ultimately result in the manufacturing of end products sourced from forestry operations contributing to deforestation.


Forestry and timber trading involves a high degree of technical, political, regulatory and environmental
risks, as well as financial risk. Woodbois takes a prudent approach to manage these risks in line with
its corporate objectives

A focus on sustainability underpins this risk mitigation in a way that both embeds value throughout the business, and creates additional factors for consideration. As demonstrated by the framework developed by James Stacey,  Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership,17 embracing sustainability in a business setting is associated with both risks and opportunities in an operational and strategic context.

OPERATIONAL risks and opportunities

STRATEGIC risks and opportunities

Sustainable consumption
& production drivers

Consumer demand for sustainablyproduced goods and services;
• The volatility of commodity prices;
• The energy intensity (and resulting cost)
of certain new technologies;
• The trend among companies to
consider the social and environmental
dimensions of value chains, either for
practical or reputational reasons.


Sustainable forestry has tremendous potential to contribute to circular economies while increasing individual and state revenues in Africa.18 However, this opportunity depends on several key factors:

• how the forest industry is regulated;
• how forests are managed directly;
• adding value by producing end-products locally, rather
than shipping to produce elsewhere;
• the need to promote intra-African trade in forest

As an operator in a very fragile industry, environment and region, Woodbois is committed to running its business in a way that takes these concerns into account.

The Forest Sector SDG roadmap,19 as well as the SPOTT framework, have been used as references to define our strategy and commitment to sustainable forestry. Understanding where we can make the biggest impact and respecting what matters most to our stakeholders has been the first step in defining our sustainability priorities and formulating our sustainability strategy.

Our strategic priorities define how Woodbois intends to mitigate and manage risks and maximise opportunities, and demonstrate our commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practices. Our impact on each capital will be monitored and presented annually through the company’s sustainability report.



We cannot drive a responsible business without healthy economic growth, and this cannot happen without the personal and professional development of our employees, as well as adequate salaries to support their families and  subsequently drive the growth of their local communities. On a wider scale, our work must also drive the growth of African countries, which represent a large potential market for many businesses operating in different industries.

Woodbois’ operations generate and distribute economic value to the countries in which we operate. The communities we work in are typically quite remote and many are subsistence economies. Assuch, our continued presence and work in these communities are determining factors in their ability to evolve and grow economically. Our verticallyintegrated value chain ensures that 100% of Woodbois’ products are processed in Africa, elevating productivity, creating new opportunities for skills development, advancing local processes, and  ultimately bringing these countries international exposure through the export of locally produced products, and not just raw materials.

Our key priorities are:

to identify and stabilise a lower cost base, thus ensuring sustainable profitability;
• to maximise value of raw material input through a programme of continuous
improvement of efficiency;
• to better assess and pursue M&A opportunities.

Woodbois’ growth contributes to the fight against poverty and inequality, while bringing innovation and infrastructure to the industry and responsibly using land and its resources to minimise environmental impact


In 2020, Woodbois invested $ 749,551 in new infrastructure and equipment. We installed brand new kilns at the sawmill in Gabon to bring theprocessing in-house, we dramatically expanded and improved our sawmill, and new, more efficient generators were installed. The company decided to sell down the sawmill site in Nampula (Mozambique).


As a business whose operations center around manufacturing, Woodbois recognizes the opportunities it has to boost both its sustainability efforts and profitability in the technology and equipment it chooses. New machinery, for example, is not viewed as an expense but rather an investment, as more efficient equipment helps to drive down manufacturing costs while helping us meet our goals around energy consumption and emissions. The very nature of our operations also means we’re well-placed to minimise dependency on fossil fuels. Our geographical position allows us to benefit from ample renewable energy sources such as the sun, while the material we handle every day, wood, can be used to create circular solutions that meet our own energy requirements.

The global pandemic has impacted our operations and our productivity in 2020 has decreased by 45% in terms of volume of logs harvested and by 26% in terms of volume of timber produced. Nevertheless in the first term of 2021 our performance has returned to expected pre-COVID levels.

Sustainable production is

the creation of goods and services using processes and systems that are non-polluting, conserving energy and natural resources, economically viable, safe and healthy for workers, communities, and consumers, [and] socially and creatively rewarding for all working people. If production is sustainable, then the environment, employees, communities, and organisations all benefit.

Our facilities


Woodbois’ Gabon facilities are located in Mouila, a small rural community 400km from the capital city. We are the largest formal employer and offer local people skilled jobs with valuable development opportunities.

Coordinates: 1°52’19.0”S 11°01’22.4”E

Woodbois’ operations in Mozambique are located in Gile/Uape

Coordinates: 16°09’36’’S 038°05’05’’E

Woodbois value chain in Gabon

Woodbois has established infrastructure to capture a significant part of the value chain in Gabon.


With approximately 100,000 hectares under management, Woodbois has been a significant player in the Gabonese forestry sector for the last two decades. Investment and innovation are central to maintaining this industry position. Within its sawmill operations, Woodbois has invested significantly into its leading sawmill in Mouila, equipping it with the latest European machinery suitable for African hardwoods, and establishing solid training and development programmes to broaden the skillset of the local workforce. We’ve also hired industry-leading forestry professionals to advance this site, and to move the company’s offerings further along the timber value chain into products such as blockboard.


Our veneer operations are also a central company focus, with veneer core to the
Woodbois strategy of capturing the entire timber value chain. Our veneer factory was completed in 2019 as part of our expansion plan and is also located in Mouila,
just 50 kilometres away from our forestry concessions. Production from the
factory – which employs a significant proportion of women – is exported mainly to the Mediterranean region, with key buyers in Italy, Morocco and Turkey.


Woodbois responsibly sources and trades products from several international – mainly African – countries. The chart shows the list of countries we source from.

23,932 m3





Woodbois is in a unique position to enact meaningful social and sustainable change through careful consideration of our intellectual capital. Our material issues – equal rights, conflict resolution and legal harvesting – can be addressed through the consistent application of our three key priorities: leveraging leadership role-modelling to live up to the value of integrity and transparency; ensuring ethical conduct and anti-corruption best practices are in place; and ensuring labour rights are met fully. The following paragraphs  outline the work we’ve done in this area throughout 2020, including the development of a Code of Conduct, the respect of our forest management plans, and our approach to our operations in Gabon.

Code of conduct


We commit to promoting and protecting the safety and occupational health of our entire workforce above all other priorities.

At Woodbois we are focused on providing a safe and healthy workplace by ensuring that tools and equipment are maintained in good order, and by supplying appropriate personal protective equipment in accordance with international standards and national laws.

All employees receive training to ensure they are competent and fit to carry out allocated duties. This includes information about risks and relevant control measures, procedures for safe evacuations of buildings and workplaces, and correct use of tools and machinery. We recognise that all staff have the authority to halt work if they consider the action unsafe.


We commit to protecting and respecting the natural environments in which we operate

We strive to reduce the environmental impact of our global operations and to help conserve natural resources by planning and managing operations with a sustainability focus

We monitor and report our environmental impacts, and ensure that all operations comply with environmental laws. Our production team strives for continuous improvement through waste minimisation, efficient resource use and other measures that reduce our environmental footprint


We support the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We respect each individual’s human rights and follow all employment laws and regulations. We do not tolerate  any form of workplace discrimination, harassment or physical assault, or any form of child, forced, or compulsory labour.

Employees are paid regular and competitive wages, and Woodbois regularly invests in resources and training to assist staff who want to develop  their full potential


We recognise the importance of community engagement and shared prosperity.

We engage with communities at all stages of project planning and development to ensure that local opinions, feedback, and concerns are properly recorded and addressed

We believe it is possible to deliver real socio-economic impact through our regional activities by developing infrastructure, building local skills, and developing people.


We commit to fair and ethical relationships with suppliers, customers and other business partners. We endeavour to build long lasting relationships based on fair selection, clear terms of business, and adherence to shared principles set out in our Code.

We follow established due diligence procedures that enable us to select business partners who meet legal requirements and internal expectations in regards to product provenance, supply chain safety and environmental impact.

Woodbois is committed to purchasing third-party timber only where it is possible to ensure legal compliance of suppliers. The company unreservedly condemns illegal logging and irresponsible trade of endangered species


We commit to creating an inclusive environment where every colleague is valued

At Woodbois, all employees are expected to treat each other with care and respect. We strive to provide employees with an environment where they can bring their whole self to work regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion or disability.

We seek to reflect the diversity of the regions and communities in which we operate within our own workforce, and respect the rights of employees including the freedom of association and collective bargaining.


We stand against bribery and corruption

It is not permitted for any Woodbois employee or representative to give, offer or receive a bribe either directly, indirectly, or through a third party business in any dealings.


We comply with all applicable trade controls and sanctions in the regions where we operate and trade

Woodbois is conscious that governments and international organisations may impose international trade sanctions on countries where the company operates. We are committed to complying with all trade sanction conditions.

The export of timber goods is subject to a range of regulatory requirements in different regions. Woodbois maintains constant dialogue with relevant government and trade bodies to ensure it satisfies registration requirements, export licence needs, and all additional legal obligations


We commit to publishing accurate and transparent company reports.

We endeavour to release regular operational, financial and integrated reports for the benefit of company stakeholders

Financial statements are produced in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the European Union (EU).

10. TAX

We support the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights

We respect each individual’s human rights and follow all employment laws and regulations. We do not tolerate any form of workplace discrimination, harassment or physical assault, or any form of child, forced, or compulsory labour

We are committed to full compliance with external and company reporting requirements, including those concerning disclosure to tax authorities and reporting on the tax payments that we make.


We recognise the importance of looking after our assets

Employees must take steps to read and understand the rules regarding unacceptable use of company IT resources and comply with the relevant set of rules

Employees must take steps to read and understand the rules regarding unacceptable use of company IT resources and comply with the relevant set of rules

Woodbois only collects and holds personal information as permitted by law and as is reasonably necessary to meet business requirements.


We stand against insider dealing.

It is illegal to deal in Woodbois shares on the basis of inside information or to encourage others to do so.

During the course of their work some employees will have access to information which could influence someone contemplating investing in Woodbois shares

Employees are forbidden from using confidential company information for personal gain, or from sharing inside
information for the same purpose

Forest management & plans

All of Woodbois’ forest management plans have been approved by local governments following preliminary community consultations and approval processes, and are strictly followed.


Following a 23-year rotation cycle, Woodbois is allowed to harvest a section of its total concession area for three years. After these three years, the same area cannot be touched for 20 years to ensure forest regrowth


To ensure selective cutting of commercial species, we carefully quantify and locate exploitable forest resources, with particular emphasis on social aspects as well as protecting natural biodiversity. Each of our trees is tagged and geo-monitored so we can actively track tree species, volume and the quality of what we cut.


Vital to minimise the impact of roads



Areas not in production are protected by Woodbois from illegal logging activities or other uses, such as agriculture.

This map shows Woodbois’ management plan in Gabon for 2020

Forest operations in Gabon

• Woodbois holds eight Forest Permits in central Gabon in the province of Ngounié, north-east and south-east of the community of Mouila.
• The management plans, approved by the administration in charge of waters and forests, define the harvesting plan for the areas.
• The inventory plan determines the stocks of harvestable timber and their location; how to track and mark trees to be harvested or protected; and how to establish the route of potential roads.
• The inventory is recorded by systematic sampling.
• The counting operation consists of identifying the species of trees; measuring diameter; numbering trees via the placing of a plate; geolocating each tree via GPS; and assessing the quality of all applicable trees that have reached the  minimum diameter size for harvesting.
• The harvesting plan for 2019 covers a total area of 3,762 ha. The most common tree species are Ilomba (Pycnanthus angolensis), Ebiara (Berlinia bracteosa), Dabema (Piptadeniastrum
africanum), Mahogany (Khaya ivorensis), Ovang-Kol (Guibourtia ehie) and Okoumé (Aucoumea
klaineana). We are also permitted to harvest from the 2019 management plan.


We recognise the value of our people, which is why we are committed to ensuring the sustainability of our workforce just as we are the sustainability of our environment. Health and safety is our top priority. Everyone has the right to feel safe at work, and taking steps to mitigate accidents also helps to ensure the smooth flow of our operations. We invest in the continued  professional and personal development of all of our staff, thus helping to strengthen local communities as well as Africa’s wider social landscape. We ensure fair compensation, diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation, and are proud to proactively fight any kind of discrimination


Woodbois is committed to:
• Respecting human rights including the rights of indigenous and local communities.
• Gender inclusion i.e. supporting the inclusion of women across forestry operations.
• Providing essential community services and facilities.
• Respecting worker and labour rights for both fulltime and contract employees, including the right to decent work and freedom of association.
• Preventing employment and occupation-related discrimination based on gender.
• Paying at least minimum wage.
• Ensuring ethical and fair conduct and fighting corruption.


Aligning to international best practices

With the ambition to become a market leader, Woodbois has continued to recruit high-quality personnel and train its staff to the highest standards

As a socially responsible company, Woodbois aligns to international best practices such as the Fundamental ILO Core Conventions, ILO Code of Practice Safety and Health in Forestry Work, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. We are committed to extending these international best practices to all of our sourcing and suppliers

  • In the second half of 2020, the company began providing
    educational training around issues such as:
    • human and workers rights
    • ethical conduct
    • eliminating gender inequality within our workforce. In 2021, the company further formalized this process by hiring a dedicated ESG manager (Richard Feteke) in Gabon who will supervise this initiative.


Woodbois pays female employees the equivalent of 81% of a male employee’s salary in Gabon and Mozambique, which is above the national average.(Source: Gender Gap Africa). Woodbois continues to be committed to reducing the gender pay gap and to supporting the inclusion of women across all our forestry operations.

Our company is an equal opportunity employer, encouraging skills development through a number of channels. Eliminating discrimination starts with  dismantling barriers and ensuring equality of access to training. We are committed to preventing employment- and occupation related discrimination based on gender, and believe this is an essential prerequisite for building resilient and socially minded economies.

Woodbois’ commitments apply to all suppliers.

Health and safety

Woodbois takes health and safety seriously. Workplace injuries are more than just days of lost work; we understand injuries come with significant human costs that can affect the employee, their family and loved ones. Woodbois has invested significantly in best practices, safety equipment and training to embed and consistently communicate a strong culture of safety. Local workers at all our forestry operations are trained to safely operate working machinery and sawmill equipment, and taught to drive and maintain tractors, trucks and other vehicles. In 2020, Woodbois provided various training opportunities for employees in Gabon, with a total of 20 people receiving formal training over a period of between two weeks and one month.

In addition to formal training, we embed an ethos of learning and education throughout our daily operations, with all employees receiving ongoing training on new best practices, safety and techniques, ensuring our workplace operates as efficiently as possible while bolstering the skills and personal development of all of our staff. During the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, and with lockdowns reducing the number of employees permitted at Woodbois sites, we identified an opportunity to invest in this by implementing a continuous improvement initiative and we are proud to have kept our team safe during the pandemic while strengthening the company and delivering value to shareholders.

Health and Safety Improvement in our Industrial facilities in Mouila

Since December 2020 we have conducted a daily follow up of ‘near misses’ and accidents

We also began root cause analysis and implemented action plans for recurring accidents in order to eliminate them. Our approach is about first mitigating risk through a change of process or an engineering measure (e.g. new safety guard). If the risk cannot be eliminated we conduct a documented risk assessment, provide additional PPE (all operators are provided with PPE from day one) and train the operator(s) in managing the risk

After each accident, on top of the required legal documents, we complete an internal accident form (omitting the name of the injured for privacy reasons), which serves as a log of the accident, the reason for it and most importantly guides an action plan to avoid the recurrence of such an incident in future. These reports are shared on a monthly basis with our headquarters


Woodbois has an established company-wide grievance framework that is accessible to both internal and external stakeholders. It is our policy to ensure that all employees have access to procedures to help deal with any workplace grievances fairly and without unreasonable delay. This policy applies to all employees regardless of their length of service and can be found on the Woodbois website.

Whistleblowing procedures

• Employee becomes aware of any malpractice, and immediately reports it to their Line Manager.
• The Line Manager notifies the Group Compliance Office (the Chief Financial Officer will act as Woodbois’ Group Compliance Officer).
• The Line Manager is responsible for initially investigating all matters reported to them, in a prompt, confidential and sensitive manner.
• The Line Manager provides formal feedback to the employee and Group Compliance Officer of any investigation conducted and the resulting actions taken.
• If the employee feels the matter has not been resolved to their satisfaction, they can raise their concerns directly with the Group Compliance Officer.
• In instances where the employee does not feel comfortable

reporting a potential malpractice to their Line Manager, they are encouraged to raise any concerns directly with the Group Compliance Officer, the Chairperson of the Audit Committee or the Company Secretary, any of whom will investigate the matter promptly, confidentially and sensitively.
• The whistleblower will usually be invited to attend an investigation meeting to discuss their concerns.
• The Group Compliance Officer will provide formal feedback to the employee and Audit Committee of the investigation, and resulting actions will be taken


Woodbois’ trading network comprises some 300 customers across more than
60 countries. We place a high value on these connections, and we aim to foster a
relationship of trust and security with our customers and suppliers

Due diligence process

Woodbois only sources forest products from partners who have succeeded in passing a due diligence process for legal and responsible forest product sourcing. To work with any supplier of timber, Woodbois requires information and documentation regarding the source of the timber including tree species,  wood origin and compliance with national laws and regulations.

Traceability & transparency

To confirm that none of the wood traded by Woodbois is on the CITES species list, our traceability process allows us to track products across their entire journey, from the forest to manufacturing to final export. We trace both our raw material and processed timber back to the country of harvest. Any timber handled by Woodbois in any form requires a certificate of origin; neither ourselves nor our logistics providers or customers will handle timber that does not have a certificate of origin identifying its country of harvest. In collaboration with South Africa-based WorkPool, we have developed software allowing our trading and operations teams to collect all trading-related data, from inputting a simple sales or supplier enquiry all the way through to issuing invoices. This
software allows us to quickly identify any supplier with outof-date documentation, so we can eliminate them from our supply chain until their paperwork has been renewed.

We’re also continuing our collaboration with DiginexESG, a financial services and blockchain technology company, building a blockchain-based solution to help companies and investors manage ESG company risks, making sustainability reporting more transparent, secure and immediate. The DiginexESG platform has been used by the Woodbois executive team for monitoring and validation of the company’s 2019 and 2020 ESG disclosures in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. 

The Open Timber Portal

As a Gabonese producer we are looking to align ourselves with the OTPs goals as quickly as possible in the immediate term. We’re proud to be the fastest-acting producer in Gabon to begin the upload of documentation to the portal and are aiming for at least 75% completion this year. Any further increase in transparency within the timber space in the Congo Basin is welcomed by Woodbois as it helps both our production business as well as our trading business as we increasingly look to source from third parties.

We are keen to implement the use of OTP for our thirdparty trading business as we on-board new suppliers and renew documentation for existing suppliers. In the medium term, we’re aiming to include a policy that states we will only work with third parties that can demonstrate a certain score in the OTP. We also intend to develop a service to help like-minded suppliers and producers improve their internal processes in order to increase their own transparency scores. 

The report for 2020 is available at this link https://opentimberportal.org/operators/100151

Engaging with local communities

Our Commitment

• Enabling sustainable use of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) by local communities.
• Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples.
• Respect legal and customary land tenure rights.
• Provide business and work opportunities for local communities


We strive to look after our employees, their families and the communities in which they live. Our teams are actively engaged in community consultations to ensure we respect local customs and our contributions have meaningful value (FPIC procedure reported in the Annex). This commitment extends to respecting legal and traditional land rights; for example, our forestry concessions are a direct result of community consultations. Local stakeholders help designate and map agricultural land for local use, dedicate areas for specific crops and provide education and information related to the hunting seasons. In some cases, we have established contractual agreements with communities to ensure we respect and align with local needs and customs. Woodbois is also financially contributing to the development of villages SaintMartin and Mboukou.

In 2020, Woodbois donated 2,400 m3 of lumber to the villages of Mboukou and Saint-Martin. We also provided 4115 litres of diesel to the villages in our harvesting area.

Our contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic in Gabon

Like all countries in the world, Gabon faced a major and
unprecedented health crisis in the fight against the COVID-19
pandemic. However, it also afforded us some opportunities.
The geographical diversity of the management team means
that we were already used to communicating remotely,
but the switch to screen-sharing functionality on Zoom will
bolster future communication when it comes to travel and
commuting. A reduced number of employees at specific
locations also allowed us to create additional efficiencies
as we adapted our processes and working schedules
Recognising the potential impact the company could have on
the lives of those in its local communities, Woodbois initiated
a food donation programme for residents within the DouyaOnoye and Tsamba-Magotsi regions. The company organised
and distributed more than 35 tonnes of food kits made up of
rice, poultry, tinned fish and oil. In doing so, Woodbois was able to help families avoid making non-essential trips to urban areas, thereby limiting the spread of COVID-19.



The inherent nature of our business means that our natural capital is a central focus of our sustainability efforts. We face significant material issues: climate change, protection of biodiversity, protection of land (and ensuring soil and water safety), greenhouse gas emissions and overall energy usage. As such, responsible and ethical forestry sits at the heart of our operations, driving our key priorities of protecting forests from illegal harvesting, preserving animal habitats and biodiversity, employing soil management best practice, and integrating activities to enable a transition to net zero emissions.

Woodbois is committed to responsible and ethical forestry. We aim to enhance the benefits healthy forests bring to our ecosystems, while recognising the subsistence needs and customary rights of local communities and indigenous peoples.

In 2019, Woodbois began using Global Forest Watch, an online platform that provides data and tools for monitoring forests. By taking data from various satellites, Global Forest Watch can give real-time information on forest fires and other potential deforestation situations. We will continue to use Global Forest Watch to monitor activity in our concession areas.

This includes:

• Protecting forest areas against deforestation, degradation and conversion for unauthorised or illegal resource use, settlement and other prohibited activities.

• Restoration of non-compliant deforestation and conversion.

• Implementing a landscape-level approach to preserving animal habitats and biodiversity.

• Permitting no hunting, or permitting sustainable hunting and fishing only.

• For any present and future potential plantation timber suppliers to not plant on peat land.

• Adopting the High Carbon Stock approach to any future potential plantation timber suppliers.

• Not working with suppliers that use GMO (genetically modified organisms).

Our commitments apply to all suppliers.

Our carbon analysis from 2020 indicates a decrease in fuel consumption and consequently GHG emissions. However, since production in 2020 decreased because of the global pandemic it is difficult to compare this data with that of previous years.


In 2020, Woodbois was again recognised for its sustainable activities in the Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit (‘SPOTT”) ESG policy transparency assessments for the worldwide timber and pulp industries. In the annual assessment, Woodbois was ranked third out of more than 100 companies by SPOTT, and highest amongst the public companies. This was our second year of assessment and saw the company move further up the rankings, reflecting our efforts to improve the standards of our ESG policies, and provide transparency and good governance alongside our sustainability-focused operating model.


Forests management and climate change

Our forest management and responsible sourcing practices have a direct impact on SDG  15 and on our ability tpreserve the forest environment while supplying wood and wood products in the long term. Inadequate and aggressive management practices could affect the potential of the lands where we operate, reducing the positive impact on local communities in terms of resources and job opportunities.

Sustainable forest management plays a two-fold role in mitigating climate change. Firstly, forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and transform it into biomass via photosynthesis. Secondly, sustainably-managed forests are critical in addressing the environmental impacts of droughts, floods, storms and forest fires, all of which are expected to intensify as climate change progresses.


• We protect our forests to reduce deforestation and degradation, by 2030 we aim to eliminate it altogether.
• We take firm action against deforestation, harvesting fewer trees than management plans permit, and working on a 23-year rotation plan that ensures the regrowth of harvested forest and maximises carbon absorption.
• We work closely with governments and local communities to address illegal activities, helping to ensure that forests are protected and that their productive capacity is optimised in the long term.
• We strictly follow both national and international
regulations and standards for flora and fauna protection (CITES, IUCN), and commit to zero conversion of natural forests.
• To avoid unsustainable and non-compliant use of forest resources, Woodbois donates a significant volume of logs to local communities.
• By sourcing and manufacturing wood and wood products we offer an alternative to less sustainable products.
• By 2030 Woodbois plans to no longer work with any uppliers that take part in deforestation or conversion.


By pursuing sustainable forest management, Woodbois aims to help reduce the negative effects of climate change on forests and forest-dependent people, while at the same time ensuring that forests can fulfil their key role in mitigating climate change.

OUR FORESTS IN GABON SEQUESTER OVER 160,000 TONNES CO2e PER YEAR(assuming 1.69 tonnes CO2 e sequestered per hectare per year and considering 8-10 hectares of forests harvested).23

tonnes CO2 e sequestered per hectare per year and considering 8-10 hectares of forests harvested).23

In 2020, 0% illegal and non compliant deforestation was reported. If non-compliant deforestation or conversion occurs in the future, Woodbois is committed to the restoration of the areas involved.

The company is already working with the Gabonese government and by 2025 will not accept any form of deforestation.

Woodbois is constantly monitoring climate change and has identified a list of specific parameters to measure over time, including:

• Temperature increases which could impact the dynamics of local flora and fauna;
• Rainfall changes which could lead to flooding and soil saturation.


• Best management practices for soils and peat to minimise the use of chemicals, including pesticides and chemical fertilisers, to no use of World Health Organisation (WHO) Class 1A and 1B pesticides and chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention and
Rotterdam Convention.
• Reduced-impact logging.
• Zero burning in the forest.
• Protecting natural waterways with buffer zones.
• Developing a complete climate change risk
assessment. This includes identifying climate-related
risks that are relevant to the company, and proposing
measures that should be made at the forest
management unit in Gabon.
• Developing a Natural Capital Assessment based on the protocol provided by the Natural Capital Coalition.We are engaging with consultants who can help us perform more detailed High Conservation Value (HCV) and Social and Environmental Impact (SEIAs) assessments.


Improvement of the Operations

To reduce our carbon footprint, we monitor our energy consumption on a weekly basis and take relevant action when it increases (e.g., equipment maintenance and repair). We endeavour to increase production without increasing our footprint. In partnership with the commercial team, we monitor our wood recovery rate on a daily basis, and have seen a 4% improvement in three months. We improved our sawing quality and waste reduction by organising training workshops with saw operators. We also found new markets for undersized boards, upcycle and recycle small pieces of wood for the hobby market, and use our waste wood to generate energy for our kiln and boilers.

Additionally, we have improved the maintenance and operational time of our equipment and we
 conducted an awareness training session on diesel consumption for all of our drivers.

Waste management

Woodbois does not use chemicals or pesticides to manage waste. Wood waste is shared with all neighbouring villages (2400 m3 in 2020) and the remaining wood waste is used as biofuel for the veneer factory and kilning operations (1250 tonnes in 2020).

Use of chemicals

Woodbois doesn’t use chemicals in any forestry, sawmill or veneer operations, including pesticides and chemical fertilisers (i.e. World Health Organisation Class 1A and 1B pesticides or chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention and Rotterdam Convention),chlorine or chlorine compounds. To capture and dispose of pests, we use an integrated management approach with non-chemical devices.


At Woodbois, we believe the best approach to reducing the risk of wildfires is preventative firefighting. Our proactive three-pronged approach – effective weed control, firebreak construction and ring- hoed trees -drastically reduces fuel loads prior to the dry season By engaging local  communities to identify potential hot spots, we ensure fires are kept to a minimum. Our preventative approach is extremely effective; Woodbois has never lost a single tree to fire in any of its project areas.

Minimizing the impact of logging roads

The dense, compact surface of logging roads prevents rainwater from soaking into the ground, causing soil erosion that can carry fertile topsoil away from forests and into streams, polluting water resources and making it difficult for harvested forests to regenerate. Woodbois minimises the impact of logging roads by basing main tracks, wherever possible, on existing roads and elephant paths, and avoiding secondary roads unless absolutely necessary. Our forestry management plan creates new roads efficiently and carefully, with infrastructure dimensions minimised as much as possible while adhering to safety and sunlight rules. Watercourse crossings are constructed without raising the water level, which could potentially lead to flooding upstream and the destruction of forest. Bridges and other structures are planned and constructed according to varying seasonal flows.

Crucially, harvesting only takes place along carefully laid out skid trails. After harvesting, skid trails are rehabilitated to avoid permanent soil compaction and roads are closed to prevent poaching and illegal settlements. In just a few months, skid trails and harvesting gaps are covered by tree regeneration, while roads disappear after a few years due to the natural regeneration of pioneer tree species. Woodbois is committed to using best-in class practices to minimise the impact of logging on the surrounding environment.

The value of wood products within the circular economy

The forest products value chain is a prime example of a circular economy.

• Substituting conventional building materials for mass timber reduces construction phase emissions by 69%.
• Substituting conventional building materials with wood in half of new urban construction could provide 9% of global emissions reduction needed to meet 2030 targets for keeping global warming below 1.5 °C.

• 80% less CO2 e emitted when manufacturing a wooden table than a plastic table. (purely on emissions factors).
• As an added benefit wooden furniture also stores carbon at a rate of 1t per 1m3 for its lifetime.25

FSC Certification

Woodbois has FSC chain of custody certification in
Denmark and has initiated its journey towards FSC
Certification in 2020, as well as engaging with the
Programme de Promotion de l’Exploitation Certifiée
des Forêts26 (PPECF).

Within the next ten years Woodbois is committed to:
• Gaining FSC certification for 100% of our FMUs.
• Sourcing only wood/wood fibre that meets FSC
Controlled Wood requirements.
• 100% third-party verification for FMUs.
• Sourcing only wood/wood fibre that is in legal
compliance, as verified by a third party.

of forest have been

Mozambique: reforestation project update


The sustainable solution

The forestry industry faces a number of very significant challenges, and Woodbois recognizes the role it must play in advocating for sustainable forest management if we’re to ensure the longevity of these important natural environments. We are committed to demonstrating positive leadership in this area, and doing so brings about a wealth of social, environmental and business opportunities, both for us as a company, and for the wider population.

Woodbois operates in a very fragile industry, environment and region. At the same time, sustainable forestry in Africa (as well as other developing regions) represents a tremendous opportunity to contribute to circular economies, increase individual and state revenues, and enhance skills and ethical job opportunities.


 Our planted tree species survey was conducted by GPS, enabling us to track annual growth and silvicultural treatments for each species planted. This data will be updated annually to help monitor increases from replanting or reduction from death. The survey will be replicated at other concessions.

Chanfuta in natural regeneration weeks after the fire


During this reporting period, an additional 1,470 plastic vases were filled with soil, creat- ing a total of 4,900 soil-filled vessels.


The 1,470 pots were planted across three beds (490 in each): two in Umbila and one in Umbaua, as shown in the images below.



Reseeding was undertaken in pots where seeds did not germinate in the first sowing, as illustrated in the following images.

Example of some vessels subjected to reseeding


Irrigation is a continuous activity carried out day after day that will be gradually reduced as the seedlings gain strength in their stem in the nursery.


The umbila seed is protected by a capsule requiring a superficial burn to remove its thorns.

Umbila seed protected by a spiny capsule


Using a pointed piece of wood, the soil was scarified (flushed) in the pot and weeds were removed, the aim of which is to obtain well- formed and healthy seedlings during their development.

Chanfuta Nursery. Scarification process
(fluffing) of the soil and elimination of weeds in the pots


Although some activities take place simultaneously, as in the case of irrigation and reseeding, the process of opening a fire break around the reforested areas previously devastated by the fire also started with a short- handled hoe.

Firebreak opening process


In the Jardim Zambézia – Gilé and Montara Forest Concessions, the ongoing activity consists of weeding other closest competitors around the plants using a short-handled hoe, whose purpose is to reduce the competition between the plant and weeds in the absorption of water, nutrients, and mineral salts from the soil.

Plants without weeds or other competitors

Establishment of new afforestation - reforestation & carbon credit division

Woodbois has identified an attractive commercial opportunity to deliver reforestation projects at scale in Africa while generating carbon credits for corporate bodies in the expanding Voluntary Carbon Markets. The new initiative – which is part of the company’s Reforestation and Carbon Credit division which has been officially launched in 202127 – will answer growing calls for high quality nature-based carbon sequestration projects, contributing to a wider global effort to address the ecological and socio-economic stresses posed by climate change.

Woodbois wants to actively involve local governments and
communities in all stages of these types of projects. The
business will provide invaluable environmental, social and
economic benefits to the local communities, and support
emerging national efforts to build green economy initiatives
in Africa. The strong focus on climate, biodiversity, local
skilling and employment is expected to further boost
the company’s standing as one of the best-in-class ESG

The entry into the carbon credit market also has the potential
to play a major role in future growth. With more than 1,600
companies with revenues exceeding a combined total
of more than $11 trillion committing to net zero carbon

emissions by 2050,28 and Mark Carney’s UN backed-
taskforce29 mandate to bring the Voluntary Carbon Market

to scale, this market is forecast to grow significantly over
the coming years. Woodbois believes that its entry into this
important and growing market will bring multiple synergies,
as well as providing a valuable add-on to the company’s
existing sustainable forest management operations.


Woodbois Reforestation and Carbon Credit Plan in Gabon

Woodbois is committed to engaging in reforestation projects across Gabon. These projects bring a number of benefits to Gabon, includingalignment with its goal of land degradation neutrality by 2030 and reduced forest cover loss. This commitment also gives Woodbois more scope to partner with NGOs and multinationals seeking their own carbon reduction objectives.


• Project sites previously exploited for illegal logging / extractive industries
• Lack of investment and expertise has previously prevented reforestation
• Project developer coordinates with the Government to secure long term concession
• Native species used to restore efficient ecological system


• Positive environmental impact –biodiversity, soil and water quality, CO2 sequestration
• Poverty alleviation, skilling and stable employment for local communities
• Capability building and educating in sustainable practices
• Reduced social mobility in project geographies


Photosynthetic carbon capture is the most reliable and costeffective method available today for restricting the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests new forest projects could sequester 25% of the CO2 required to maintain the 2°C temperature goal.



When Woodbois opens up a new area of forest to be harvested, the company follows an internal FPIC (Free Prior and Informed Consent) procedure to ensure that locals are properly informed and that their concerns and needs are taken into account in the context of the prospective operation.

Identifying concerned locals
and their representatives

  • Having been present in Gabon for over 20 years, the company is well known among the local communities in which we operate, allowing us to easily identify local communities that may be present in our area of operation.

Inform the local community of the company’s plans, document any concerns or needs that the indigenous people have

  • The company has strong relationships with local communities, typically meeting local leaders every two months to update them on our activities as well as address concerns or
    questions surrounding our operations. These are documented and followed up.

Implementation of local community needs within our projects. Regularly monitoring and evaluating agreements that are in place

  • Our Operations Manager actively meets local community leaders and representatives.
  • She also makes sure that any agreements or concerns that may have been highlighted are actively followed up on by specific members of the operations teams on the ground.


The Traceability Assessment Guide (TAG) created by Smurfit Business School in collaboration with Woodbois is reported below.

ESG indicators


  1. org. 2021. About SPOTT | SPOTT.org. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.spott.org/about/. [Accessed 07 June 2021].
  2. Sustainable Development Goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. 2021. Sustainable Development Goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. [ONLINE] Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment. un.org/?menu=1300. [Accessed 07 June 2021]. COMIFAC: Commission des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale. 2021. COMIFAC: Commission des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.comifac.org. [Accessed 07 June 2021].
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