Sustainable Wood – Our Team
The Sustainable Wood team brings together a range of expertise, knowledge and skills. All Sustainable Wood directors have many years’ senior-level experience in planning, managing, developing, advising, and evaluating environmental programmes and projects. We are all experienced writers and have published extensively. Sustainable Wood provides tailored services and solutions to the range of stakeholders, including international and national government agencies, trade and industry associations and companies, and civil society organisations.
Rupert Oliver, CEO
Rupert has over 30 years’ experience working in the international timber trade and industry. He is regularly consulted by international and national agencies on timber market developments and has written extensively on hardwood markets and forest management issues for a wide range of European trade and industry journals.
Rupert has been a Sustainability Consultant to the US forest products industry since 1998, acting initially for the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) and then for the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). Since 2022, he has been acting as a lead advisor to the Sustainable Hardwood Coalition that is developing innovative risk-based certification procedures for non-industrial forest owners. With UK government support, Rupert is also advising tropical countries on the development of the new “BMR” framework for certification of forest products from national sustainable forestry systems.
Rupert’s market analysis work has included reports on trade impacts of the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) and EU Timber Regulation for the EU-funded ITTO FLEGT Independent Market Monitoring (IMM) project. He has devised a statistical system to regularly clean and analyse forest products trade data for 46 large producing and consuming countries and developed this into an automated on-line system to make high quality trade flow data publicly available. Rupert contributes regularly to the ITTO’s Market Information Service on the European market for tropical hardwoods.
George White, Operations Director
George has 15 years of senior level experience in planning, managing, developing, advising, and evaluating environmental programmes and projects. As an independent consultant, he has advised a variety of clients in the NGO, public and private sectors, primarily focused on responsible forestry and trade.
Between 2015 and 2021, George was Oversight and Programmes Director for the Global Timber Forum (GTF), a non-profit making company based in the UK which worked primarily with timber trade federations and acted as a facilitation hub on international trade and policy related issues.
From 2009 to 2013, George was Director of the WWF Global Forest & Trade Network, which was operational in 25 countries. He was responsible for the strategic leadership and direction of the programme, with oversight for fundraising, funding allocation, network alignment, performance management and external stakeholder relations. The programme engaged with over 250 companies which were collectively responsible for the management of nearly 30 million hectares of forest, and the purchase of over 200 million cubic metres of wood per annum, supporting their efforts to certify forests and purchase wood responsibly.
Sarah Storck, Communications Director
Sarah is a journalist by training. After 10 years’ working as a news editor for renowned timber trade journal EUWID, she went freelance in 2015. She has since worked for a range of international clients, including the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the Global Timber Forum (GTF), and Forest Industries Intelligence (FII).
In 2017, Sarah took over as Lead Consultant for the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Independent Market Monitor (FLEGT IMM). In this role she headed an international team of correspondents, covering the EU and several tropical supplier countries involved in the FLEGT VPA process. She directed this network in undertaking IMM market surveys, while having overall responsibility for production of annual reports, special sectoral studies, and a range of other outputs.
She also led on all IMM communication activities and external liaison until the completion of the project in December 2022.
Mike Jeffree, Editorial Director
Mike has been a journalist and editor for over 30 years, working for newspapers, magazines, and online media. He started to report on the timber and forestry industries in 1997 and in 2001 became Editor of the UK Timber Trades Journal (TTJ). He launched the TTJ’s website and its construction title Timber & Sustainable Building. He is now TTJ’s Consultant Editor
Mike also produces the newsletters of the European Timber Trade Federation and Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition and is a writer/editor for the European Forest Institute. He works with the American Hardwood Export Council and Forest Industries Intelligence and has written for timber trade media around the world. He reports on business and market development in the forestry and timber sectors, timber in construction, regulation, environmental issues and timber processing and handling technology.
From 2015 to 2022 he was UK Correspondent for the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Independent Market Monitor (FLEGT IMM).