barcodewoods2At first glance we thought the headline was a spoof, something comical to be set aside with the barcoded Lamborghini or barcode tattoos. Seeing the source, however, we quickly realized this wasn’t just the real thing, but an interesting piece of life evidence that falls in our Maslow Safety category.

British company Helveta has developed a computerized system and that helps timber companies across the world tag and scan trees from the moment their chopped down, through processing and point of export:

Every tree above a certain size in a plantation is given an individual barcode. When a tree is cut down, another barcode is attached to the stump and more tags are nailed to the processed wood to allow customs officials to audit exports at the docks.

The bar-coding of trees not only helps companies to “comply with tough laws on importing sustainable timber into the United States and Europe [but also] play a role in fighting deforestation, which accounts for about a fifth of global emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide.”

Furthermore, the technology brings a true element of transparency to timber as officials can track individual trees through the supply chain, and deem any timber found leaving the factory or forest without a barcode illegal.

Providing some level of damage control to deforestation, both legal and illegal, and overall helping protect the world’s forest as part of the fight against global warming makes Helveta’s barcode system for trees a must in our Green Hot and Guarding Waves. We must say this is quite a positive note against the general stigma associated with barcodes today, though we still wonder about the implementation costs we hope the barcodes successfully serve its purpose.

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