Senior Timber Sector Specialist


£30,000 - £42,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent Grace Blackham

Sectors: environmental policy & campaigning, sustainability

Closing date: Tuesday, 20th March 2018   1 day left

Senior Timber Sector Specialist

Job Description, February 2018

1. Position summary

BVRio is seeking an outstanding individual with practical experience in the timber sector to lead BVRio’s Responsible Timber Programme. This innovative and high-impact programme encompasses a range of initiatives including a legal timber trading platform (, direct engagement with timber traders, digital and e-commerce market promotion for legal and certified timber products from the tropics, and on-the-ground initiatives for adding value to Community Forestry Enterprise timber products in Brazil.

This is an exciting opportunity to drive and co-ordinate future activities, working at the interface between policy, trading and finance to promote legality and sustainability in the timber and forestry sectors in the tropics. The position requires a strategic mindset, commercial drive and good interpersonal skills. Extensive knowledge of the timber trade, timber products and forest certification and timber legality processes (e.g. FLEGT, EUTR, US Lacey Act etc.) is essential.

The job is based in Oxford, UK, and involves travel to Brazil, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and China.

2. About BVRio

BVRio Institute ( is a non-profit association created in 2011 with the objective to develop market mechanisms to facilitate compliance with environmental laws. Over the last 6 years, BVRio has developed a series of new market mechanisms and operated trading platforms to give them liquidity. This includes Forest Reserve Credits for the Brazilian Forest Law, Waste Recycling Credits for the new Brazilian Solid Waste Legislation, and a carbon trading simulation for a group of blue chip companies in Brazil.

In November 2015, BVRio created a Responsible Timber Exchange (, an online negotiations platform designed to promote the trading of forest products of legal and certified origin, integrated with a Due Diligence and Risk Assessment system. The system was designed to facilitate compliance with legislation such as the EU Timber Regulation and the US Lacey Act (see video). While originally developed for Brazil, the Responsible Timber Exchange has now been adapted to other tropical countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia, Peru and Indonesia. BVRio is also collaborating with the Chinese State Forest Authority to link the system to their internal due diligence procedures.

BVRio has a formal Key Account partnership with FSC® Brasil, is a Climate Action Leader of the R20 Regions for Climate Action initiative, received the Katerva Awards 2013 for Economy, and is a partner of the Forest Legality Initiative. In 2018, BVRio's proposal for a "Responsible Commodities Facility" was selected for development by The Lab: Driving Sustainable Investment (

3. Responsibilities


  1. Lead the day-to-day management of the Responsible Timber Programme;
  2. Lead strategic planning of the Responsible Timber Programme, including development and planning of future activities;
  3. Manage staff, delegating authority, ensuring they are effective and supported, and ensuring planned deliverables and results are achieved;
  4. Ensure programme activities lead to meaningful results that promote timber legality and the trade of legal timber products, and lead reporting on impacts and successes to internal and external audiences;
  5. Oversee overall budgetary performance of the programme;
  6. Planning, monitoring and reporting of activities, achievements and expenditure.

Management of the Responsible Timber Exchange trading platform

  1. Oversee management of the IT team and trading platform development;
  2. Manage activities associated with the day-to-day running of the trading platform and related elements (e.g. timber hotline, micro-websites, automated marketing etc.);
  3. Oversee the growth of the trading platform. Drive the development and adaptation of the platform to expand into new trading products and countries;
  4. Oversee platform digital analytics and use the outcomes to update and adapt the platform accordingly;
  5. Develop and implement monetization strategies for the trading platform and new business initiatives related to it.

Direct engagement with the timber sector

  1. Proactively engage with timber sector industry professionals, timber federations and other timber-related organisations;
  2. Liaise with BVRio representatives worldwide to expand BVRio’s connections with timber traders and engage with potential users of the Responsible Timber Exchange to drive the growth of the platform;
  3. Attend BVRio trade fairs and other timber promotion events, acting as an ambassador for the BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange;
  4. Keep up-to-date with timber legality policy (FLEGT, EUTR, US Lacey Act etc.);
  5. Keep up-to-date with BVRio’s due diligence and risk assessment systems.

4. Qualifications, Skills and Experience


  1. Tertiary level (minimum Masters Degree) qualification in a relevant discipline (natural/environmental, economic or social sciences).

Skills and Experience

  1. A minimum of 10+ years’ experience in field relevant to the timber sector / forestry and 5+ years of programme management and/or project implementation;
  2. Demonstrable experience of working with a strong strategic perspective and commercial acumen;
  3. Strong understanding of economic planning and business finance/management;
  4. Extensive experience and knowledge of timber legality processes such as the FLEGT, EUTR, US Lacey Act etc.;
  5. Extensive experience and knowledge of timber verification schemes, in particular the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC);
  6. Proven ability to manage effective partnerships with multiple actors within the timber sector including large companies, small and medium enterprises, trade federations and NGOs;
  7. Excellent verbal & written communication skills, including presentation skills;
  8. Experience overseeing and managing budgets;
  9. Ability and willingness to travel and work on short assignments in the UK, EU, West Africa, Latin America, China and South-east Asia.

Highly desirable

  1. Existing network of connections within the Timber Sector, particularly in Europe and/or China;
  2. Working knowledge of another language (especially Portuguese, French, Spanish, or Mandarin).

6. Salary

Salary will be commensurate with experience, likely in the range of GBP 30,000 to 42,000.

7. To apply

Please send your CV, a cover letter (1–3 pages) explaining your suitability for the position and confirmation that you are eligible to work in the UK addressed to Grace Blackham, to

Application Deadline: 20 March 2018

BVRio is an equal opportunity employer.

Please mention when responding to this ad.