A member of the same genus as mahogany, Sapele has many of the same qualities, including colour and strength. It has become more popular as mahogany has become harder to obtain.
– Sapele is classified as a vulnerable species by the IUNC. (ref) Meaning its continued use may lead it to becoming extinct.
– The trees are native to West Africa, (ref) and will need to travel from this area, meaning the wood will use a fair amount of energy and fuel to arrive in the UK, and depending on the fuel type, this will release CO2 into the air.
– Sourcing has been an issue in the past, before EUTR, most coming from illegal logging. Unless third party certified, the wood may be obtained in a similar manner. (ref)
Whilst this wood is a durable material and can be sourced from an FSC certified source, the fact it is vulnerable and need to travel so far to get into the UK can be problematic on a sustainability. Spell is classified as a vulnerable species by the IUC meaning its continued use may lead to its\extinction. Due to this, alternatives such as local Oak or Cedar may offer the same properties, but with less environmental damage.