The BMF and GFTN-UK will work together to bring about better industry practices and encourage a commitment to sustainability in the merchant sector.
GFTN-UK will share its expertise and knowledge with BMF members, helping them to exercise due diligence on their supply chains for forest goods. The conservation organisation provides a framework that enables companies to identify and move away from materials coming from unknown or unacceptable sources, towards products from credibly certified forests or recycled sources.
BMF MD, John Newcomb said: Timber is a core product category for general builders merchants, second only in importance to heavyside materials such as bricks and blocks, and we will be working with GFTN-UK to encourage merchants to consider environmental and sustainability issues as part of their purchasing policy."
He added: "GFTN-UK made a huge impact on everyone in the room when they presented to our Timber Forum last year. Now we are working together to make all members aware of the damage caused to the environment when they buy, say, cheap plywood from China, sourced from forests that are not sustainable."
Julia Young, Manager GFTN-UK, said: "We're excited to be collaborating with the BMF to create a thriving, mainstream market for environmentally and responsible forest products within the building industry. It's great to see their appetite to get involved and, with the BMF working as an Associate within our programme, we'll have a new platform to assist their member companies to get to grips with this important issue."
For both organisations, the reciprocal arrangement to be associate members with each other is a first, and is about pro-active, supportive encouragement to leverage each other's expertise and audiences.
John Newcomb added: "Responsible purchasing is one of the BMF's key goals for the industry. Many merchants already consider sustainability as a matter of course, but we have a responsibility to encourage every one of them to do so. GFTN-UK can help them ask the right questions to find out where their products are coming from, so they will know if they are sourcing from sustainable forests."
GFTN-UK will also host the next BMF Timber Forum at its inspirational HQ and visitor centre, the Living Planet building in Woking, Surrey, which
embodies WWF's vision for a more sustainable future. The Forum will take place on Tuesday 10th May. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Note to Editors
The Builders Merchants Federation Ltd (BMF) is the only trade association representing and protecting the interests of builders' merchants and suppliers to the merchanting industry in the UK. Total membership at 1 January 2016 stands at 510 merchant and supplier companies who together have combined sales in excess of £17.5bn and employ 95,000 people in the building materials industry. BMF's 300+ merchant members operate almost 4,500 branches across the UK.
WWF: WWF's Living Forest Report outlines how global demand for wood for timber, paper and fuel is expected to triple by 2050. Changing the future for forests would have a major positive outcome for the people and biodiversity depending on them. WWF-UK has been running a Forest Campaign in the UK (www.wwf.org.uk/forestcampaign) and major British businesses are joining with WWF to help tackle forest destruction by committing to responsible forest trade to help end deforestation around the world with a shift to 100% sustainable timber and wood products by 2020.
WWF is one of the world's larges independent conservation organisations, with a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present, at wwf.org.uk
Alison Parkes (for BMF) : email@example.com : 07802 939866
Jo Sargent, Advocacy Media Specialist, WWF-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org : 07876 697519