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The world’s forests are rapidly being wiped out, with an area the size of a football pitch lost every 2 seconds. This is why it’s important for companies to source all their timber and wood products from well-managed forests that do not contribute towards global deforestation.

We’ve just launched our 2017 Timber Scorecard which assesses 128 UK companies on their progress towards sustainable timber procurement. The Scorecard reveals some alarming findings; with many of the UK’s globally recognised luxury brands, such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Fender Musical Instruments all scoring low for timber sustainability. This is despite loud calls for companies to make their supply chains sustainable.

This Scorecard covers key sectors such as construction, home-builders, paper / printing and publishing, general retailers and furniture retailers. Each company reviewed is given a rating of between 0 (no reported action) and 3 (performing well) based on what they share publicly in terms of their businesses timber purchasing policy, performance statements and claims about responsible sourcing of timber.

Overall 23% of companies scored ‘zero trees’ meaning they are failing to disclose their policies and performance on sustainable timber. A further quarter, including big brands like NEXT, Laura Ashley and Paperchase, scored ‘one tree’ meaning it is unclear if they doing anything against their stated polices.

On a positive note 50% of all companies reviewed scored either two or three trees, which demonstrates they are making good progress. Some of the best performing companies include B&Q (Kingfisher), Boots, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Tetra Pak, the Co-Op, WH Smith’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Balfour Beatty, showing that it is possible for big names in diverse sectors to promote sustainable timber practices.

We’re calling on all UK companies to pledge to buy timber products from sustainable sources by 2020. And we’re actively engaging with companies through our Global Forest and Trade Network, to help support businesses transition to sustainable timber markets.  

How you can support the world’s forests

Through our Forest Campaign, we witnessed how public pressure can help bring about changes in company’s timber policies. If you want to join us in demanding action for sustainable timber you can:

  • Support companies that have made a public commitment to improve the sustainability of their timber purchasing
  • When buying wood or paper products, make sure you look for certification logos e.g. FSC or information the product is made from recycled fibre or wood
  • Ask companies where their timber in their products has come from – this can be in store, via customer services or via social media. 

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