Back in 2014, we launched a Forest Campaign aimed at making responsible forest trade the norm in the UK market. By working alongside businesses we set out to transform timber markets in the UK and Europe. The campaign was a huge success, with over 100,000 supporters, 50 influential businesses and two major trade associations signing up to show their support.
Why Did We Run The Campaign?
The Forest Campaign aimed to cut out the trade in illegal and unsustainable timber, by working together with business to influence government at UK and EU level in order to level the playing field for businesses that are supportive of responsible forest trade.
We campaigned to tighten the EU Timber Regulation and close the loopholes that allow illegally logged timber to enter European markets. At present less than half of the value of timber products coming into Europe is covered by the regulation. The regulation is still in its review phase, and we await further stakeholder consultation on extending its scope, so it applies comprehensively to the timber products entering our market, which we hope will happen in 2018, though much delayed.
The campaign also called for mechanisms to enable the transition to a market in sustainable timber by 2020. In order to rely on forests for the goods and services we depend on for generations to come, we need to be harvesting them sustainably.
What The Campaign Achieved
Businesses Upped Their Game
In July 2015 we launched our first Timber Scorecard which assessed 128 UK retailers, manufacturers on their publically available timber buying policies. It showed that many businesses still had a lot to do to demonstrate they were playing their role to secure global forests for the future. Our 2017 Timber Scorecard added more businesses from several sectors, and showed a split picture; that whilst half the companies we reviewed are on the journey to being fully sustainable for their timber products and progressing well, the other half has failed to take appropriate action, and need to change swiftly and meet their responsibilities to sustainable trade.
EU Business Backs A Strong EUTR
Our cross-Europe Industry Statement in support of a strong EU Timber Regulation was supported by over 70 companies, associations and federations. Many of these companies also attended a reception with Commissioner Vella in Brussels in April 2015 to demonstrate their ongoing support for change.
MPs Sign Early Day Motion On Illegal And Unsustainable Timber
Thanks to over 2,000 personal letters and emails written by members of the public, including staff from some of the businesses we worked with, almost 100 MPs signed Early Day Motion 65 in support of a market in legal and sustainable timber in the UK.
Over 100K To #SaveForests
Over 103,000 people signed our #SaveForests petition, which we used to show government and businesses that consumers care that the wood products they buy are legally and sustainably sourced.
What can your business do?
Whilst our Forest Campaign has reached an end, our work to make responsible forest trade the norm is not over. We continue to work alongside businesses through the Global Forest & Trade Network; committed to transforming the timber markets by eliminating illegal logging and driving improvements in forest management by using the purchasing power and influence of UK businesses. Your business can still benefit from a secure and long-term supply, while people and nature thrive in the forests they depend on. If you are a business in the UK that deals in timber or timber products, please take a look at the available resources at the top of this page and contact us if you have any questions.
We are grateful to the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) and the Timber Trade Federation as well as the following companies who supported the campaign.
Accsys, Technologies, Asda, Arbor Forest Products Ltd, Argos, Arnold Laver, B&Q, BAM UK, Benchmark, Boots UK Ltd, BSW Timber, Canal & River Trust, Carillion, Community Playthings, Crest Nicholson PLC, Danzer UK Limited, Denmaur Independent Papers Ltd, Ecochoice Ltd, Empatika, Future Publishing Limited, HAB Housing, Hanson Plywood, Homebase, Howarth Timber Group, Immediate Media Co., James Latham PLC, John Lewis Partnership, Kimberly-Clark, Kingfisher plc, Lend Lease, M&S, Mace Ltd, Morgan Sindall Group, Morgan Timber, Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, Paper Rose, Pearson, Penguin Random House, PictureFrames of Shaftesbury Ltd, Plaut International Ltd, Polestar UK Print Ltd and Polestar Bicester Ltd, Pureprint Group, Redrow Homes Ltd, Ridgeons, Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK, Silva Timber Products Limited, Sky, Snows Timber, Steinbeis, Tesco Stores Ltd, The Economist, The Solid Wood Flooring Company, Timber Link International Ltd, Travis Perkins, Tudor Rose, Unilever, Wm Morrison Supermarket, Willmott Dixon