UK firms make sustainable timber pledge

Tesco, M&S, Homebase and Sky are among a coalition of big businesses that have signed up to a new WWF-UK commitment to use 100% sustainable timber by 2020.

The firms, also including Morrisons, Kingfisher and Boots, have pledged to join the national campaign which will attempt to close legal loopholes in the European Union Timber Regulation. The current law allows more than half of timber imports to come from suspected illegal sources.

WWF global forest and trade network UK manager Julia Young said: “We all use products from the forests daily in our homes and at work, from the chairs we sit on to the books we read, and for businesses it’s essential to have a sustainable supply of materials, for now and tomorrow. The businesses signing up know this and are taking action to ensure a future for our forests, it’s time for the government to make good on its promises to do the same.”

Business backing

The new campaign follows the announcement of a public-private partnership at the New York Climate Summit, where the UN and the EU pledged to halve the rate of deforestation by 2020 and eradicate the issue by 2030.

In a similar move, the UK’s Department for International Development announced last week it is ploughing £144m into two new projects involving big businesses and farmers in developing countries in a bid to create deforestation-free supply chains and help eradicate the demand for illegally logged timber.

This latest WWF-UK initiative signals that businesses are equally committed to stopping the destruction of the world’s forests.

M&S sustainable development manager Fiona Wheatley said: “We have an existing commitment that all the wood used to build and fit our stores, to run our business, and to manufacture and package our products will be responsibly sourced by 2020 – we’re currently at 96%.

“This campaign can only help us and we’re delighted to work with WWF to make sure business support for legal and sustainable forestry is heard loud and clear.”

The companies signed up at the campaign’s start with a pledge to ensure all their wood is legally and sustainably sourced by 2020 are:

  • Argos
  • Boots UK Ltd
  • British Sky Broadcasting
  • BSW Timber 
  • Canal & River Trust
  • Carillion
  • Homebase
  • Lend Lease
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Kingfisher Plc
  • M&S
  • Pearson
  • Penguin Random House
  • Polestar UK Print Ltd and Polestar Bicester Ltd 
  • Pureprint Group 
  • Redrow Homes Ltd
  • Steinbeis
  • Tesco Stores Ltd
  • Travis Perkins
  • Wm. Morrison Supermarkets

For more stories related to the issue of deforestation, click here.

Brad Allen

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