Kingfisher's UK operating company, B&Q UK, has announced that from September 2009 it will only buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified tropical hardwood plywood. Certification for B&Q's entire supply of tropical plywood is a global first as historically it has been difficult to secure FSC certification for this volume. The announcement comes at the same time as the UK government's consultation on licensed timber imports.
All of B&Q's tropical hardwood plywood will have the FSC logo clearly displayed in store. FSC certified products are sourced from sustainable and well-managed forests to ensure that the use of the material does not damage forests, harm wildlife or jeopardise the future of people whose lives depend on the forests.
Julia Griffin, B&Q's timber expert said: "All B&Q wood products are sourced sustainably and we are delighted to be the first retailer to gain FSC certification for all our tropical plywood. Now those looking for fully certified tropical plywood will have an easy way to get hold of what they need."
B&Q believes that its FSC plywood will not only be of interest to consumers looking for responsibly sourced materials for their home renovations. The FSC label will also attract business from government contractors who, since 1st April this year, have been required to use timber from approved sources.
B&Q's tropical plywood is sourced from Acre, Brazil's westernmost state.
Environmental associations such as WWF Brazil and Greenpeace have been working in this area of the Amazon for some years in order to create responsible markets for sustainable activities and to help local communities gain FSC certification. At present, 370 families are involved in the community forestry projects surrounding the production of B&Q's tropical plywood supply. With B&Q requiring hundreds of thousands of sheets of tropical hardwood plywood a year, it is hoped that the projects will expand to include a further 300 families.
The mill where the tropical plywood is made opened in 2006 and is self sufficient in energy - waste wood is burnt, producing enough power for its operations.
Find out more about sustainable timber sourcing.
Visit the Corporate Responsibility videos section to watch an interview with Euan Sutherland, Chief Executive of B&Q UK, on the Prince's Rainforest Project.
Sign up to the Prince's Rainforest Project
Find out more about B&Q UK's One Planet Home products.
There are three different types of plywood:
- tropical hardwood
- temperate hardwood
- softwood; pine and spruce
This announcement is specifically about tropical hardwood used in plywood, which is sourced from forests in the Amazon region. Until now some FSC certified tropical hardwood plywood has been available from retailers but none have secured certification for their entire supply.