Timber is hidden in many more of our products than you might think. In fact, it’s an essential element within around a third of them, from wallpaper to masking tape.
For over twenty years we’ve been working to make our timber sourcing as sustainable as possible, so it’s even easier for customers to make a positive choice. Right now that’s around 96% of the timber we sell, and it’s already reached 100% at B&Q.
As well as improving good practices today, we’re also sowing the seeds for all-round greener futures. We’re forging progressive partnerships that move the whole timber industry towards responsible sourcing and sustainable forest management. We’ve teamed up with the RSPB in Sumatra, Indonesia to restore 100,000 hectares of over-logged tropical forest. This joins our previous forestry projects in China, Poland, Spain and the UK, which have already benefited areas equivalent to 19,000 football pitches.
We have been working on responsible timber sourcing for over 20 years and we aspire to a restorative approach – not only helping to prevent deforestation and ensuring responsible sourcing but working towards having a positive impact on forest ecosystems and people. We are looking both at our own sourcing and working with partners to help create positive change beyond our business.
As global demand for timber grows our work will enable us to secure affordable long term supplies of this important raw material, establish sustainable local timber supply chains and mitigate the impact of deforestation on climate change.
Our work on sustainable timber was recognised with a Sustainable Standard-Setter award from the Rainforest Alliance during 2013.
What we're doing
Creating more forest than we use means we will help increase the social and environmental value of a forest area larger than that used for our business.
The first step is responsible sourcing because this means we can be confident the timber we buy is not contributing to deforestation. All of our responsibly sourced timber is independently audited by recognised certification schemes, like FSC and PEFC.
We've reached 96% responsibly sourced timber in the products we sell. We're working towards 100%, enabling all our customers to make the sustainable choice every time they buy their timber products from us. We're also making sure that any timber and paper used in our packaging, catalogues, stores, offices and construction projects is responsibly sourced too.
The second step is making a positive contribution to forests by supporting FSC certification, enhancing and restoring forests to benefit biodiversity, or planting more trees to expand forested areas.
We started a collaboration with RSPB and their BirdLife partners in early 2016, through which we will support Indonesia’s first ever Ecosystem Restoration Concession. This will restore an area of over-logged tropical forest known as Hutan Harapan on the island of Sumatra covering 100,000 hectares (approximately the size of Greater London) and will ensure future sustainable forest management. The project will focus on reforestation, preventing forest fires and helping the livelihoods of indigenous communities through the processing and sale of sustainable forest products. It will enable us to test a number of approaches in our work to have a Net Positive impact on forests while potentially creating sustainable future timber supplies for our business. The project at Harapan builds on the work of our forest projects in China, Poland, Spain and the UK that to-date have benefited forested areas covering over 13,000 hectares (equivalent to 19,000 full-sized football pitches) working with 255 landowners.
We're working with businesses, NGOs, governments and others to tackle the causes of deforestation and create positive change beyond our business. Our partners include: The University of Cambridge; FSC; PEFC; Rainforest Alliance; The Timber Retail Coalition; European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition; Verification Impact Analysis; CDP Forest Program; and WWF's Global Forest and Trade Network.