Wwf timber 1

A new report from WWF-UK has highlighted that 68% of the 74 furniture retailers assessed have little knowledge or no published policy over timber sourcing.

According to its new report ‘Are you sitting comfortably? Sustainable timber sourcing and the UK furniture industry’, only 22% of retailers are showing good progress in procedures of responsible timber sourcing, including John Lewis, Argos and IKEA.

However, 53% of retailers were unable to be rated in the report by WWF as they ‘hadn’t made even the most basic reference to responsible timber sourcing’ leaving an overall figure of just 33% to be considered as brands to have made a commitment to responsible souring.

Retailers seen to be failing to either pursue creditable policies, or have policies but provide no performance information against them, as well as effective communication, according to the report, include Laura Ashley, Oak Furniture Land and made.com.

WWF-UK said that the report also outlines key recommendations for retailers to build up sustainable practices and reduce risks, including publishing a responsible timber sourcing policy, as well as achieving third party verification such as The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Julia Young, global forest and trade network manager for WWF-UK, said: “UK furniture retailers could be unwittingly destroying forest resources due to their lack of clear commitments to sustainable sourcing of timber for their products. Some of the retailers, who featured in our 2015 Timber Scorecard, have taken little or no action to get to grips with the sustainable forest trade agenda, despite having significant reliance on such actions to maintain supply of timber to their own businesses in the long term.

“Retailers can not only reduce these risks but also enhance their reputation by engaging with the issue and by publishing and pursuing a credible timber sourcing policy. WWF-UK will produce its next wider Timber Scorecard in 2017, and we hope these companies will make dramatic improvements ahead of this.”

To view the full report, click here.