The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has published a new report highlighting the importance of sourcing timber for UK businesses and issued a warning that timber resource is at risk.

The new report ‘100% sustainable timber markets: the economic and business case’, commissioned by the WWF, reveals that UK businesses need to invest in sustainable forest management to continue to access timber in the foreseeable future.

According to key findings within the report, leading countries that supply timber to the UK are either at the point of expiry or running at a deficit as forest resources are used without adequate provision for sustainable timber supply, including Nigeria which has lost almost 99% of its primary forest.

The WWF predict that by 2050 less than 22% of UK timber will be grown in Britain, further increasing pressures of outsourcing worldwide.

The report also indicates how sourcing timber from sustainably managed forests will help protect the natural environment. Securing long-term supply of timber from sustainably managed forests can form a cost-effective contributor to the bottom line of businesses.

Julia Young, global forest and trade network manager for WWF-UK, commented: “This report sets out important areas in business functions where benefits are likely to accrue, but are not accounted for when making decisions about the overall cost benefit of sustainable sourcing.

“This will have tangible business benefits of sustainable practices including advantages in regulatory positioning, easier raising of finance, brand value and an engaged workforce. It also gives manufacturers maximum scope for product development and provides retailers with a full range of tradable goods. These business benefits can increase performance.”

To view the report in further detail, visit: WWF Timber.