Some people are surprised that local authorities are such big consumers of forest products – namely timber and paper. It’s actually estimated that the public sector is responsible for around 20% of all timber purchased in the UK.
Would you expect your council to be sourcing all its products responsibly – so they know they’re all from sustainable and well-managed sources?
Well, our recent study showed that over half of UK local authorities don’t have a timber procurement policy.
The truth is, if you don’t know where your timber comes from, you could be supporting the illegal and unsustainable timber trade – which threatens forests and the many people who depend on them, in countries like Indonesia and the Congo Basin in central Africa.
Every year over 1.5 million cubic metres of illegal timber products are believed to enter the UK market – which obviously has severe negative impacts on forests, biodiversity and people.
I’ve been with the WWF forest team for a few years now and my main area of expertise is working with UK-based companies and councils to help them source their wood and paper products responsibly.
Right now I’m heading up a campaign encouraging UK councils to sign a ‘sustainable timber pledge’.
I’ll be blogging over the coming months to update you on how our campaign is going – as well as to offer some handy tips on how to make sure you’re sourcing your own timber and paper responsibly too.
Meanwhile, you can read more about the campaign.