LONDON: Forests Forever chairman Jermain Cheetham of Wolseley, has hailed the success of the Timber Trade Federation's flagship Responsible Purchasing Policy.
"I applaud RPP signatories for the excellent job they've done in increasing the volume of purchases from certified and legally verified sources. When companies like Wolseley look at the responsible sourcing of products, I can honestly say the timber industry is still ahead of the game."
The RPP is a tool which provides timber and wood-based products purchasers with the confidence that they are sourcing these materials from companies which have a risk management system in place to minimise the possibility of illegal timber entering their supply chain.
The RPP Annual Report, based on signatories' 2009 submissions, demonstrates clear progress in increasing the proportion of certified and third party legally verified purchases.
In total, 80.5% of all products purchased by volume were certified, almost double the figure for 2007, and a further 6.5% were third party legally verified. The targets set by signatories suggest that this proportion will increase further.
The RPP Report also provides a breakdown for hardwoods, softwoods and panel products.
Due to the diverse supply sources for hardwoods, the level of certification and third party legal verification is relatively low compared to the other product groups.
However, the proportion of hardwood products in these categories is expected to deliver the most rapid growth in the future, according to signatories a 30-40% increase in volume of certified or verified legal is predicted for the coming year.
The high level of certification of softwood products - over 97% - is expected to increase slightly, while panel products are expected to show a clear increasing trend in the level of certified purchases from their current level of 68%.
Rachel Butler, TTF head of sustainability, said: "The Responsible Purchasing Policy is a cornerstone of the timber industry's commitment to tackling environmental issues and it's great to know that progress is still being made and it's genuinely making a difference."