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WWF-UK reports on timber procurement

Research into the implementation of the timber procurement policy of the government has been published recently by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The report discovered that there was considerable variation in performance between the different government departments.

According to the findings, the Treasury is doing the most to prevent the use of wood from illegal sources, but other departments did not quite match its performance.

Nonetheless, as the government has the capacity to set the tone for responsible timber use, the positive result for the Treasury may help in the promotion of sustainable wood flooring in Liverpool and other major cities.

Beatrix Richards, who has been employed by WWF-UK for some time, is now in charge of corporate stewardship for natural commodities at the organisation. She has taken a specific interest in the report, commenting:

“The government has huge buying power and influence.”

The government has been working with its own procurement policy on timber for over 15 years. However, it would seem it has to make some more progress before full compliance is achieved across the board.

About 30 per cent of the departments featured in the report maintained that they were implementing the policy in full. Not all the contracts involving timber have been checked, as required by the legislation.

Illegal logging has the potential to worsen trends that can damage the environment. Species extinction and international climate change can be exacerbated by the global use of unsustainable timber. Fears about the scale of the problem motivated the European Union to take legal action in this area during the course of 2013.

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