29 September 2006 | Paul Snell
The Cabinet Office has admitted that wood used in the renovation of its offices did not come from sustainable sources.
In July, environmental campaign group Greenpeace found that plywood being used in hoardings outside Admiralty Arch in London was faced with wood from a rainforest in Papua New Guinea.
At the time the Cabinet Office told Greenpeace the contractor had provided them with certification to show they had sourced the wood from sustainable forests.
But the Cabinet Office confirmed to supplymanagement.com
that department minister Hilary Armstrong wrote to Greenpeace earlier this month with the findings of an internal investigation. It revealed bintangor-faced plywood had been used when renovating the offices. Bintangor wood is sourced almost exclusively from the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and is not a sustainable source.
The Cabinet Office told supplymanagement.com they are working with their facilities management provider to ensure subcontractors are fully briefed on the need to procure timber from sustainable sources in future.
Bintangor-faced plywood is the same type of timber that Greenpeace found being used in the renovation of Nelson's Column in June (News, 6 July). Following the discovery, Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, announced plans to tighten timber procurement procedures.
Greenpeace also claims to have found bintangor-faced wood being used in the refurbishment of the House of Commons press area.