21 November 2007 | Antony Barton
Purchases of sustainable timber have increased by up to 40 per cent over the past two years, according to new figures.
A recent audit of UK timber merchants and importers of wood products reveals a growth of 40 per cent in the purchase of sustainable softwoods, 30 per cent in sustainable hardwoods and 30 per cent in sustainable composite products over the past two years.
The audit regards sustainable timber as that which is certified as such by the Forest Stewardship Council or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes.
The figures come from the buying activities of the 36 members of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) that have signed up to the Responsible Purchasing Policy. This policy involves members introducing a risk assessment procedure to evaluate their suppliers' ability to meet environmental commitments and an annual third-party audit of members' paperwork to ensure compliance.
John White, chief executive of the TTF, said in a statement that this was "an encouraging start", since the audit was introduced two years ago.