11 April 2008 | Jake Kanter
Buyers must have a clear chain of accountability when purchasing wood and paper products, according to a report.
The guide advises purchasers to request harvesting permits from vendors and build transparent contracts so an item's journey through the supply chain can be traced.
Ensuring the origin of products and the credibility of that origin was also essential. The report also urged buyers to avoid areas where illegal logging was common.
The guidance, published by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, also advised buyers to stay away from delicate ecosystems, and source only from sustainable forests.
Supply chains could limit the impact of pollution by operating efficiently, increasing recycling and maintaining consistent targets for improvement. Buyers were also told to be sensitive to the needs of local communities, who should be consulted before undertaking sourcing plans.
Cassie Phillips, vice-president of sustainable forests and products at timber buyers Weyerhaeuser Company, said: "Having a more complete picture of the landscape will make it easier for buyers to design purchasing policies that fight illegal logging, promote sustainable forest management and protect the environment."