The Prince of Wales has urged companies to ensure their sourcing of wood-based products is not contributing to deforestation.
As part of the WWF Forest Campaign launched in September, the Prince chaired a meeting of business leaders to share ideas this week in his role as president of WWF-UK.
Global demand for wood, timber, paper and fuel is set to triple by 2050 according to the charity. The UK is the world’s fifth-largest importer of wood products.
So far 30 companies, including Boots, Kingfisher and Lend Lease, have signed up to the commitment to source all wood-based products legally and sustainably by 2020.
Also in attendance at the meeting were wildlife presenter and contestant in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing Steve Backshall, and entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.
“It makes business sense for leading businesses to work together to reach solutions that ensure the long-term supply of a resource on which they, as well as nature, depend. These businesses need forests, and forests need them,” said Meaden.
David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK, added: “Businesses that rely on wood, from greetings card companies to furniture manufacturers and musical instruments makers, need to step up and make sure they only use materials from sustainable sources. I am delighted that The Prince of Wales has brought his passion and concern for the environment to help highlight this pressing issue.”