Bunnings today provided an update on its program to continuously improve its timber sourcing and to help transition its suppliers to third-party certified sustainable natural forests and plantation forests.
In 2018 Bunnings set a target for all timber in its products originating from natural forests to be third party certified by the end of 2020. Since then, Bunnings has worked closely with its timber product suppliers to ensure they achieve third-party certification or move to low-risk plantation timber sources. In some cases, Bunnings has also exited products that have not met its timber policy requirements.
Of the several hundred suppliers, over 97 per cent of those still supplying Bunnings have either achieved third-party certification for their timber sources or have transitioned to plantation timber sources.
Throughout 2020 Bunnings has been in discussions with suppliers to understand their progress towards achieving this goal and it has become clear that COVID-19 has disrupted this process for some. Global shutdowns and travel restrictions meant a small number of suppliers were prevented from completing third party, independent audits or securing alternative sources.
After careful consideration, Bunnings will allow these last-remaining existing suppliers to apply for an extension to achieve this goal. Strict criteria for this extension requiring clear evidence of COVID-19 impact applies and is included as an addendum to Bunnings’ Responsible Timber Sourcing Policy.
Bunnings’ plan is to support existing impacted suppliers with a 12-month extension, however the continued disruption caused by COVID-19 may require additional flexibility. Bunnings will continue to review its policy position regularly as new information becomes available.
Commenting on the update, Bunnings Merchandising Director, Phil Bishop, Bunnings had made significant progress towards transitioning to certified responsibly sourced product and low-risk plantation-sourced timber products.
“We have always supported suppliers with demonstrated progress toward independent certification and we are that the addendum will ensure the small number still actively on this journey aren’t unfairly disadvantaged by the impacts of COVID-19. We understand the 2020 bushfire disaster has had a material impact on Australian forests, and we support expanding the reach of certification to more natural forests ensuring long term sustainability of Australian forestry.”
“We are committed to working closely with industry, government and environmental organisations to continue to improve our timber sourcing in line with this goal and into a more sustainable future,” he said.