How good is their wood?

Feature Story - 2008-11-04
It's pure forest crime when ancient trees are carved up to make furniture or wood flooring. We know you don't want to support the illegal logging trade so we've just published our first good wood ranking guide for six top Home DIY chains in China.

These are logs of Merbau, a type of endgangered wood, just arrived in Zhangjiagang port, Jiangsu province

Greenpeace is constantly challenging DIY and home furnishing stores around the world to make commitments to only stock wood from sustainable forests. And the story is no different in China.

Here's how the six stores in China ranked on our good wood forest friendly guide.

How do we do it?

It's very simple.

Stores are graded on whether they have a "responsible procurement policy" to ensure that the wood they use is not felled from ancient forests nor illegally logged.

And we also do impromptu store visits to check whether they are selling Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood or Merbau (a type of endangered rainforest wood which is often targeted by illegal loggers).

So how did they do?

We gave Britain's B&Q (China) an A- for agreeing last year to only procure their timber from sustainable forests. However, they have not banned the sale of endangered wood except for Merbau so they do not get a perfect score.

US-based The Home Depot came next with a B+. They get brownie points for being the first company in China to ban the sale of Merbau and some other endangered species. However, they do not yet have a comprehensive responsible wood procurement policy.

We gave France's Maison Paris a B- because alhough they have banned the sale of Merbau and have said they will implement their parent company's ecological policy they have not yet developed a responsible procurement policy on timber procurement.

We also gave Leroy Merlin (French-headquartered) a B-. Although it has stopped stocking Merbau it has not come through on its promise to set up a responsible timber procurement policy.

China's Orient Home flunked with a C. To date they have not kept their written promises to set up a responsible procurement policy nor have they stopped selling Merbau.

HomeMart came in bottom with a D. It ignored all our requests for information

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