Responsible sourcing of timber and paper
Waitrose recognises that the production of timber-based products has significant economic, environmental and social impacts. As a responsible retailer we have a role to play in supporting sustainable forestry practices and curbing the worldwide trade in illegal timber. Sustainable forestry is defined as the management of forests in a way that maintains their biodiversity, productivity and regeneration capacity. It also considers their potential to fulfil ecological, economic and social functions both now and in the future.
The Waitrose Timber Policy was formalised in 2012 to include a sustainability-rating table and introduced a timber database, so that our buying teams could work with suppliers to evaluate performance and identify opportunities for improvement. All suppliers are required to complete a questionnaire providing detailed information about their timber sources to ensure legal compliance under EU Timber Regulations which came into force in 2013.
These regulations increase the obligation on all participants in timber supply chains to know where their wood comes from in order to prevent illegally logged timber entering European markets. Most importantly, it requires those operators who first place timber on the EU market to exercise due diligence to minimise the risk of illegally harvested timber entering those supply chains. However, our ultimate aim is to always exceed legislative requirements in our purchasing practices. Responsible forestry certification schemes like FSC and PEFC give independent assurance that timber products balance environmental, economic and social impacts. Waitrose actively works with suppliers to offer customers certified products, or where this is not yet possible, to make sure that all timber is legal and traceable. Our aim is that all Waitrose own brand paper and wood products are procured from recycled or certified sustainable sources.
Currently over 98% of Waitrose wood and paper based products are already FSC or PEFC certified or from recycled sources.