Warehouse #1 for Forest Friendly Outdoor Furniture
22 February 2008
Greenpeace ranks The Warehouse #1 for Forest Friendly Outdoor Furniture
A Greenpeace survey of 19 New Zealand furniture retailers recommends The Warehouse as the best place to buy “forest friendly” outdoor furniture.
Greenpeace’s Good Wood Survey*, in conjunction with the Indonesian Human Rights Committee, questioned leading retailers on their procurement policies including issues such as timber certification, the use of kwila and their contribution to eliminating the sale of timber from illegal and unsustainable sources. The Warehouse came out on top and is described by Greenpeace as “leading the pack” in New Zealand with an overall B+ rating.
The Warehouse’s General Manager, Marketing, Stuart Yorston, says The Warehouse has always made the desirable affordable, but the definition of desirable is shifting as consumers become more environmentally and ethically aware.
“Some consumers now want to know more about the story behind our products before they make a buying decision. We’ve been working for about four years now to put sourcing and procurement policies in place that address our customers’ growing interest in the sustainability of our merchandise.”
All timber used in The Warehouse’s outdoor hardwood furniture ranges carries Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) certification or is linked to a Tropical Forest Trust (TFT), project which is progressing towards independently certified sustainable forest management.
The Warehouse’s Sustainability Manager, Trevor Johnston says, “Taking a strong ethical stand on tropical timbers was an obvious move for us because of the rapidly accelerating illegal felling of tropical forests and the harm this causes.
The Warehouse’s approach to ethical sourcing does not stop at the environment. Regular labour inspections are carried out at the Vietnamese factory supplying the hardwood furniture, as with all The Warehouse’s major suppliers throughout Asia. These inspections are an important part of The Warehouse’s drive to ensure that products are made in safe and healthy conditions, workers are properly paid and their rights respected, and factories work to reduce their impact on the environment.