Wal-Mart to Phase Out Furniture Made from Illegal Wood

Wal-Mart to Phase Out Furniture Made from Illegal Wood

Jonathan B.
Jul 18, 2008

Small changes at Wal-Mart can have a big impact. Wal-Mart is the biggest US retailer of furniture, so we're seeing it as a good thing that they have joined a World Wildlife Fund initiative and announced they will investigate their supply chain and phase out illegal sources of wood. Here's the whole story...

It all started around the beginning of the year, when the independent Environmental Investigation Agency released a report titled "How Wal-Mart's Sourcing Practices Encourage Illegal Logging and Threaten Endangered Species". Among other things, the report laid out how EIA investigators traced the source of wood used for cribs sold at Wal-Mart back to a Siberian tiger habitat, where officials were bribed to look the other way.

In response, Wal-Mart announced that they joined the WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network and will work to phase out illegal sources of wood from their supply chain. To us, this is a step in the right direction, but given Wal-Mart's low-cost-at-any-cost corporate culture, we'd rather see Wal-Mart make a full commitment to the Forest Stewardship Council's FSC wood certification program. Home Depot carries some, but not all, FSC-certified lumber, so it is not unprecedented for a large retailer to sign on to a meaningful certification program.

Do you have Wal-Mart furniture? Do you think about the source of wood in the furniture you buy?

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