Bunnings and Officeworks timber and paper announcement must fast track transition out of native forests

Friends of the Earth has welcomed a commitment from Bunnings and Officeworks to only stock Forest Stewardship Council certified wood and paper products by 2020.  

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is globally recognised as the benchmark of sustainable forestry operations. Victorian government owned logging agency VicForests has applied for the certificate three times and has failed to meet the FSC standards. 

“Consumers and businesses are increasingly demanding sustainably sourced wood and fibre, sourced from forestry operations that do not impact on important environmental values and carry reputable certification labels,” said Friends of the Earth forests spokesperson Ed Hill

“VicForests logging operations are well below the standard required to achieve FSC certification. FSC standard seeks to protect high environmental value forests, but VicForests logging is destroying important forests without a skerrick of social license. Their recently failed FSC audit found a number of non conformances to the FSC standard because of the impacts on endangered wildlife habitat, logging of old growth forests, domestic water catchments and protected rainforest areas,” said Ed Hill  

“Bunnings and Officeworks have made the right call and reflected what their customers want. Consumers and businesses do not want wood and paper products to come at the expense of old growth forests and endangered wildlife habitat,”

“The Andrews Labor government must follow the lead of Bunnings and Officeworks and commence a rapid transition of the logging industry out of high environmental value forests and into sustainably managed plantations and non timber sources of fibre.”

“According to recent media reports the government are considering a proposal to phase out native logging by 2029, they need to bring this date forward to align with Bunnings and Officeworks who will dump unsustainably sourced wood products that do not carry the FSC label by 2020.”

“It’s time the Andrews government caught up with business and community expectations that make it clear that logging native forests has no place in the 21st century,” said Ed Hill.  

“Bunning and Officeworks announcement should be a wake up call to the Andrews Labor government to fast track the inevitable transition out of native forests and act to immediately protect forests of the high environmental value”  

“A Supreme Court case is currently challenging VicForests logging of 34 areas of untouched old growth forest in East Gippsland. In the Central Highlands logging continues to jeopardize the future of the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum and threatens Melbourne’s water supplies. Recent national media reports exposed a cruel and unethical experiment that is logging threatened Greater Gliders to see how many die. VicForests operations are so dramatically below the bar it’s difficult to see how they can achieve the FSC certificate,” said Ed Hill

Media contact: Ed Hill - 0414 199 645