HIGH POINT, NC – The National Wildlife Federation and the Sustainable Furnishings Council have released the latest list of furniture retailers that depend on sustainably sourced wood.
Companies such as Cisco Home, Williams-Sonoma, The Arrangement, and Working Wonders have ranked highest in sustainable practices.
Susan Inglis – executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council – said the scorecard is both a guide for conscientious consumers and a model for retailers looking to improve their timber sourcing standards.
“These companies are all committed to sourcing wood products carefully,” Inglis said, “to avoid contributing to deforestation.”
North Carolina is home to the nation’s fifth largest wood product manufacturing industry. The dashboard is available online at “sustainablefurnishings.org”.
Barbara Bramble – vice president of International Wildlife Conservation at the National Wildlife Federation – explained that much of the wood used to make furniture is harvested from natural forests, but she said wood production can be carried out in a sustainable manner without aggravating deforestation.
About 30% of the world’s forests are production forests.
“Many of the world’s timber harvests are illegal,” Bramble said, “and unsustainable in other ways, damaging forests, soils and water quality, but that is not necessarily the case . “
Inglis said the dashboard goes beyond interior design, pointing out that when trees are felled their stored carbon is released into the environment. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, tropical deforestation accounts for about 20% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions.
“Consumers increasingly understand that healthy forests have something to do with our ability to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change,” said Inglis.
Bramble said momentum is building in wood-dependent industries to step up policies and practices that promote responsibly sourced wood.
“Even in the past year and a half of the COVID pandemic,” Bramble said, “we have found that the number of companies engaging in the wood furniture dashboard, interested in increasing their score, increased with each installment each year. “
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, about a third of the wood extracted from natural forests around the world is used to make wood products.
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