WWF Forest Business Forum

Steve and Deborah joined an event organised by WWF at which HRH The Prince of Wales met with business leaders from some of Britain’s biggest High Street names to discuss how they could help the global forest trade move towards a 100% sustainable future. As well as putting businesses that rely on timber or wood based products on a more secure long term footing by ensuring sustainable supply chains, the move would also ensure customers were not unwittingly purchasing products that are contributing to deforestation around the globe. 

Representatives from firms including Boots, Kingfisher and Kimberly-Clark all put forward ideas that could enable the UK market to become more sustainable. The UK is the world’s fifth largest importer of wood-based products, consuming materials valued at over £14.4 billion in 2013. The goal is to achieve a market that allows businesses to flourish without impacting on the world’s remaining forests, which are currently disappearing at a rate of one football pitch every two seconds. Global demand for wood is expected to triple by 2050, meaning businesses could see their supply chains severely challenged if they do not act now. 

Deborah Meaden, WWF Ambassador, who has supported the campaign since its launch in September said; 

“It makes business sense for leading businesses to work together to reach solutions that ensure the long-term supply of a resource on which they, as well as nature, depend. These businesses need forests, and forests need them.”

Steve Backshall, wildlife presenter and author, said: 

"Forests are vital to the life of our planet - one billion people around the world depend on them for their livelihoods and they are home to well over half the world’s terrestrial species. We all need to learn to respect the forest resources we have and use them responsibly. That starts with making sure that the wood products we all use here in the UK come from legal and sustainable sources.”

Since the launch of the campaign in September, over 30 influential businesses have publicly pledged to support the campaign and have committed to source all their wood-based products from legal and sustainable sources by 2020.