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B&Q awarded largest UK chain-of-custody certification

B&Q, the UK’s largest home improvement retailer is delighted to announce that it has gained a chain-of-custody certification for both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC), effective beginning of July 2008. The award has followed a strict audit of B&Q’s procurement and handling of certified wood products by the SmartWood programme of the Rainforest Alliance.

Chain-of-custody records the path wood products take from the forest to the final consumer. It includes all stages of manufacture, transportation and distribution and identifies the movement of the product from one link in the supply chain to the next. It is achieved by each link in the chain having a management system that can demonstrate how certified wood products are identified and controlled throughout the time that the product is in ownership. Therefore B&Q can now ensure that all their certified wood and paper products come from either proven, well-managed forests or recycled material according to the requirements of the FSC or PEFC schemes.

The awarding of the chain-ofcustody certification follows a long history of sustainability at B&Q, which began in the early nineties when the retailer became a founding member of the FSC through to January 2008 when B&Q announced that all of its kitchens are FSC certified. B&Q is proud to assure its customers that every purchase that bears the chainof- custody certification has been produced in such a way as to avoid wood from areas where the management practices damage ancient forests, harm wildlife or jeopardise the future of the people whose lives depend on the forest.

New environmental regulations in the construction industry make it ever more important for tradespeople to prove they are using sustainable materials for building projects and B&Q’s new chain-of-custody accreditation brings real benefits for its customers who can now point to B&Q’s FSC certification for their clients. In addition, local authorities are able to purchase from B&Q in the knowledge that many of the materials they need come from well-managed forest sources.

Diarmuid Walsh, Director of Building and Decorative for B&Q said: Sustainability has always been hugely important to us and we are delighted to see that our efforts to gain the certification have paid off. We are passionate about using responsibly sourced materials wherever possible and I am pleased we can now make the promise that the wood our customers purchase at B&Q has been sourced from wellmanaged forests.

Charles Thwaites, Executive Director, Forest Stewardship Council UK added: B&Q has been a valued supporter of FSC for many years, both through the promotion of FSCcertified timber products within their stores and for the financial contributions they have made to us as a charity. Achieving their chain-ofcustody certificate, which requires much hard work and dedication from a large number of staff, is yet more proof of the company’s commitment to sourcing timber from responsibly managed forests. I congratulate all those involved.

Rainforest Alliance SmartWood auditors visited numerous B&Q stores, questioned its employees’ timber-related knowledge and probed, first-hand, the resilience of its management systems. All PEFC and FSC materials sold under B&Q’s chain-of-custody will be identifiable and reportable and team members will be trained in chain-of-custody procedures in line with the requirements of the appropriate standards. Every time a customer buys a product that contains certified timber, B&Q’s unique chain-ofcustody certification code will appear on the receipt next to the item.

For more information visit www.trade.co.uk

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