This week, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) have launched the Wood Furniture Scorecard, a comprehensive assessment of wood sourcing policies for over 50 of the largest furniture retailers in North America. Published on a dedicated website and available through both organizations, the scorecard covers publicly available information on how companies source virgin wood. It also evaluates company use of recycled and reclaimed wood.
Scorecard results include seven Top Scorers: ABC Carpet & Home, Williams-Sonoma Group, IKEA, Crate & Barrel, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, City Furniture and Target. Six companies earned Honorable Mentions and also two companies publically pledged to adopt comprehensive wood sourcing policies within a year in response to the Scorecard.
The Wood Furniture Scorecard was developed to promote good forest management, based on an understanding that the furniture industry might, knowingly or not, be using illegally logged and otherwise unsustainably produced wood within their extremely complex supply chains. The industry’s appetite for beautiful woods is especially important considering that the furnishings industry ranks as the third largest consumer of wood after the construction and paper industries. Deforestation and poor forest management are threats to wildlife species throughout the world as well as to clean water and climate security. Moreover, deforestation is on the radar screen of furniture consumers, 86 percent of whom described themselves as “very concerned” about global deforestation in a recent survey by Sustainable Furnishings Council.
The Wood Furniture Scorecard website gives consumers access to sustainability information on their favorite retailers and offers guidance and tools for companies to improve and implement their wood sourcing policies. Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said “the National Wildlife Federation and the Sustainable Furnishings Council are proud to elevate leaders in the sustainable furniture movement by highlighting the importance of responsible wood sourcing policies and giving consumers the tools they need to make environmentally conscious purchases. Through this project we hope to empower everyone shopping for wood furniture to buy wisely, vote with their wallet, and protect our world’s forest resources for future generations.”
Susan Inglis, Sustainable Furnishings Council’s Executive Director, comments “Sustainable Furnishings Council is committed to helping consumers find the more eco-friendly products they are looking for as they furnish their homes, and to helping furniture companies reduce their environmental footprint, despite the complexity of their supply chains. This scorecard serves our purpose, guiding shoppers to companies that are demonstrating leadership with a robust wood sourcing policy, and also encouraging more companies to enter that leadership circle. We are delighted to work with NWF to make this difference in keeping forests healthy."
Barbara Bramble, National Wildlife Federation’s Vice President of International Conservation and Corporate Strategy, comments: “At the National Wildlife Federation we have studied the negative impacts of deforestation on wildlife, climate and water security; and we are committed to helping consumers and companies shape a more sustainable furnishings industry. We have seen the power of market forces to shape industry practices, and we know that consumers appreciate transparency. During this project several companies have stepped up with new policies, responding to the call for responsible wood sourcing. We are thrilled to continue this collaboration with SFC.”