Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores has joined the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), organized through the World Wildlife Fund’s initiative, and dedicated to saving the world’s most valuable and threatened forests.
In joining the GFTN, Wal-Mart has made a commitment to phase out illegal and unwanted wood sources from its supply chain and to increase procurement of wood products from credibly certified sources.
Wal-Mart said its commitment to forestry preservation includes the importation and sale of all wood-based products and the initial focus is on wood-based furniture sold in its U.S. stores. Wal-Mart sources furniture from the Amazon, Russian Far East, northern China, Indonesia, and the Mekong region of southeast Asia. These areas include some of the most biologically diverse places on earth, places that WWF is working to protect.
In the coming year, Wal-Mart plans to complete an assessment of where its wood products are sourced and whether that wood production is legal and well-managed. The retailer is committed to eliminating wood sourcing from illegal or unknown sources within five years. Additionally, Wal-Mart will not procure wood from forests that are deemed to be of critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, biodiversity or landscape values.
In a similar move earlier this year, Wal-Mart collaborated with the WWF, and committed that within four years all of the wild-caught salmon seafood sold in its U.S. stores would come from sources certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.