Bunnings is leading the push to certify Australia’s supply chain for forest products, with the country’s largest timber retailer ensuring all products from natural forests sold in stores are PEFC, Responsible Wood, or FSC certified.
In 2020, Bunnings delivered on a commitment to ensure that all timber products from natural forests were “fully certified”, and according to Responsible Woods Sustainability Manager Matt de Jongh the hardware giant has the power to “drive the market demand for sustainably sourced timber products.”
As identified in its “Timber Sourcing Policy”, Bunnings reports that “99% of their whole timber product sourced from low-risk plantation, independently certified, or other legally verified forest operations.”
Last week, Mr de Jongh met with stakeholders from Bunnings as part of a week-long visit, which included visiting sites in Perth and Burberry.
It comes as Bunnings strengthens its stranglehold over the Australian timber supply chain.
In September, Wood Central reported that Bunnings is investing $75 million to develop new plants to manufacture timber wall frames and roof trusses, which will see it become the country’s most significant truss and frame manufacturer.
It also actively participates in the Standard Reference Committee for the Australia and New Zealand Standard Sustainable Forest Management (AS 4708), which Australian and New Zealand companies use to make PEFC and Responsible Wood claims.
Published in December 2021, “Responsible Wood certificate holders have until March 10, next year, to fully transition to the new standard.”
Supporting the Bunnings visit, Mr de Jongh met with Responsible Wood-certified Wespine, the Forest Products Commission (FPC), the Western Australian Plantation Resources, as well as the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and Source Certain.
The whirlwind trip saw Mr de Jong visit the Perth-based Source Certain laboratory, underpinning the importance of traceability of provenance given the increasing threat of conflict timber and illegal logging infiltrating global supply chains for forest products.
In late 2021, Source Certain, in collaboration with World Forest ID, conducted a pilot program to determine how science can verify the prominence of teak from the Solomon Islands.
“Responsible Wood places a strong emphasis on ensuring the traceability and provenance of timber products,” Mr de Jongh said before adding, “Knowing where your timber comes from is a fundamental aspect of responsible sourcing.”
He also examined pine plantation, karri, and jarrah thinning trials courtesy of Wespine, FPC, and DBCA.
“These trials provide essential insights into the long-term sustainability of timber resources,” Mr de Jongh said, “which preserve our natural environment while meeting the demands of a growing timber industry.”
Whilst in Bunbury, he conducted a workshop with the WA’s largest plantation forest, Western Australian Plantation Resources (WAPRES), which underpinned the importance of “education and collaboration as the key drivers of change in the timber industry.”