2017 was a big year for Oak Furnitureland in terms of progressing our sustainable sourcing goals. We achieved and exceeded our Bronze standards for sustainability, and are currently working at Silver standard levels, ahead of our expected schedule. Other highlights include:
- Mapping of our entire global supply chain to achieve full transparency
- Achievement of a fully traceable, legal and non-controversial timber sourcing on a global level
- Completion of site visits to all timber sources confirming that they are working to our Silver standard with responsible and sustainable sourcing
- Awarded a one-tree rating on the WWF’s Timber Scorecard
- Further strengthening of our relationships with the FSC, WWF, and other key sustainability organisations
- Investment in and focus on our European timber sources who have achieved FSC certification
Oak Furnitureland is committed to reporting publicly on our progress in line with the requirements of our Sustainable Timber Sourcing Policy. This statement covers:
- The timber we use in our furniture;
- The locations from which we source the timber for our furniture, and the associated supply chain;
- Responsible and sustainable sourcing in our transparent supply chain;
- The processes we have put in place in our supply chain to manage sustainability risks associated with timber sourcing, and;
- Our plans for 2018 in this area.
The timber we use in our furniture
Oak Furnitureland sells a wide range of different types of solid hardwood furniture, from large items such as wardrobes, beds and dining tables to smaller pieces such as wood-framed mirrors, TV units and bedside cabinets. As suggested by our name, the vast majority of our products are made of oak timber. However, we also have a small number of ranges that are made of acacia and mango wood, as well as other products such as sofas, mattresses, lamps and other accessories.
Supply chain information – sourcing and manufacturing locations
We manufacture our furniture in specialist factories in the UK, Vietnam, China and India, while our timber is imported from the USA, Europe, and sourced from within these countries.
In 2017, we successfully investigated and selected suppliers across our whole supply chain which reached and exceeded our Bronze standards of being fully traceable, legal, and non-controversial. Now we are working at our Silver standard levels with a responsibly and sustainably sourced timber supply.
This year, we continued to invest huge time and efforts into our European operations to help push them toward our Gold standard. We placed a particular focus on source forests, sawmills, and manufacturing, seeking and sourcing oak providers with FSC certification to advance our goals. We have made great progress to date, and although there is a limited number of FSC certified suppliers, we are actively working to expand this, and satisfy our entire global manufacturer’s supply.
Responsible and sustainable sourcing in our transparent supply chain
Our Sustainable Timber Sourcing Policy commits us to a process of continual improvement with the aim of increasing the proportion of our timber that is sourced from certified sources. Our ambition is to have a fully FSC certified supply chain by 2022. Less than 10 percent of forests worldwide are FSC certified*, which means there is a shortage of certified timber available. Consequently, we believe it is important that we take an active role in facilitating the FSC certification of more forests. This is important so we can hit our 2022 objective for the percentage of FSC certified furniture.
Managing risk in our supply chain
The majority of our furniture is manufactured in China, India, and Vietnam. We began work in 2016 to map our entire oak supply chain, and in 2017, we extended that work to a complete view of our entire end-to-end timber sourcing, from the forest to the factory floor. In 2017 we conducted site visits to every facility and supplier, investigating all links within the chain to make sure that they met our Silver standards. This has given us complete transparency of our timber sourcing, and allowed us to better engage with our suppliers in order to promote sustainable sourcing practices and further refine our risk assessment processes.
We undertake rigorous risk assessment of all our suppliers and require every shipment of furniture to be accompanied by documentation which traces the species, product information, source of the timber, and legality statements. To further support this we have commissioned an independent accredited laboratory to undertake isotope testing on samples of our furniture to verify their sources.
We also actively engage with external stakeholders, including NGOs (non-government organisations) such as the WWF, to help identify and then manage potential risks within our supply chain. This is key in helping us achieve our goals of sustainability.
This year, we were awarded a one-tree score from the WWF. As our relationship with the WWF deepens and we continue to progress in our sustainable sourcing we are in a strong position to improve this score further.
Our plans for 2018
The year ahead will be an exciting one for us which will see a continued focus on strengthening our engagement with timber sourcing partners, a further push towards certification, and enhancement of our due diligence. We specifically plan to:
- Prepare our application for FSC certification for our own operations;
- Undertake training to further enhance our staff’s understanding of the FSC standard;
- Employ an external Monitoring Organisation to audit our FSC application process;
- Continue to assist and guide our supply chain, including manufacturers, processors, saw mills, and forest owners to achieve FSC certification;
- Continue our engagement with WWF and other sustainable timber sourcing consultants to make sure we have the most up-to-date insight into best industry sustainability practices
Chief Executive Officer, JB Global