This past month Greenpeace published a two-year investigation on predatory and illegal logging in the Amazon. The study demonstrated that Brazil’s system for documenting the “chain of custody” of timber is broken. The system fails to offer any guarantees of the origin of timber and our study explains some of the reasons behind the high levels of illegal logging in places like Para State (where and estimated 78% of logging is illegal). Several U.S. companies are named for having bought wood from sources in the Amazon with ties to illegal logging, including International Forest Products, Advantage Lumber, Timber Holdings USA and Lumber Liquidators.
It seems that Lumber Liquidators may have heard your voices come through. The company has reached out to Greenpeace directly and announced on its website last week that it will be holding a workshop with its senior leadership on its sustainability policies.
Developing new sustainability policies or updating existing ones does not happen over night. If Lumber Liquidators is going to walk the walk, it will need to outline specific principles and criteria for its sourcing and monitor its supply chain in a comprehensive and transparent way. Strong and well-implemented policies are not just important for complying with the law but are also important for the world’s forests and those that call them home. As with any major company with a large forest footprint, Greenpeace we will be watching this process closely.