July 06, 2020

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Lowe’s Unveils Unprecedented Business Initiative To Help Protect World’s Forests

Submitted by: Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Categories: Environment

Posted: Aug 08, 2000 – 12:00 AM EST


Collaboration with Environmentalists and Wood Suppliers Sets Company as Global Leader in Responsible Wood Sourcing; Company Creates Healthy Forests Advisory Board

Aug. 08 /CSRwire/ - Lowe’s Companies, Inc., the world’s second largest home improvement retailer, today released the details of its landmark lumber and wood product procurement policy aimed at helping protect the world’s threatened forests. The company has committed to overhaul the sourcing of lumber and wood in the products it sells while proactively engaging its wood suppliers and governments to take immediate steps towards the permanent protection of critical forest areas.

"Our new environmental policy represents a major victory for the forests and our customers," said Bob Tillman, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. "Our customers expect Lowe’s to deliver the best quality lumber and wood products that have been responsibly harvested and produced by our suppliers."

"In developing our policy, Lowe’s pursued what some in the industry may consider an unconventional approach," added Mark Kauffman, Lowe’s senior vice president of Merchandising. "We worked closely with the environmental and scientific communities as well as our suppliers and facilitated a number of first-ever meetings between these groups."

Today’s announcement is the culmination of a multi-stepped corporate initiative to bring together environmental organizations, including Rainforest Action Network and the World Resources Institute (WRI), wood suppliers, governments and industry organizations. Lowe’s has taken an active role in encouraging industry and government negotiations with groups working to protect endangered forests in areas including the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and the Southeastern U.S.

"The end result was a more balanced policy and what we hope will be a major turning point for environmental discussions in the U.S.," added Kauffman.

Under the Environmental Policy, Lowe’s will:

  • Aggressively phase out the purchase of wood products from endangered forests as these areas are identified and mapped. This includes an immediate ban on wood coming from the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia;
  • Work with suppliers to encourage the maintenance of natural forests and environmentally responsible forest practices;
  • Give preference to the procurement of wood products from independently certified well-managed forests. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is currently the company’s preferred certification system, and FSC certification will be given preference over other certification systems;
  • Work with our customers to increase the efficiency of wood use, including the promotion of wood reuse, recycling and advanced framing techniques;
  • Work with our suppliers to increase the procurement of quality recycled, engineered and alternative products (when their environmental benefits are clearly demonstrated), including alternative fiber and tree-free paper products for printing and packaging.

Lowe’s has already taken a number of important steps to become the industry leader in implementing responsible wood purchasing. The company recently eliminated ramin dowels sourced from Indonesia from its inventory and converted to a domestic poplar species.

Lowe’s also announced the formation of a "Healthy Forests Advisory Board," which will help guide the company through its policy implementation process and provide counsel on general forestry issues. The Advisory Board will include environmental groups, environmental scientists, suppliers, certifiers and buyer groups. The Board’s first actions will be to address a number of on-going environmental issues, such as the conversion of Southern forests to pine plantations, commercial logging in U.S. National Forests and illegal logging concerns in certain foreign countries.

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