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Position Statement-Wood Purchasing Policies

IWPA Position Statement

Wood Purchasing Policies

The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) and its Members want to ensure a future for tropical forests and the use of wood products. Buying and selling wood products contribute to improved forest health and management. Careful use of the forests must be promoted. In 1992, IWPA's Board of Directors recognized the need to promote industry's positive role in the forest and endorsed two policies for Members' voluntary use: Environmental Policies for Wood, and Purchasing Policies for Wood and Wood Products. IWPA and its Members are committed to sustainable forestry and have voluntarily subscribed to the policies below.


Environmental Policies for Wood

This company has a clear environmental policy and a clear environmental purchasing policy for wood and wood products. The environmental policy is based on two founding principles: Forests, forest functions and products, including woods, contribute to human well-being worldwide.

Every country, including the USA must value its forests and strive for equity in access to the benefits which forests provide. The ultimate responsibility for forest policy lies with the sovereign Government and people of individual forested countries. They have the task of balancing environmental, economic, social and political needs. Nevertheless, this Company believes that the U.S. timber industry has a responsibility to its customer, suppliers and staff to base its commercial activities on properly managed forests. In acknowledging these principles:

  • This Company is committed to sustainable forest management. It promotes efforts to achieve the fastest practicable progress towards environmentally sound permanent forest management worldwide.

  • This Company supports responsible national and international efforts which focus attention on the various threats to the world's productive forests.

  • This Company encourages the use of wood as an environmentally acceptable and renewable material and is constantly seeking beneficial ways to reduce wood waste and to utilize residues. In relation to tropical forests this Company asks suppliers to show evidence that they and their respective Governments are undertaking practical measures to implement the ITTO Objective 2000; and urges the U.S. Government to maintain and increase aid and other positive assistance to those tropical countries which are endeavoring to implement the ITTO "Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests."

  • This Company expects to review and extend this policy as deemed necessary. 

Purchasing Policy for Wood & Wood Products

  • This Company will seek the clearest practical information regarding product sources. At a minimum, this will include country of origin.

  • This Company will also seek evidence of good practice and forest management from all suppliers of wood products. Labels or certificates warranting sustainability will not be acceptable unless they have the approval of the Forestry Department/Ministry of source countries which have established comprehensive national forestry action plans, or until such time as an internationally acceptable criteria for sustainability is established by a recognized authority.

  • This Company will give preference to suppliers of all wood products from sources providing information on good silviculture and logging practices, and which are operating within the forestry laws of the country concerned. Specifically with respect to tropical wood products, this Company will give preference to purchases from countries demonstrating commitment to, and the implementation of, Objective 2000 and implementation of "Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests," of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

  • This Company subscribes to the evolution of more efficient use of the forest resources and the wood derived from them. In this respect it supports concepts of using a wider variety of species when silviculturally and ecologically appropriate and making greater economic and practical use of raw material including residues and waste.

  • This Company expects to review and extend this policy as deemed necessary.

[Learn more about ITTO]

Adopted by IWPA Board of Directors, 1992

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