Council achieves WWF award for sustainable timber purchasing

The City of Edinburgh Council has been recognised by WWF for work done to ensure timber and wood products it purchases come from sustainable sources that protect the world’s forests and the local communities they support.

This week the Council was awarded a WWF silver pledge award based on evidence that in two major projects, the Royal Commonwealth Pool and the East Neighbourhood Office and Library, the timber used came only from legal and sustainable sources.

In its report WWF said: "Edinburgh are extremely good at setting out requirements, making sure contractors and suppliers understand and can meet their requirements, and liaising with all relevant stakeholders".

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Environment Convener, said: "As a Council we spend a vast amount of money on timber and wood products for our schools, offices, libraries, care homes and other facilities. It's vitally important to know that what we buy is coming from sustainable sources that will help protect the world's forests for future generations.

"I'm delighted WWF have awarded us a silver pledge award. We are determined to continue to meet the highest possible environmental standards and so we'll be going for gold in the future."

In January the Council became the first Scottish local authority to make a gold pledge committing the Council and its contractors to fully implementing the City's Sustainable Timber Policy. This ensures that all timber and wood products come from legal and sustainable forests and that comprehensive timber monitoring is in place.

WWF's local authority sustainable timber procurement pledge scheme forms part of the 'What Wood You Choose?' campaign which works with local authorities to protect the world's forests and the local communities they support.

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland added: "It is great news that the City of Edinburgh Council has managed to achieve its silver pledge. Staff have shown that by ensuring they are better aware of where products made from wood have come from, they can help people and wildlife in parts of the world where illegal and unsustainable logging is devastating the environment."

WWF research shows that many local authorities are unaware that the source of the timber they use could be supporting the unsustainable and illegal timber trade. This threatens rainforests, and contributes to illegal logging resulting in habitat loss for species such as orangutans, and threatening the livelihood and well being of communities who rely on the forests in places such as Indonesia and the Congo Basin.

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