“Companies with genuinely responsible timber sourcing strategies – based on clear commitments and public reporting – have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.”

– Alistair Monument, WWF Forest Practice Lead

 

OVERVIEW

Retail companies with strong responsible forest products sourcing policies are building better relationships with both consumers and employees, and seeing numerous business benefits, according to WWF latest Study (2017).

 

THE TOP IMPACTS OF RESPONSIBLE SOURCING OF FOREST PRODUCTS

Risk Management and Brand Reputation

Responsible sourcing is especially useful for managing risks around brand value and supply chain volatility. Over 80 per cent of companies surveyed by WWF reported positive impacts on risk management and brand reputation. These benefits are attained through greater transparency in supply chains and establishing longer-term relationships with trusted suppliers.

Stakeholder Management

Demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and social values through responsible sourcing helped companies gain and maintain customers’ trust. Over 60 per cent of retailers saw positive impacts on customer satisfaction and stakeholder engagement.

Potential Productivity Gains Through Employee Satisfaction

Over 70 per cent of retailers claimed sustainability commitments had a positive impact on employee engagement, indicating potential gains from higher employee satisfaction and retention.

 

WHY IT MATTERS

While RAFT’s work focuses on producers and manufacturers of wood and paper products, we recognize the important role that consumers, and large retailers in particular, have in creating demand and incentives for better practices in the forests and factories that supply them.

 

WHAT RAFT IS DOING

RAFT provides the supply-side capacity building, technical support and networking opportunities to help Asia Pacific suppliers meet their buyers’ responsible sourcing needs. This includes creating opportunities for increased dialogue between retailers in major wood and paper products markets and their suppliers about their legality and sustainability requirements, and connecting buyers directly with suppliers who can meet their responsible sourcing needs.

As a growing number of retailers begin to introduce responsible sourcing policies, there is a need to ground these ambitions in the realities of the forests and plantations that are needed to make them work. RAFT helps retailers translate these policies into the responsible supply chains they are designed to ensure.