Our timber policy guide


Timber sourcing, particularly of tropical hardwoods used in garden furniture, is a sensitive issue because of the role forests play in providing habitats for plants and animals and a livelihood for many communities. Additionally, the role of forests in helping to combat climate change by absorbing carbon means that forests need to be carefully managed. Because forest management standards vary, we believe that FSC certification is the best way to ensure that essential high standards are applied, regardless of where timber is sourced.

Sourcing certified timber

Forest certification is growing; however, at the moment only 5%
of global timber production is independently certified by the FSC. Other forest certification systems do exist, but FSC has the highest standards and carries out the most rigorous checking of the full supply chain. It’s also the only scheme endorsed by the major environmental groups, including WWF, Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust.

Retailers and customers can help by increasing demand for certified timber, particularly for tropical hardwoods which are used extensively in garden furniture, but it can take years to bring forest management practices up to the required standard. By supporting those suppliers who have worked or are willing to work actively towards certification, we are able to help to raise forestry standards and increase the availability of certified timber.


What is John Lewis doing to encourage good practice?

As you would expect, we take our responsibility for sourcing timber seriously.  John Lewis only sources garden furniture timber from sustainable sources, and since our 2011 season 100% of the outdoor furniture ranges we've bought are FSC-certified, a standard we've been working towards since 2003.

Through our work we've learned that moving towards FSC certification is not just about improving forest management standards, it's also about improving information management systems, so that the origin of every product can be traced, and that at every point in the supply chain it can be proved that the timber has been traded in accordance with national forestry laws and standards.


Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

More information

Please visit our website www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk (opens in a new window), where you can also download our latest Corporate Social Responsibility report. More general information on responsible timber sourcing can be found at the following sites: