Bunnings - Nature and biodiversity
As a leading retailer of home improvement and outdoor living products, Bunnings’ goal is to ensure all timber and wood products originate from legal and well-managed forest operations.
To reduce the risks associated with uncertified natural forest timber procurement, in August 2018 Bunnings revised its Responsible Timber Sourcing Policy (Policy) to require all natural forest timber products to be independently certified to Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or other equivalent standard by the end of 2020.
During the year, Bunnings continued to work closely with seven remaining suppliers that were subsequently granted an extension to Bunnings’ December 2020 Policy requirements. These suppliers were required to demonstrate progress towards achieving the requirements of the Policy. At the end of June 2022, six of these suppliers either achieved certification for their products or met provisionally approved conditions with actions plans and milestones to achieve certification. Bunnings discontinued its trading relationship with one supplier due to its lack of progress towards meeting Bunnings’ Policy requirements.
During the year, Bunnings continued to further implement its due diligence process to monitor timber supplier performance in accordance with its Policy, with the frequency of timber supplier surveys increasing to quarterly over the course of the year. Bunnings’ responsible timber sourcing survey is completed by suppliers of timber, wood or fibre products to Bunnings, and captures the timber species, country of harvest, forest type, country of manufacture, applicable timber certification, and product claims for timber products, including component and composite products which have a percentage of timber inputs.
In March 2022, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, global timber certification schemes the FSC® and PEFC reclassified Russian and Belarussian timber and later timber from conflict zones in Ukraine, as conflict timber and excluded it from their certification schemes. In line with this and Bunnings’ Policy to not accept conflict timber, Bunnings notified affected suppliers that any timber or timber products sourced from Russia, Belarus and conflict areas of Ukraine would be excluded from Bunnings’ supply chain. Bunnings is working closely with a small number of affected suppliers to transition to alternative sources as soon as practicable.
During the year, as a key stakeholder representing the National Retail Association, Bunnings actively participated in the Responsible Wood AS/NZS 4708 Sustainable Forest Management Standards Reference Committee, with the new version of the standard issued in December 2021. This joint New Zealand and Australian Standard® for Sustainable Forest Management provides forest managers with economic, social, environmental and cultural criteria and requirements that support management of forests for products and services.
In the year ahead, Bunnings will be focused on investigating the expansion of its Responsible Sourcing Program beyond timber, and has commenced a materiality assessment of relevant raw material commodities in Bunnings’ supply chains for this purpose. The assessment is intended to identify raw materials that are subject to emerging global environmental or social concerns, particularly around extraction and harvesting impacts. Bunnings anticipates the output of this assessment will assist the development of a roadmap for the phased introduction of increased responsible sourcing oversight for key raw materials.