Our performance

five year environment strategy
Legal and responsible sourcing

As set out in our Five-year environmental strategy, we are committed to sourcing legal and sustainable timber products and to continuously increase the proportion of third-party certified and legally verified material in our supply chain.


We set a target of 70% of all purchasing by 2018, which we have already met and will make continuous efforts to maintain. In 2017, our focus will remain on West/Central Africa and Chinese flooring, where some of the greatest challenges to certification remain. This will require collaboration with sustainability thought-leaders within the industry and NGO community.


Our performance has earned us a 3 tree score in WWF’s GFTN’s Scorecard Timber (September 2015), an important initiative by WWF to assess the progress towards sustainability by the timber industry. A review will be repeated in 2017 and 2019.


Change in proportion of certified and legally verified timber 2013-2016


  Certified & verified FSC® certified PEFC certified Legally verified* Non–certified
2016 71.7% 45.7% 21.6% 4.4% 28.8%
2015 67.2% 41.7% 25.0% <1% 32.8%
2014 61.7% 45.8% 14.8% 1.1% 38.3%
2013 51.7% 31.3% 18.4% 1.0% 49.1%

*Legally verified schemes identified in our Responsible Purchasing Policy.




71.2% of timber and timber products purchased was third-party certified or legally verified, surpassing our target of 70% by 2018. A significant increase of legally verified timber from <1% in 2015 to 4.4% is attributed to changes in our African hardwood imports.


Of the 28.8% of non-certified timber purchased, 55% (16% of total purchases) originate from countries with good forest governance such as USA, Canada, UK and France. A further 21% (6% of total purchases) was imported directly from suppliers with whom we have engaged extensively to ensure legality, in accordance with our due diligence system and where certification is not currently a viable option.


Our due diligence initiatives include visits to Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Republic of Congo to audit our suppliers, inspecting from sawmill back to forest origin. We have conducted training and audited our supplier in China, with the support of third-party legality experts.




67.2% of timber and timber products purchased was third-party certified or legally verified, making solid progression towards our target of 70% by 2018. 66.7% was either FSC or PEFC certified, up 6% from the previous year. Large growth in PEFC certified products is attributed to the acquisition of our Sewstern depot, which sources primarily British and European timber.


Our Responsible Purchasing Policy  was revised in February to reflect our revised approach to due diligence and reviewed the certification schemes that we recognise; we maintain a clear preference for FSC® and PEFC but also recognise the importance of legality verification schemes as a stepping stone towards sustainability.


As part of our due diligence work, we initiated a programme of product testing on selected products to verify species and origin claims.



60.6% of purchases were either FSC or PEFC certified, and a further 1% was legally verified. A strong focus on FSC, particularly in tropical hardwoods, has significantly increased our overall certified percentage from 49.8% in 2013. We introduced a certified-only policy on Brazilian Ipe.


We have updated our Due Diligence System to ensure our compliance with the EU Timber Regulation. We visited our supplier in Indonesia and China, conducted audits and liaised with stakeholders and timber legality experts.


To head our new Environmental Compliance division, we hired a Group Environmental Compliance Manager in March 2014, bringing expertise in timber legality and certification. Further hiring of an Assistant with chain of custody experience in 2015 has provided additional support to this important area of work.


We actively participate in stakeholder meetings and consultations, which enable us to stay abreast of the latest developments while also contributing to strengthening the forest certification systems that we use.


Since June 2014, Brooks Bros has sat on the  TTF Forests Forever Environmental Committee , which plays a key role in shaping the TTF’s strategy and industry leadership on wider sustainability issues. In 2016, this included an overhaul of the RPP.


Last updated: 31st January 2017