The Forest Friendly Furniture Guide

Feature story - February 7, 2008
Ever wonder where your beautiful BBQ table came from? Greenpeace NZ along with the Indonesia Human Rights Committee has released a new ‘Guide to Forest Friendly Outdoor Furniture Retailers‘. It shows that the majority of outdoor timber furniture sold in New Zealand is contributing to the destruction of tropical forests in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Forest friendly furniture purchasing guide.

The Guide ranks 19 leading outdoor furniture retailers in New Zealand on their policies and practice on eliminating the sale of timber products that are from illegal and destructive sources. The top four retailers on the scorecard are The Warehouse (1st), Briscoes (2nd), Bunnings (3rd) and Mitre 10 (4th). Mr Kwila (18th) and Design Warehouse in Auckland (19th) were at the bottom of the table.

Currently New Zealand timber retailers are a law unto themselves, there are no government regulations in place to stop illegal and destructive rainforest timber from entering the market place.

Some companies are voluntarily acting to protect the world's remaining forests so we give them a big thumbs up but Government laws are needed to force the lazy companies to stop importing destructively logged timber.

The worst wood on the market which is used extensively for both outdoor furniture and decking is the tropical timber kwila, (also known as Merbau), virtually all kwila on the market is from illegal sources in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

People don't realise that the timber furniture they're buying could be pushing tropical forests, indigenous communities, the climate and unique animals like the orangutan to the brink of extinction.

Our new guide aims to help people choose furniture that is not from destructive sources.

Approximately NZ$20 million of kwila decking and outdoor furniture is imported into New Zealand every year and this amount is increasing.

Say no to kwila when you next go shopping for outdoor furniture or timber, there are alternatives; ask for 'Good Wood' products made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or verified legal wood, and buy NZ made if possible.

Much of it comes from Indonesia where forests are being logged faster than any other forested nation. Globally deforestation contributes approximately 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.


Download the guide and use it if you need to buy any outdoor furniture


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