Responsible Wood Sourcing

Natural and old growth forests are important to sustain life on Earth, and Lowe’s is committed to preserving them. Since 2000, we’ve partnered with our suppliers to support the protection and conservation of forests. Guided by our wood pol­icy, we seek to ensure that all wood products sold in our stores are harvested responsibly from well-managed, “non-endangered” forests.

A significant majority of the wood we pur­chase comes from North American forests, which are some of the most responsibly managed in the world. An important aspect of our policy is deter­mining which forests are “endangered” and require protection. Our goal is to avoid any wood in our products being sourced from endangered forests.

There is no single definition of an “endangered” forest, though terms such as “threatened” and “high conservation value” are used interchangeably. We consider the following to be characteris­tics of endangered forests:

  • Forest types that cannot regenerate either with or without human intervention
  • Forests in areas experiencing high rates of illegal logging (har­vesting taking place in violation of local laws or regulations, or where traditional land rights are not yet settled)
  • Forests in countries experiencing political or social unrest and where forest resources are used to fund armed conflict
  • Forests where harvesting leads to the local extinction of indigenous species

Since 2003, Lowe’s has required suppliers to report information on the source of their wood, including where the wood was harvested, the wood species, whether it has sustainable forest certification and the volume purchased.

We maintain a responsible wood sourcing database and publish a Wood Sourcing report every two years. Our latest report is incorporated in our 2013 Social Responsibility Report. Our 2014 report will be published on our website during 2015.

Canadian Boreal Forest
Canada’s boreal forest stretches nearly coast to coast and offers a wealth of natural resources for recreation, habitat and renewable wood products. Balancing these sometimes competing priorities can be challenging, but Lowe’s has been involved early on through the Boreal Business Forum (connected to the Canadian Boreal Initiative) to encourage a landscape approach to forest management that includes a broad stakeholder range, including First Nations, provincial governments, environmental groups and forest products companies.

This initiative is attempting to influence policy and practice on a national scale, and we remain encouraged about current and future progress.

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Responsible Wood Sourcing

Guided by our wood policy, we seek to ensure that all wood products sold in our stores are harvested responsibly from well-managed, ‘non-endangered’ forests.

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