Builders pressured into saving world’s tropical

Construction authorities in the UK are being encouraged to use only certified sustainable timber in all building work they commission.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 27, 2003

Construction authorities in the UK are being encouraged to use only certified sustainable timber in all building work they commission. A nationwide campaign has been launched by the country’s construction workers’ union UCATT and environmental campaign group Greenpeace aimed at forcing local authorities, housing associations and central government to stop the use of illegal tropical timber. Britain is currently the largest importer of illegal tropical timber in Europe and 70% of all timber bought into the UK is used by the construction industry. Local authorities, housing associations and central government are being targeted by the campaign because they collectively account for 40% of all commissioned construction projects. “If we can persuade these three client groups to use only timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council we can transform the timber market in Britain and directly halt many illegal logging operations in the world’s rainforests,” said George Brumwell, General Secretary of UCATT. “That is what is so exciting and that is why Britain’s building workers are going into partnership with Greenpeace. I believe this campaign really will make a difference.”

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