NWF Releases 2010 Garden Furniture Scorecard

Sustainable Buys Are More Widely Available Than Ever

05-25-2010 // George Ho

The summer heat is coming, and American families are preparing for long warm nights on the patio or in the backyard by purchasing new outdoor furniture. To ensure responsible consumers can keep buying green, National Wildlife Federation has released its fourth annual garden furniture scorecard, a buyer’s guide to products that come from well-managed tropical forests.


“The scorecard is a clear and essential guide for people to make earth-friendly furniture purchases for their garden or backyard,” said Stacy Brown, Northeast Forest Climate Manager at National Wildlife Federation.


Tropical timber, prized for its durability and aesthetic value, is used in the vast majority of garden furniture products available in U.S. stores. However, illegal logging and destructive forest management practices to produce outdoor furniture continue to harm many endangered tropical forests and is a major cause of tropical deforestation. Illegal logging and over-extraction is occurring in at least 70 countries, and accounts for approximately half of all traded timber production in tropical forest nations.

National Wildlife Federation supports the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system, which offers the most rigorous system for distinguishing sustainable wood products.


Every year, tens of millions of acres of tropical forests rapidly disappear around the globe, threatening wildlife dependent on that habitat, displacing human communities, and exacerbating global warming by adding pollution and limiting carbon sequestration,” said Brown. “Ongoing deforestation of tropical forests contributes about 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions – equal to that of the total global transport sector.”


This year’s rankings include more companies than ever rated at four or five stars, reflecting an expansive variety of green options for garden furniture.


Four companies have earned five starsThe Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Target and Jensen Leisure Furniture—for having carefully chosen garden furniture for the 2010 season so that 100 percent of tropical wood used in products is FSC-certified or involved in a program committed to FSC-certification.


Another nine companies have achieved four stars: Gardener’s Supply Company, Cost Plus World Market, Crate & Barrel, IKEA, Kmart, LL Bean, Lowe’s, Sears and Wal-Mart.

“As the scorecard results this year demonstrate, it has never been easier to support tropical forest conservation and forest-dependent communities when buying garden furniture,” said Corey Brinkema, president of FSC-US.


As Americans we buy more wood and paper products than any other country in the world, and are thus given an opportunity to play a significant role in helping to protect forest ecosystems and the wildlife and people who depend on them,” added Brown.


To learn more about the scorecard please visit: http://www.nwf.org/gardenfurniture.


To locate retailers of various types of FSC-certified wood products, including building materials, paper and furniture visit: http://www.fscus.org/productsearch/retailers/.  


National Wildlife Federation's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. Visit www.nwf.org.

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