UK Timber Policy

Last updated: 15/06/2017


The increasing demand for timber and timber products is putting significant pressure on forest resources and is driving deforestation in some of the most sensitive regions of the world. The UK is one of the largest consumers of timber in the EU, with the vast majority of our timber from imports.

As part of the Consumer Goods Forum, we have pledged to contribute to achieving zero net deforestation by 2020. Ensuring the timber and paper used in our products is from a legal and sustainable sources is key to this. 

Timber sourcing

Finding solutions to the causes of deforestation requires action beyond our own supply chains, working with others to combine our efforts and leverage and accelerate change.

Through the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) we have worked to develop Paper, Pulp & Packaging guidelines which are aligned to our own responsible sourcing objectives.

In 2014, we joined the WWF-UK timber campaign and committed to sourcing 100% sustainable timber by 2020 and engaging with policy makers to ensure that the legal framework governing timber in the UK is robust and effective.


  • By 2020, all our own label wood and paper products will be made from recycled wood/paper or from forest sources that are independently certified to a credible sustainability standard (currently FSC or PEFC).
  • Where recycled/certified wood or paper is not available, sources must meet legal standards in accordance with Tesco Minimum Standards for Wood/Wood Products, verified by an expert independent 3rd party, pending the development of a certified source.
  • All high-risk tropical hardwood used in our products must already be FSC certified or from sources having a memorandum of understanding with the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT). All Tesco wooden garden furniture is FSC certified or from a forest working with TFT to achieve a credible forest certification.


  • We currently sell a wide range of certified products currently including:
    • Household tissues such as toilet tissues, kitchen towel, facial tissues and wipes
    • All Tesco garden furniture
    • BBQ briquettes
    • Stationary products such as notebooks, writing pads, computer paper, cards and envelopes, puzzle books, printer/computer paper
    • Wooden frames, card games
    • Wooden toys
  • Reporting against our 2020 commitment, as of summer 2017 approximately 70% of our UK own label products which contain wood, paper, pulp or cellulosic fibres (of which there over 3,400) were FSC/PEFC certified.

In addition:

  • The six million till rolls we use per year in the UK are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Fibre Sourcing Policy for Man Made Cellulosic Fabrics

In line with our 2020 commitment described above, Tesco is also committed to working with industry and stakeholders to develop sustainable supply chains for cellulosic fibres. Man-made cellulosic fibres are derived from wood pulp and have a wide range of product applications for clothing and textiles used across our business, including Viscose filament, Viscose staple fibre, Rayon, Lyocell, Tencel®(Lyocell), Modal and Micro Modal. We will begin this work with cellulosic fibres used in our clothing business.

To do this we will:

  1. Map the use of cellulose based fabrics within our clothing supply chain.
  2. Support Canopy to achieve its objectives of working to eliminate, by 2017, fabrics made of dissolving pulp sourced from:
    a. Endangered species habitat and ancient and endangered forests[1] areas such as the Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests; Coastal Temperate Rainforests; tropical forests and peatlands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa.
    b. Controversial sources, including from companies that are logging forests illegally, from tree plantations established through the conversion of natural forests; or from areas being logged in contravention of indigenous peoples’ rights.
    c. Companies that do not acknowledge the rights of First Nations, indigenous, and communities’ rights to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) before new logging rights are allocated or plantations are developed, and remediate human rights violations through a transparent, accountable, and agreeable dispute resolution process.
    d. Harvesting not certified to a credible independent, third party standard.
  3. Collaborate with Canopy to encourage the exploration and support development of fibre sources that reduce environmental and social impacts for example agricultural residues such as flax, bagasse nor hemp), and support collaborative and visionary solutions that protect these remaining ancient and endangered forests, like the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement[2] in North America’s coastal rainforests.
  4. Should we find that any of our fabrics are being sourced from ancient and endangered forests or controversial sources, or are in other way in contravention with this policy, we will engage our suppliers to change practices and/or re-evaluate our relationship with them.

In line with our commitments described above:

  • We have mapped the use of cellulose based fabrics within our clothing supply chain.
    • Approximately 7% of our textile products are currently made of viscose, whether as part of a blend with other fibres or as the sole constituent.
  • We have reviewed the current performance of viscose suppliers within our supply chain to identify those that are committed to developing sustainable supply chains for cellulosic fibres, in alignment with Canopy principles and our own Wood and Paper sourcing policy.
    • Approximately 87% of the viscose sourced for F&F clothing currently originates from the top 10 global viscose producers that have already committed to the Canopy programme.
  • We will continue to support the Canopy Programme to ensure our remaining viscose suppliers are able to meet Canopy’s principles and our own commitment to sustainable wood fibres, by 2020.


[1] Ancient and endangered forests are defined as intact forest landscape mosaics, naturally rare forest types, forest types that have been made rare due to human activity, and/or other forests that are ecologically critical for the protection of biological diversity. Ecological components of endangered forests are: Intact forest landscapes; Remnant forests and restoration cores; Landscape connectivity; Rare forest types; Forests of high species richness; Forests containing high concentrations of rare and endangered species; Forests of high endemism; Core habitat for focal species; Forests exhibiting rare ecological and evolutionary phenomena. As a starting point to geographically locate ancient and endangered forests, maps of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF), as defined by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and of intact forest landscapes (IFL), can be used and paired with maps of other key ecological values like the habitat range of key endangered species and forests containing high concentrations of terrestrial carbon and High Carbon Stocks (HCS). (The Wye River Coalition’s Endangered Forests: High Conservation Value Forests Protection – Guidance for Corporate Commitments. This has been reviewed by conservation groups, corporations, and scientists such as Dr. Jim Stritholtt, President and Executive Director of the Conservation Biology Institute, and has been adopted by corporations for their forest sourcing policies). Key endangered forests globally are the Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests; Coastal Temperate Rainforests of British Columbia, Alaska and Chile; Tropical forests and peat lands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa. For more information on the definitions of ancient and endangered forests, please go to:

[2] Conservation solutions are now finalized in the Great Bear Rainforest, located in coastal temperate rainforests that originally covered 0.2% of the planet, and where now less than 25% of the original forests remain. On February 1st, 2016 the Government of British Columbia, First Nations, environmental organizations and the forest industry announced 38% protection in the Great Bear Rainforest and an ecosystem-based management approach that will see 85% of this region off limits to logging.  Provided these agreements hold – sustainable sourcing has been accomplished in this ancient and endangered forest. We encourage ongoing verification of this through renewal of Forest Stewardship Council certification.


For more information contact our corporate responsibility team -