ATLANTA, Fa. — The Home Depot Foundation has awarded a two-year grant of $380,000 to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC-US) to develop a global forestry registry that will help companies ensure they purchase wood that is harvested in a responsible manner. This new program, known as the FSC Controlled Wood Global Risk Registry, will provide companies, certifiers and other interested parties a practical tool to evaluate five categories of risk associated with wood sources, including illegally harvested wood. The grant will support work that is being conducted in partnership by FSC-US and FSC International Center.

FSC introduced controlled wood standards in an effort to provide an internationally applicable, credible and practical tool to enable both FSC certificate holders and other forest products companies to exclude illegally harvested wood and wood originating from socially and environmentally destructive forest practices from their supply chains. The FSC Controlled Wood Global Risk Registry, the mechanism through which companies will determine whether wood meets the controlled wood standards or not, will help consumers, financial institutions and other businesses identify compliant acceptable sources within the global timber industry.

"FSC-US is proud to lead the effort in the development of the FSC Controlled Wood Global Risk Registry. This effort will help all manufacturers, retailers and consumers of wood products to be able to positively verify that their dollars are not aiding the illegal or harmful actions of others," said Roger Dower, president of FSC-US. "It is not just the financial contribution from The Home Depot Foundation that is important for this project. The Home Depot is a market leader and perhaps the most important wood purchaser in the world. For its foundation to take a leadership position in making the procurement process more responsible for the entire industry is invaluable."

“Certification under the FSC allows companies to reward the best practitioners of sustainable forestry and gives us a paper trail to the specific forest which is very important in developing countries,” said Ron Jarvis, vice president of merchandising for The Home Depot. “The global forestry industry has made tremendous strides during the past several years, and the development of this global registry clearly is the next step in ensuring socially responsible procurement.”

As the world's largest seller of certified wood products, The Home Depot has been able to assist in the monitoring of sustainable wood harvesting throughout the world. The company issued its first Wood Purchasing Policy in 1999. In 2002, it assisted with the resolution of a conflict between environmentalists and industry representatives in Chile. Two years of mediation and meetings culminated with new responsible harvesting practices being implemented in 2004.