Safeguarding our supply chain

Safeguarding our supply chain

We are refreshing our Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP) Programme to help members better manage supply chain risks.

Xiao Ma
Sustainability Manager

To ensure that all timber placed on the UK market is only coming from reputable suppliers, and performs as expected, we are beginning a programme of work so that our world leading RPP programme can be better attuned to the risk of individual businesses.

Our current RPP system is highly rigorous, with a mandatory audit for Operator members who import timber products. Changes to the UK’s trading status after Brexit has meant a larger proportion of members are being audited in our RPP system – even those whose supply chains are connected to low-risk products and countries of origin.

While this has been helpful for a period, particularly for helping members navigate their expanded responsibilities as Operators after 31 January 2020, we believe we can provide a stronger service to help our member businesses better understand, manage, and mitigate their risk – which is tailored to their business.

As part of this, we are looking at ways to simplify the reporting requirement on UK purchases and remove the need for annual 3rd party audits for those companies who has already shown a good level of implementation of due diligence and whose total purchases are deemed of ‘low risk’. This is a subject we will be discussing at our Committee meetings in coming weeks.

It is expected this new system will include a broader range of member types who purchase timber, allowing them to benefit from the expertise which our experts can provide on managing risks in their supply chain – including tools, education, and if required – audits – for businesses dealing with higher risk products.

Our new system will also monitor and encourage the adoption of best practice. In time we expect it will expand to include Scope 1 and 2 emissions, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), and the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) to ensure a robust supply chain which can support low-carbon, high-performance construction.

Those who participate in this programme will be able to reflect their status as ‘responsible purchasers’ with our widely recognised RPP certificates, badges on their profiles, and be included in our market campaigns as #timberyoucantrust. Opportunities to participate in this new RPP system are expected to become open at the beginning of Q2 2024.

By helping more businesses adopt these kinds of best practices for responsible sourcing, and continually reviewing RPP to reflect the needs of today’s market, we can create a stronger supply chain for all. If you would like to join the waitlist for this new programme, please do get in touch.

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