Environmental charity WWF has released a new study that shows that British companies are using timber from illegal sources. The report, entitled ‘What Wood You Choose’, suggests that not all timber that purports to be sustainably and legally sourced actually is, and hammers home the importance of using FSC certified timber.

Companies that have been making false promises come into the firing line, with some that claim to have been seeking evidence that their suppliers are acting within the laws of their countries actually to proving to do nothing of the sort when probed by WWF. The wood, therefore, could well have been obtained illegally, which could have potentially damaging repercussions both for the environment and for the people in the area from which the timber comes. Some companies had even been misusing the FSC logo; falsely claiming their timber was certified.

Actual FSC certified timber can be tracked back to its source, and is not just legal, but is also obtained in ways that mean that the forests where the trees are from remain undamaged. The report includes sections aiming to help both companies and consumers find wood that is sustainably sourced.

The impetus for What Wood You Choose, comes from new EU regulations coming into effect in 2013 which willl require anyone selling timber products to prove that the wood used is legal and to be able to show where it’s from. Many companies, the WWF fear, will not be able to meet this requirements unless more pressure is put on them to comply. You can read more, including the full report, here.