FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this the first time The Home Depot has addressed its wood purchasing practices?
No, in 1999 we first released our Wood Purchasing Policy. This was one of our first steps towards supporting sustainable forestry throughout the world. In it, we stated that we would stop buying from endangered regions by the end of 2002 and that we would pay special attention to species such as lauan, cedar, and redwood.

What changes has The Home Depot made in product lines to promote sustainable forestry?

We began to give preferential treatment to certified products about two years ago. In addition, we have shifted procurement of wood from questionable sources to companies that practice responsible forestry.
  • We sell more FSC certified wood than any other retailer in America
  • Transitioned more vendors to FSC certified wood than any other retailer in America
  • Stopped buying ramin dowels and shifted to FSC certified eucalyptus dowels
  • Replaced carpenter pencils with FSC certified pencils
  • Worked with our vendors to shift more than 80% of our lauan wood used in the production of doors to wood from more sustainable sources
  • Replaced mahogany levels with domestically engineered wood
  • Reduced our purchases of Indonesian lauan by more than 70%. The minimal amount of lauan purchases that remain in Indonesia are strategically placed with vendors that are aggressively pursuing certification, and have been engaged in third-party audits
  • Moved more than 90% of our cedar purchases to second- and third-growth forests in the United States. The remaining cedar purchases are sourced from coastal British Columbia and have been through the local community stakeholder review
  • Significantly increased our FSC certified redwood. Our two primary suppliers of redwood both give a strong purchasing preference for FSC certified wood and we will continue to exercise a preference for certified redwood
  • Introduced a line of building materials manufactured from wheat straw, including shelving, panel products and underlayment; many of these products are used as substitutes for tropical hardwoods
  • These are just ten examples of our commitment to sustainable forestry through partnership with our vendors. There are many more.
See Product Shifts

How has The Home Depot addressed endangered regions?
We have moved volumes of wood product purchases sourced from sensitive areas to more sustainable and less controversial areas. Even today there is limited scientific consensus on identifying "endangered regions" of forestry. We go to great lengths to track all of our products that contain wood including partnering with our vendors to gain the most accurate information possible. In addition, we closely monitor the state of the world's forests paying particular attention to environmentally sensitive regions.

Is The Home Depot still purchasing lauan, cedar, and redwood?
We have made substantial changes to how and where we purchase these species. Lauan: Since 1999 we have reduced our purchases of Indonesian lauan by over 70%. The minimal amounts of lauan purchases that remain in Indonesia are strategically placed with vendors that are aggressively pursuing certification, and have been engaged in third-party audits. We are working with many organizations including The Nature Conservancy, Tropical Forest Foundation, Tropical Forest Trust and World Wildlife Fund to help solve the many issues facing Indonesian forests. We believe that by staying engaged in this region we can make a more positive impact on sustainable forestry than if we turn our backs and purchases on this region. Cedar: We have moved over 90% of our cedar purchases to second- and third-growth forests in the U.S. This leaves the balance of cedar purchases being sourced from coastal British Columbia (BC). The products harvested in BC have been through the local community stakeholder review. The vendors supplying cedar products to us in BC are practicing variable retention along with other sustainable forestry practices. In addition, our vendors are participating in the Joint Solutions Process negotiations. Redwood: We are the single largest distributor of FSC certified redwood in America. Our two primary suppliers of redwood both give a strong purchasing preference for FSC certified wood. Three out of every four acres of commercially managed redwood is independently certified. We will continue to exercise a preference for certified redwood.

How much of The Home Depot's wood comes from the Amazon Basin?
Of all the wood we sell, less than 0.15% is tropical hardwood from the Amazon Basin.

How much of the world's wood does The Home Depot use?
We sell less than 1% of all the wood cut in the world.

See Production & Consumption

What organizations is The Home Depot working with to promote sustainable forestry?
We have worked with several organizations that monitor the condition of the world's forests. These organizations also help us promote sustainable forestry through education and information sharing. Examples of these organizations include Canadian Forest Service, Certified Forest Products Council, Conservation International, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Forest Landowners Association, Global Forest & Trade Network, National Association of State Foresters, The Natural Step, The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance/SmartWood Program, Scientific Certification Systems, Tropical Forest Foundation, Tropical Forest Trust, USDA Forest Service, USDA Forest Service International Programs, World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

From where does most of The Home Depot's wood come?
About 95% of our wood comes from North America. The vast majority of this comes from the United States, which has increased its forest lands coverage by 2% over the past decade*.
*Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

What is "certified wood"?
Certified wood has been managed and harvested under strict guidelines and monitored by a third party to ensure sustainable harvesting practices are followed. Some certified timber can be tracked through its entire journey from stump to shelf.

Why does The Home Depot buy certified wood?
Buying certified wood allows us to take an active role in sustainable forestry. By giving preference to certified wood, we are encouraging these responsible practices in all our wood suppliers. Since giving preferential treatment to certified wood, we have nearly doubled our sales of FSC certified products every year as we continue to sell the most FSC certified products in America.

See Certification