Monday, 02 July 2018
FSC at the Bunnings Expo 2018

Bunnings Expo 2018 FSC – A snap of the Forest Stewardship Council booth at the Bunnings Expo. Aren't the trees lovely?

Setting up an FSC Booth at the Bunnings Expo 2018

It’s one of the largest retailers in New Zealand and Australia and it has a real passion for the products and services it provides its customers. Stepping into the 2018 Bunnings Expo this passion was obvious.

Roughly two thousand team members, suppliers, and stakeholders participated in the two-day event, held in Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds. Inside were dozens of booths, all showing off the amazing innovations, projects and services Bunnings has invested in. Some new, some over the course of many years. From smart home lighting systems to virtual-reality forklift driving simulations, no aspect of the business was lacking representation.

I was fortunate enough to be invited along to the Bunnings Expo as a Forest Stewardship Council representative and given a booth of our own. Bunnings flagship FSC certified wood; Kwila was the lead actor on this stage. Walls muraled with the origins of this Kwila timber flanked the corners of my space. A video showcasing these origins was placed on display in the booth as well and live potted Kauri, Rimu and Totara trees were placed on either side of it. Information sheets and engagement activities lay spread across a vibrant Eucalyptus wood, outdoor table setting (another FSC certified product Bunnings provides). All this sitting on top of a deep, red, Kwila wood deck. Favoritism aside, I think it was the most eye-catching space in the whole show.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the hard-working team from the Bunnings Support Office. Their help in organizing this booth and accommodating the FSC was pivotal to the engagement I was able to achieve. And engaged the team was. From photo opportunities with masks and props to walking tours led by guides well informed as to FSC practices I was in the thick of it and loving every moment. To see such an ecologically conscious team (from every area of the business) filled me with a sense of pride and belonging. I may have been an outsider, by all accounts, but the team treated me as one of their own. Those not aware of the FSC were happy to hear me talk about what it meant to source timber from an FSC certified forest. In the same way, I was proud to be there representing what I was, the team members that left my booth walked away proud of what Bunnings had achieved.

But why was I there? Answering questions and engaging the team was a part of it. On top of this Bunnings have a genuine commitment to seeing their products come from sustainable and responsible sources. This much is obvious from their involvement in the FSC and FSC certified forests (shown in the video playing at the booth). I was however there to help celebrate a specific achievement, a monument to Bunning's principles; FSC retail certification of 3 of their trade centre stores. This singular act of dedication speaks volumes for their way of working and shows they’re willing to invest both money and time into walking the walk.

This was a huge commitment of resources for a business as large as Bunnings. FSC set the audit process for the Chain of Custody. It involved an external audit to ensure that Bunnings have the processes, training, and controls in place for FSC Chain of Custody. The Chain of Custody process took Bunnings just over 5 months to achieve from start to finish. I've included a diagram below, giving a brief explanation of the process. As a retailer Bunnings has sought CoC certification to pass on a claim to their end customer if it’s required for HomeStar or GreenStar schemes. This will provide Bunnings with confidence that they're making a positive global impact through sustainable forestry. For Bunnings customers it takes the guesswork out of find out whether the timber they're using in their next project has come from a responsibly managed source. This is a bold statement so here's a link to back it up!

Chain of Custody Diagram – A simplified version of the chain of custody system. To remain certified all the way over on the retail end, each preceding link in the chain must meet strict, FSC certification standards.

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000201