The Home Depot Strengthens Forestry Protection and Improves Chemical Standards in 2017 Responsibility Report
ATLANTA: The Home Depot is increasing its protection of High Conservation Value Forests and tropical Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) by not accepting any wood products from The Amazon (South America) and Congo (Africa) Basins, unless Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
Although less than one percent of the company's existing wood products come from the Amazon and Congo Basins, The Home Depot announced today that it will require that any wood products coming from these areas be FSC certified. The company has given preference to FSC certified wood products since 1999.

The company announced the updated policy in its 2017 Responsibility Report. The full report is located online at:

The report also unveils newly strengthened chemical oversight practices in five product categories, including paint, carpet, vinyl and laminate flooring, and insulation.

The chemical strategy includes commitments to increase the assortment of products that have transparency of product ingredients and third party certification of chemical ingredients. Additionally, the company is committed to working with suppliers to improve chemicals in categories with the greatest potential impact to indoor air quality, and will conduct annual reviews of product categories to track progress and drive innovation.

The company partners with the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, Healthy Building Network and Cradle to Cradle for guidance on priority chemicals and innovations.

"We recognize the role we play in the value chain for home improvement products, especially lumber and manufactured goods," said Ron Jarvis, vice president of environmental innovation. "We believe that better transparency is the key to retailers and consumers making better purchasing decisions that will improve our industry's long-term environmental impact."

The Home Depot is also expanding its Eco Options program that identifies products that have less of an impact on the environment than standard products, established in 2007, to include the third party certification programs Cradle to Cradle Certified and GREENGUARD Gold.

Additional highlights from 2016 include:

•The company estimates its customers saved more than 76 billion gallons of water in fiscal 2016 from the sales of WaterSense certified products
•The company estimates its customers saved more than $903 million in utility costs from sales of Energy Star certified products, reducing consumers greenhouse gas emissions by 4.9 million metric tons in fiscal 2016
•The Home Depot Foundation has impacted more than 34,500 veterans' homes and facilities since 2011, with a financial commitment to veterans related causes of a quarter of a billion dollars by 2020

The Home Depot applies Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines, which are included in the 2017 Responsibility Report, as a cross-reference tool for its sustainability reporting to make meaningful data available to stakeholders.

(Posted on 31 October 2017, 1675182834 18O232O179O5)