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Architects 'misled' over use of illegal wood

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Architects across the country are being duped into using illegal timber, according to an explosive new undercover investigation.

Europe's leading flooring manufacturers are covering up the illegal source of some their specialist wood products, according to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), published today.

According to the EIA, major manufacturers Tarkett and Kährs are selling merbau wood - often illegally logged in Indonesia - that is not certified by international watchdog the Forest Stewardship Council.

In addition, the EIA claims, the two manufacturers have shrouded their actions in secrecy by refusing to readily reveal the unsustainable source of the timber they sell.

In light of the claims, leading retailers such as John Lewis have frozen the sale of merbau until the outcome of their own investigations into the wood are published.

Julia Newsman, head of EIA's forest campaign, said: 'Although companies like Tarkett and Kährs are not themselves breaking the law, this investigation clearly shows that they are failing to check that their merbau supplies are from legal sources.

'Until the government takes action and restricts illegal timber from entering the market, architects must be very wary of unsubstantiated environmental claims and be extra vigilant when specifying legal and sustainable timber products, especially with merbau flooring.'

by Rob Sharp

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