Statement: The Home Depot shareholders take first step to protect forests

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DENVER — Sixty-five percent of The Home Depot shareholders voted on Thursday to take a first step toward reducing the hardware giant’s forest footprint. The proposal that passed directs the company to produce a report disclosing the company’s current impact on primary forests. The proposal also asks The Home Depot to determine steps it can take to eliminate both deforestation and degradation of primary forests from its supply chains. This action comes a month after The Home Depot’s chief rival, Lowe’s, voluntarily committed to undertaking similar measures. 

Pressure to take this type of action had been building on The Home Depot leading up to the shareholder meeting. Environment America Research & Policy Center delivered 21,622 petition signatures calling on the company to ensure that the wood it sells is harvested in a manner that protects boreal forests and other woodlands around the globe that are critical to mitigating climate change.

In response, Public Lands Campaign Associate Sammy Herdman issued the following statement:

“Across the globe, our forests are in trouble. One million acres of the Canadian boreal forest are cut down each year—the equivalent of one and a half football fields every minute – and we lost 27 million acres of tropical forests in 2021 alone. This is a catastrophe for our planet. We need our forests for wildlife habitats and drinking water and as a critical tool in helping us fight climate change. 

“We cannot continue this logging at the current pace. As the world’s largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot can play a huge role in signaling to timber suppliers that it’s time for a change. We’re pleased that a majority of shareholders opted to take on this leadership role and we applaud their decision. We look forward to The Home Depot producing the requested report and then using the information it gathers to make substantive changes to reduce its impact on our invaluable forests.”