Churchill & Sim Group Ltd is the first UK company to sign up to a new six-point environmental charter produced by the Russian timber trade.

A group of Russia’s top timber manufacturing and trade companies have banded together to produce the charter which is backed by their shareholders, founders and personnel.

The six points cover social and ecological responsibility; condemnation of illegal logging; compliance with current Russian laws; sustainable forest management; acceptance of third party auditing; supporting the Russian National Voluntary Forest Certification Council in Russia and a certified chain of custody system.

Churchill & Sim director Peter Hammersley said: “This new initiative from the major producers in Russia re-stresses the Russian industry’s commitment to ensuring that timber supplied satisfies the criteria of a sustainable resource and, as such, should be applauded by the trade and fully supported.”

Mr Hammersley said his company worked closely with the Union of Timber Manufacturers in Russia and believed the launch of the charter could only be a good thing.

“The Russian industry is very keen to get rid of the idea of illegal logging and is currently looking at gaining PEFC certification.

“The Union of Timber Manufacturers is one of the best things to happen to the Russian timber trade in recent years because it has brought some sort of semblance of order back to the trade which became fragmented with the break up of the Soviet Union.

“It is felt very strongly by those working on the factory floor and in the forest up to board level that if the forests are exploited there will be no future for their children.”