Sustainable sourcing

We’re determined to buy the products we need – to sell to customers and for our own use – in a responsible way.

We review our product sourcing policies and ensure that our suppliers understand them and comply with them. Our product sustainability policies cover:

Timber
We stock wood-based products sourced from certified or known and legal sources, or made from recycled material. We work with suppliers of products that meet our minimum standards to help them move towards certified sourcing.

Use of natural resources
We recognise that the uncontrolled sourcing of animal products, plant species, minerals and growing media (earths and composts) can have serious effects on local eco-systems. When possible we source from cultivated or farmed rather than wild stocks.

What we've done

Paper and Timber sourcing
Last year we printed all our publications, including the Argos catalogue, on recycled paper or paper from forests certified as well-managed by the FSC® or the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). The Argos catalogue continues to be certified by the PEFC scheme, verifying the full chain of custody of our paper throughout our supply chain. All our publications can be recycled after use.

Argos is a member of the WWF-GFTN (World Wildlife Fund - Global Forest & Trade Network). The WWF GFTN engages to eliminate illegal logging and drive improvements in forest management.

We have progressively increased the percentage of FSC® timber used in Argos and the new range of garden furniture sold by Argos is FSC certified or sourced from suppliers who are members of WWF-GFTN and working towards FSC® certification.

Use of natural resources
We have continued to explore further opportunities to reduce peat in our bagged growing media that maintains the quality that is expected from our customers. Last year our bagged growing media was 63% peat free compared with 56% in 2010. We've supported and funded the UK Industries Growing Media Initiative (GMI) and are actively involved in the peat debate through our membership of this organisation.

We also support the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) call for the government to introduce statutory targets to end peat use in both retail and professional horticulture.

Cosmetics
All Argos own-brand cosmetics meet the Humane Cosmetics Standard, an internationally recognised scheme run by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.

Chemicals
Our priority is to reduce the use of chemicals in our own brand products that may present environmental or other risks if released into the environment. We focus primarily on chemicals that may be present in the final product (rather than intermediates used in manufacture) because these can be more directly tested and controlled. We've canvassed support from our suppliers in removing any chemicals in the Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list.

You can find out more about our sustainable sourcing policies in the corporate responsibility section of this website.