26_Home Depot

Forest-friendly construction

Former CEO Bob Nardelli did a few things right: The earth's forests have been depleted by 75% over the past 200 years, and environmentalists have spent years harassing big-box retailers to stop stripping them for lumber. In 1999, Home Depot, the world's largest lumber retailer, put the ax to irresponsible suppliers, becoming the first in the industry to sell certified wood. "We went through everything, down to breaking open plastic-coated fan blades to expose the wood to see if it was from a country in danger," says Ron Jarvis, the company's environmental head, who notes that 95% of its wood products now come from sustainable foresters. In the years since, Home Depot's biggest competitors--Lowe's, 84 Lumber, and Menards--have all followed suit.

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