Why wood?

Renewable resource

Wood grows naturally and is renewable. Responsible forest management helps to ensure that forests are legally harvested and managed to meet society's long-term demand for forest products.

Sustainable forest management involves meeting society’s need for forest products and other benefits, while respecting the values people attach to forests and preserving forest health and diversity for the future. Modern forest practices maintain a balance of forest values, including water and soil quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and biodiversity, as well as community and future generations’ interests.

 

Wood grows naturally and reduces impact.

With growing pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment, building designers are increasingly being called upon to balance functionality and cost objectives with reduced environmental impact. Wood is a cost-effective material and a renewable resource that can help to achieve that balance.

The choice of products used to build, renovate and operate structures has a significant impact on the environment. When specifying any materials, it is important to consider their life cycle environmental impacts. Wood products have less embodied energy, are responsible for lower air and water pollution, and have a lighter carbon footprint than other commonly used building materials.

 

Reduced impact

Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies consider the environmental impacts of materials over their entire life cycle, from extraction or harvest of raw materials through manufacturing, transportation, installation, use, maintenance and disposal or recycling. These studies consistently show that wood is better for the environment than steel or concrete in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. The wood industry reduces waste in similar ways by optimizing sawmill operations and by using wood chips and sawdust to produce paper and composite products, or as fuel for clean bio-energy.

Trees and forest products play a critical role in helping to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gases. Using wood products that store carbon, as well as responsibly managing forests in a way that balances harvesting and replanting, can minimize our carbon footprint over the long term.

Finally, people feel an instinctive connection and attraction to natural materials, like wood, and evidence suggests this can contribute to an individual's sense of well-being.