Supporting sustainable design decisions with facts
The idea that wood products have a low carbon footprint is intuitive. Wood grows naturally, using energy from the sun, and doesn’t require large amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture. As they grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and release oxygen (O2), and wood products continue to store carbon (C) over their lifetimes—even longer if the wood is reclaimed and used elsewhere.
However, the UK’s ambitious shift to a low carbon economy means that building designers and specifiers need a greater level of detail; they need reliable data on the carbon footprint of individual wood products. With this in mind, two Canadian research organizations—the Athena Institute and FPInnovations—have completed a study on the carbon footprint of four wood products manufactured in Canada and delivered to the UK:
In all cases, despite being transported more than approximately 16,000 kilometres (km), the study has confirmed that these products represent a net carbon sink upon delivery—that is, each product stores more carbon than is emitted during its respective harvest, manufacture and transport.
For a copy of the full report, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.