A New Initiative for “Climate-Smart” Wood
Mass timber construction is gaining ground in North America, with the frequent justification that it reduces embodied carbon (the upfront greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacture and transportation of materials) when compared with concrete or steel. But not all wood products are created equal when it comes to carbon emissions, according to the newly created Climate-Smart Wood Group.
The goal of the organization is “to help building project teams successfully identify, access, and use climate-smart wood,” says a fact sheet released by the coalition of environmental groups. The effort is jointly managed by the Forest Stewardship Council–US (FSC–US), Ecotrust, and a number of other nonprofits. FSC creates voluntary standards designed to encourage environmentally and socially responsible forestry practices.
Climate-smart forestry “relies on actions such as selective harvesting, longer rotation lengths, and tight restrictions on hazardous chemicals,” according to the fact sheet. The group identifies two types of wood that qualify as climate smart: timber from FSC-certified forests, and products from restoration projects designed to “lower wildfire risk, reduce vulnerability to pests and pathogens, and increase forest diversity, resilience, and carbon storage.”
The group aims to advocate for climate-smart wood and support specification and purchasing of these products by building project teams.
More on wood sustainability
For more information:
Forest Stewardship Council–US
Published May 6, 2019