Frequently Asked Question's
How can using wood address climate change?
The use of wood sourced from responsibly managed forests and plantations offers a way to reduce the amount of atmospheric carbon, which helps to address climate change.
As trees grow, they take carbon out of the atmosphere, which remains stored by the wood after it is harvested and used in construction or the manufacture of wood products.
In responsibly managed forests and plantations, the harvested trees are replaced with new seedlings.
In addition, the increased use of wood as a replacement for steel, aluminium and concrete will ensure lower carbon emissions from the production of these energy-intensive materials.
How do trees store carbon?
As trees grow, they take carbon out of the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis. To create a kilogram of wood, a tree will remove 1.47 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and will return a little over a kilogram of oxygen.
The carbon remains stored in all wood products for the life of the product. On average, around 50 per cent of the dry weight of wood is carbon.
What are the environmental benefits of building with wood?
Using wood over other conventional building materials helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Not only does it sequester carbon from the atmosphere, but timber production also has lower levels of embodied energy (or the amount of CO2 emitted during the manufacture, transport and construction of a material).
Generally, replacing a cubic metre of concrete with a cubic metre of timber will save around one tonne of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Are harvested trees replanted?
Forest management for wood production is a commercial activity. It is therefore in the interests of forest growers and their customers to replant harvested trees to ensure their business continues into the future.
In Australia, more than 70 million seedlings are planted each year by Australia’s plantation owners, while native forest managers renew their forests through natural or artificial reseeding.
Research carried out by Yale University in 2014 found only about 20 per cent of the additional wood grown globally each year is harvested (3.4 billion of the 17 billion cubic metres grown).
What is independent certification?
Certification ensures wood comes from legally harvested and well-managed forests and plantations, and considers environmental, social and economic factors.
What does “responsibly sourced” and “FSC certified” wood mean?
Responsibly sourced wood comes from forests that meet the standards to be certified under the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme, recognised by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Meanwhile, FSC certified wood is certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Who are the independent bodies that manage the certifications?
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are the internationally recognised forest certification networks. The PEFC is administered by Responsible Wood in Australia.
How much of the wood used today in Australia is certified?
A very high proportion of the wood used in Australia comes from forests and plantations that have been independently certified by PEFC and/or FSC. The Australian Government has enacted strong laws to ensure all wood in Australia has been legally sourced.
How many of Australia’s forests are certified?
With the exception of some small family woodlots, all Australian commercial forests have been independently certified by FSC and/or PEFC.
How do you know if wood and wood products have come from certified forests?
Wood and wood-based products that are sourced from certified forests are tracked using chain-of-custody certification, which is labelled on consumer products.
What is the purpose of The Ultimate Renewable™?
The Ultimate Renewable™ aims to inform the public about the environmental advantages of forestry and wood products, as consumers increasingly look for alternatives to unsustainable materials. The brand and campaign seek to reframe forestry in the eyes of the public, changing negative perceptions and misconceptions about forestry, and reinforcing the association between wood and the word ‘renewable’.
How can I / my company get involved?
The Ultimate Renewable™ offers a universal, positive communications message for the sector to share. Through the website, your business can access The Ultimate Renewable™ branding and informational resources to use in your collateral and communications. Working together we can amplify the message and reframe forestry in the eyes of the public.