Is Mass Timber The Path To Sustainable Construction?

mass timber As people become increasingly interested in the sustainability in all things, building construction was bound to find itself under scrutiny. Steel and concrete are notorious for their large environmental footprints. But they’ve historically been the only suitable answer as the primary load-bearing material for large, and especially tall, buildings.

That may be changing. Mass timber – engineered wood members  used as structural components for buildings – is getting a lot of attention lately. “Mass timber is very exciting. It’s a long-term durable product. It’s a critical carbon storage tool,” said Mark Rudnicki, Ph.D., Professor of Practice for Forest Biomaterials at Michigan Technological University and Executive Director for the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute. “Plus, it’s cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing.” Continue reading “Is Mass Timber The Path To Sustainable Construction?”

Significant timber forest with energy developing potential for sale on 5,342ac

Llanbrynmair Forest, one of the largest privately-owned commercial forests in Wales, has been brought to the market by Savills. The 5,342ac forest is situated in the Montgomeryshire area of Powys, a region well-known for its timber production.

The forest provides a very rare opportunity to acquire a large-scale commercial forest complex that is effectively within a ring fence. It is made up of a number of individual plantations brought together under single ownership.

Discussing the UK market, James Adamson, head of forestry investment at Savills, said: “Due to the limited size of the UK market, finding a single commercial forest of this scale and productive capacity is very rare indeed. Continue reading “Significant timber forest with energy developing potential for sale on 5,342ac”

Wood industry urges passage of forestry management bills

The wood industry said it is hoping for the passage of legislation on land and forest management, which it expects to attract investment in the forestry sector from both domestic and foreign sources.

“Those bills that have been sitting in Congress for so long (and I hope they are) passed, to encourage investors, foreign or domestic,” Charlie H. Liu, chairman of Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA), told BusinessWorld via phone.

A number of bills are pending in Congress include the proposed National Land Use Act; the proposed Forest Limits Act, which allows Congress to delimit forest land and national parks where conservation measures will be in force; and the proposed Sustainable Forest Management Act, which seeks to prescribe sustainable forest management of former mine sites, as well as to regulate the use of forest resources, including those within ancestral land. Continue reading “Wood industry urges passage of forestry management bills”

Planting Forests is Key To Sustainable Living

Everyone is committed to making their lives more sustainable in the midst of global climate challenges. But oftentimes, people forget that the simplest of things will help mitigate global warming. Keeping forests, for one, can help lessen carbon storage in the atmosphere. The United Nations have highlighted in their reports the importance of keeping forests sustainable. They consider it a principal strategy in limiting the warming of the Earth.

In the United States, the government keeps the forests to serve as a carbon sink. The report of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that 14.8 billion tons of carbon are stored in these forests each year. This rate is equivalent to offsetting about 16% of all emissions from the burning of fossil fuels annually. Continue reading “Planting Forests is Key To Sustainable Living”

‘Deforestation is a material risk that companies can no longer ignore’

While Unilever and Nestlé have made strides towards implementing no-deforestation policies, the vast majority of companies have not. Now some of the world’s biggest institutional investors are pushing for change through the Investor Initiative for Sustainable Forests, says Julie Nash of Ceres

As the cycle of forest fires burning through the Amazon has captured the world’s attention, institutional investors have seized the opportunity to shift the focus to some of the root causes of the problem: decades of poor forestry and land-use management and poorly managed agricultural supply chains.

Earlier this month, in the run-up to Climate Week New York, an unprecedented number of investors – 230 institutional investors representing $16.2trn in assets under management – issued an urgent plea to companies to take action against deforestation. Among the investors are some of the largest investment managers and asset-owners from around the globe, representing more than 30 countries. Continue reading “‘Deforestation is a material risk that companies can no longer ignore’”

Scientists say sustainable forestry organizations should lift ban on biotech trees

Look at anything made from trees—a ream of paper, a cardboard box, lumber—and it’s probably stamped with the logo of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or an equivalent organization. These nonprofits certify that forests are managed sustainably, and one common requirement is no genetically modified (GM) trees. But that ban hinders research and should change, researchers say in today’s issue of Science. The technology, they argue, has important potential to remedy many pressing problems facing forests.

“Having this restriction doesn’t make any sense,” says Sofia Valenzuela, a biochemist at the University of Concepción in Chile. Continue reading “Scientists say sustainable forestry organizations should lift ban on biotech trees”

How timber markets can help save tropical forests

Pile of Logs in Forest(Views and opinions of Gerhard Dieterle, the Executive Director of The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), an intergovernmental organization that promotes conservation of tropical forest resources and their sustainable management, use and trade.)

Some of the world’s biggest companies and markets are demanding proof that any imports of wood or wood products from their suppliers, are from legal and sustainable sources. Retail giants such as IKEA, Kingfisher and Carrefour have promised to only use certified and legally compliant timber. While The Lacey Act in the United States of America, the European Union Timber Regulation, Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act and the Japan Clean Wood Act all require evidence of legality.

Such laws and purchasing policies, however, can be confusing for producers, importers and traders, who may be unclear on the documentation they need and the standards to which they must comply. This confusion can diminish market opportunities for tropical timber producers—especially those operating at a small scale and with minimal business capacity or support. Continue reading “How timber markets can help save tropical forests”

Forestry Sector Cultivates Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Plan

Image: Shutterstock

With scrutiny around corporate strategies related to deforestation intensifying, a select group of companies representing the forestry sector have published the latest in a series of industry-specific guides meant to help meaningful corporate action take root.

The Forest Sector Roadmap, launched in mid-July during a gathering in New York, is the latest in a series of publications coordinated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and intended to help companies map their sustainability agendas to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals are to be met by 2030, and policymakers all over the world are working to meet that deadline with the support of private-sector partners. The forestry roadmap, meant to accelerate corporate action among pulp and paper companies primarily, was the result of a year and a half of collaboration between WBCSD member companies, NGOS and other stakeholders.

Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of multinational forestry company CMPC, and one of the 11 paper and forestry companies that make up the WBCSD’s Forest Solutions Group, believes that companies like his, especially within the forest sector, can be powerful allies to policymakers in meeting the SDGs — when they choose to take action. Continue reading “Forestry Sector Cultivates Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Plan”

Scottish Woodland turns over £92 million after rising demand for timber

Employee owned forestry business logs near-£1m profit growth

Employee-owned forestry business Scottish Woodlands Ltd has boosted its pre-tax profits to £3.26million from £2.29 million.

The performance, which follows another year of strong growth in the forestry sector, was achieved on a boost in annual turnover to £92.3 million in financial year 2017-18 from £76.8 million.

The increase for the business, which is 80 employee owned, was predominantly attributable to wood user demand timber, the company said.

Managing director Ralland Browne attributed the rise to “greater focus on core operations” within the business in a robust forestry market. Continue reading “Scottish Woodland turns over £92 million after rising demand for timber”

Canadian Government invests in Indigenous biomass district heating system

The Government of Canada has invested CAD$2.7 million (€1.8 million) in a sustainable forestry project run by the Indigenous Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation in Quebec, which will create jobs, support the economy and displace diesel use.

Announced by Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, the funding will be used to upgrade and expand an existing biomass district heating system.

The renewable energy project, which will also provide a market for local sawmill waste, will encourage local economic development and support better waste management.

The funding was provided through the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities programme, which invests in projects that reduce reliance on fossil fuels and encourage energy independence in rural and remote communities. Continue reading “Canadian Government invests in Indigenous biomass district heating system”