Local authorities and housing associations are being urged to stipulate the use of more timber in construction to meet the UK’s net zero target.
The Wood CO2ts less campaign aims to increase awareness of timber’s environmental credentials and highlight how using wood from sustainably managed forests is one of the simplest ways to help reduce carbon emissions.
Members of the timber industry collaborating on the campaign include Wood for Good and industry bodies Swedish Wood, Confor, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), Structural Timber Association (STA) and British Woodworking Federation (BWF).
Countries around the world are pledging to use more timber in buildings to tackle climate change and create more sustainable buildings. And in its latest emission progress report, the Committee on Climate Change recommends scaling up the use of wood in construction as a favourable way to embody carbon and reduce CO2 emissions.
Sarah Virgo, Wood for Good Campaign Manager, said: “The Government set a target for the UK to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 but it’s not feasible for all sectors of the economy to become carbon neutral. To reach net zero, we need to compensate for these emissions by finding ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere. The simplest way to contribute to this reduction is to consider wood first, instead of other materials.
“If we are to meet government targets and reduce climate change, we must act now. Everyone involved with the design and construction of a building, new or old, can play their part in tackling the climate emergency.”
Andrew Carpenter, STA Chief Executive, commented: “The shortage of housing in the UK is an issue that has been acknowledged by successive governments; we must ensure that all new build homes are delivered in a high-quality and sustainable manner. Furthermore, to deliver the volume demanded with the urgency suggested, then this is also achievable by using engineered timber solutions that are predominately manufactured offsite — this also alleviates the acknowledged skill-shortage faced by the construction industry.”
Dave Hopkins, TTF Chief Executive, said: “There are numerous reports highlighting the need for homes and buildings that need retrofitting. We have the skills and resources available to enhance the built environment and timber is at the heart of it all.”
To learn more about the role wood plays in construction, including design and environment data for specifying timber, and to explore best practice examples of building with timber, visit www.woodforgood.com/CO2