I was reminded on a recent trip home to Norway what an amazing resource we have in our forests and I was also very proud to think despite the demand we place on our forests we now have twice as much wood in our forests than we did 100 years ago.
Norwegian industry relies heavily on timber for both its home market and exports, so we’re lucky that our indigenous trees grow in pace with demand. In Norway though we don’t take our supply for granted. For every tree we fell we plant 2 in its place. That way both our industry and our impact on the environment is sustainable.
Official UN/ECE statistics show that European stocks of unharvested trees are growing at a rate of 252 million cubic metres a year. That would be enough to build 21 million homes.
Forest management and sustainability
In fact the use of wood in manufacturing is a great help to the environment. Trees absorb and lock-in the harmful greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Even when the tree is cut down and turned into something else the CO² remains locked-in. Meanwhile with 2 more trees growing in the original tree’s place, double the CO² is being absorbed.
Some people say, “Why not just leave trees in the ground as well as planting more trees?” That sounds like a great idea but actually, just like us humans, as trees grow older they slow down. Trees absorb CO² and through the process of photosynthesis oxygen is created as a waste product. It is known that younger trees are more efficient at this. Therefore, the constant harvesting and replanting of trees is more beneficial in reducing carbon dioxide and increasing the supply of oxygen than simply leaving mature trees standing.
Timber – the ‘green’ choice
Using timber as a construction material is environmentally sound. Timber is not only bio-degradable but the energy required to manufacture a timber window is incredibly just one fifth of that to manufacture a comparable PVC product.
Choose timber windows and doors and you’ll not only own something of beauty, you will also sleep easy in the knowledge that you have chosen responsibly for the environment.