Study: Using Wood For Building And Energy Helps Environment

Wood has a largely favorable environmental effect. A study of the National Research Programme “Resource Wood” recommends using wood more widely as a source of energy and as a building material. The study examined the overall environmental impact of wood in Switzerland, analyzing the value chain from cutting trees to recycling wood or burning it, […]

Wood has a largely favorable environmental effect. A study of the National Research Programme “Resource Wood” recommends using wood more widely as a source of energy and as a building material.

The study examined the overall environmental impact of wood in Switzerland, analyzing the value chain from cutting trees to recycling wood or burning it, including the manufacture of semi-finished products such as paper, boards and pellets for heating purposes. Wood manufacturing is a high profile industry in Switzerland, home to suppliers familiar in the U.S. such as IGP power coating, Michael Weinig machinery, Jowat adhesives, Swiss Chrono laminate panel, and Lamello.

The study indicates that the sustainable use of wood can contribute to meeting our needs in terms of energy and raw materials with a smaller footprint than other resources.

The study estimates that the use of wood in Switzerland leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions of between 2.0 and 3.1 million tons per year – in comparison, Switzerland emitted a total of 52.6 million tons in 2013. Replacing gas or oil with wood accounts for two thirds of the estimated reduction. The last third is linked to construction and furniture production where wood replaces materials with a high carbon footprint such as cement, steel, aluminum and plastics.

Conducted in the context of the National Research Programme “Resource Wood” (NRP 66), the study based its analysis on the one hand on comprehensive statistics of material flows (origin, use and disposal of wood) that were compiled by the federal offices in particular. On the other hand, it referred to several databases evaluating the life cycle of products. “We considered different environmental impacts, in particular in relation to climate change, energy consumption, air pollution and loss of biodiversity”, explains Florian Suter, first author of the study and doctoral student at the Chair of Ecological Systems Design at ETH Zurich.

From Woodworking Network: http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/wood/panel-supply/using-wood-more-widely-building-and-energy-helps-environment-swiss-researchers?ss=news,news,woodworking_industry_news,news,almanac_market_data,news

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