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Wood in construction, a policy and data summary

Dr Renée Kerkvliet-Hermans has drawn up a report which provides policy background and information on carbon emissions and sequestration in the construction industry, along with recommendations for policy.

Dr Renée Kerkvliet-Hermans joined the Landscapes as Carbon Sinks team in July on a SAGES policy internship. The Landscapes as Carbon Sinks project aims to investigate the interventions that can be made to accelerate the land sector's contribution to Scotland’s 2045 net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases target. As part of this initiative, we consider how the carbon benefits of wood fibre in construction can be scaled-up, using Scotland as an example.

Renée has been working on providing a policy background and information on carbon emissions and sequestration in the construction industry, along with recommendations for policy. One of the proposed measures to meet the net-zero target is via increased woodland creation and increased use of wood to substitute higher carbon intensive materials. The Committee on Climate Change advised to encourage the construction industry to increase the use of wood fibre where appropriate. The use of wood in construction has two climate benefits:

1. Reducing the embodied emissions of greenhouse gases (those caused by the extraction, manufacture, transportation, assembly, maintenance, demolition and disposal of the products and elements in an asset).

2. Increasing the amount of stored carbon.

The report further highlights the need to look at forestry in a holistic way, where the carbon sink within the forest system, the carbon storage in harvested wood products, and the avoidance of fossil emissions by product substitution are all taken into account.

Read the full report here: