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Making the Case for Climate-Smart Wood and Forestry

With interest growing about wood construction as a way to fight climate change, there’s a corresponding need to support architects, contractors and developers.

Not all wood is the same. Some comes from forestry that stores more carbon than conventional practices. This means that products from such a forest come with lower embodied carbon, which helps fight climate change.

On the other hand, some wood comes from forestry that degrades the environment, whether through extensive use of clearcuts and chemicals, or in the worst case, because the forest is converted into a different type of land use.

To help design and construction professionals make the case to their clients and colleagues, FSC recently created a series of infographics highlighting what climate-smart forestry means and why it matters. Created for a non-technical audience, the graphics are freely available for use in presentations, social media and websites.

Because climate change is so urgent, meaningful action requires that we do more than simply follow the status quo. When it comes to climate-smart forestry, this means restoring forests in a way that removes more carbon from the atmosphere than conventional practices alone, and increasing forest resilience in the face of increasing risks from climate change. In short, we need to do more if we hope to tackle climate change.

Forests differ widely, from temperate rainforests along the Northwest coast, to dry inland forests of the Rocky Mountains. Whereas some forests are perfect for storing lots of carbon, in others this can increase risks from wildfire. The new graphics are designed to help explain some of the basic issues so people can understand and justify decisions related to wood sourcing and construction.

Of course, when it comes time to buy wood products, check out the FSC Wood Finder, an online, searchable database.

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