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SECTION 11: Sustainability

Engineered wood products

Timber is one of the most sustainable natural resources in the world when it’s harvested and used properly.

There are very few other products used in daily life that have the same potential as timber to ‘meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (using the definition of ‘sustainability’ put forward by the United Nations in 1987).

As a raw material, it is infinitely renewable, and while it’s growing it reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the air.

However, there are many competing interests that must be successfully managed in order to maintain a healthy balance between growing forests and the processing of timber products. As the world enters a new era of climate change, population pressures and scarcity of raw materials, it is all the more important for the timber industry to look after this amazing natural resource and protect its future – not just as a commodity for human consumption but also as an essential part of the world’s ecosystems.


There are three lessons in this section: