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Industry & Trends

Wood Makes Construction Greener, Groups Tell Biden

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December 14, 2021 | Bill Esler

Washington, DCThe American Wood Council, National Alliance of Forest Owners and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association issued the following joint statement on President Biden’s Executive Order: “Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Economy Through Federal Sustainability.”

We applaud the President for harnessing the federal government to lead the way in transforming the built environment to net-zero. . . . We can significantly cut the carbon footprint of the traditional built environment by expanding wood use and substituting traditional building materials with wood products, including mass timber.

Governmental procurement practices can mitigate [climate] risks by creating climate-resilient infrastructure, bolstering domestic supply chains, and expanding carbon sequestration in both the built environment and in America’s working forests. Increasing procurement of wood products addresses each of these challenges.

Wood buildings lock away carbon, turning our buildings and cities from emission sources into emissions vaults. Mass timber in particular is an affordable, scalable, and realistic option for achieving our shared climate goals. . . .

Wood is the only carbon-storing, renewable, resilient and sustainable building material that can be grown and re-grown, and our sustainably managed forests can meet increased demand: Since 1958, U.S. forest cover has been stable and forest volume has increased by 60 percent. Modern forest management in the United States ensures some of the highest sustainability standards in the world. Private working forests support 2.5 million American jobs and U.S. wood product manufacturers directly support over 450,000 family-wage jobs, both primarily in rural communities.

The forestry and wood products sector looks forward to working with the federal government to achieve a net-zero emissions building portfolio with American-grown and manufactured wood products.


The American Wood Council (AWC) is the voice of North American wood products manufacturing, an industry that provides over 450,000 men and women in the United States with family-wage jobs. AWC represents 86 percent of the structural wood products industry, and members make products that are essential to everyday life from a renewable resource that absorbs and sequesters carbon. Staff experts develop state-of-the-art engineering data, technology, and standards for wood products to assure their safe and efficient design, as well as provide information on wood design, green building, and environmental regulations. AWC is also a Partner Association in WoodWorks.org, an advocacy group for using wood in manufactured products and mass wood construction.

The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) is a national advocacy organization committed to advancing federal policies that ensure our working forests provide clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat and jobs through sustainable practices and strong markets. NAFO member companies own and sustainably manage more than 46 million acres of private working forests – forests that are managed to provide a steady supply of timber. Private working forests in the account for nearly three-quarters of our total gross forest carbon sequestration, and supply 90 percent of of our timber harvest for wood.

The Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association membership footprint spans from Texas to Maryland and includes sawmills, lumber treaters and lumber remanufacturers. In total, there are 81 member companies operating roughly 130 locations. The mills directly employ nearly 10,000 people, in addition to the countless secondary jobs that are supported in the rural economies across the Southeast. Members also manage over 2 million acres of timberland.

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