Wood is the Way Forward

Wood is part of a virtuous, circular bio-economy and Canadian forests can play a significant role in our response to climate change.

  • As forests grow, they absorb and store carbon dioxide (CO2).  Together with our oceans, they have been our planet’s thermostatic control for eons.

  • When a mature tree is harvested, it makes space for new trees to grow which will capture more carbon.  No carbon capture system humans can devise is as beautiful, simple, or as efficient as a tree.
  • The math: A tree is about 50 percent carbon, by dry weight.  One cubic meter (m3) of softwood weighs 500kg on average, so it will hold 250kg of carbon.  When carbon (atomic weight 12) is oxidized, it picks up two oxygen atoms (atomic weight 16) to become CO2, so every kg of carbon will generate 3.67kg of CO2.  Therefore, a m3 of wood holds nearly a tonne of CO2, 917.5 kg to be exact. (Credit: Arno Frühwald, Univ. of Hamburg)


  • Products made with wood extend the storage of carbon for decades and centuries.  Many aesthetically pleasing wood products, like mass timber, will have “after-life” uses in other buildings, furniture, and as feedstock for new engineered wood products.

  • When wood is used in place of concrete, brick, steel or plastic, carbon emissions are significantly reduced.

  • Wood provides a path to a sustainable future. It is the responsible way to build.
Mass timber makes for visually delightful spaces with large carbon storage benefits.