A report on the government backing timber and construction sectors

Published Friday 15th June 2018

In a recent conference at the Confederation of Timber Industries parliamentary reception, Under Secretary of State for the Environment Dr Thérèse Coffey has personally emphasised the need to boost home-grown timber further, working with timber and construction sectors to increase home-grown demand in new build, refurbishment and infrastructure projects.

For us at International Timber it’s so important that timber use is promoted on a governmental level – in late 2017 global atmospheric co2 levels hit a record high and a main contributor to that statistic is the use of brick, steel and concrete in construction as opposed to timber. If you look at a building's climate footprint over 14 years, it is about 80% the building materials that go into it.

Timber offers an environmentally friendly, longer-lasting and arguably more aesthetically pleasing build – timber framed housing now accounts for roughly 27% of new UK housing, and we’re keen to see these figures grow.

In the same conference, Dr Thérèse Coffey also reaffirmed government commitment to increase UK forest cover to 12% by 2060, stating: “As a nation, we need to plant more trees”. This is a real crux of the argument – timber companies will begin to use home-grown timber when there’s enough woodland to make the harvesting 100% sustainable.

Additionally, the strong future for the UK timber market has resulted in investors holding on to their acres, leaving us with much more of a demand than there is a supply.

As part of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution, International Timber operates within its Policy for Sustainability. This policy is designed to continually improve our position as a sustainable provider of building materials by reducing environmental impact, being committed to the well-being of stakeholders and always considering the economic effect of our operations.

To download our Sustainability Statement in a PDF format, please click here.

We’re glad that Under Secretary of State for the Environment Dr Thérèse Coffey has opened up this dialogue on such a scale, and we hope to see greater use of timber in construction, both in Britain and further afield.

 

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Oh, and if you work within the construction industry, or have any timber needs for your own build, get in touch and we’ll be able to help you out.