Environmental Sustainability: Exactly how renewable is timber?

Published Wednesday 30th August 2017

We all know that when it comes to renewable construction materials, timber is about as good as you’re going to get. It’s a totally natural resource, requires minimal human interference depending on usage, and we’re never going to run out (as long as sustainability initiatives are met worldwide).

But, what exactly makes timber so renewable, and what other properties should we be aware of?

Let’s take a little look:


A background on forest management

In today’s world, forest management comes down to the principles of sustainable wood production and harvesting, whilst simultaneously maintaining and protecting the forest’s biological systems. Countless programmes are being developed to ensure a wide range of timber is readily available to be harvested without harming or negatively impacting the forest ecosystem.

International Timber follows a sustainability policy as we care about protection and wellbeing of today’s forests. Read our policy here.


Thanks to sustainability processes across the world, timber is one of the most renewable products our planet has to offer – this is why the regrowth of forests is so important. Unlike other widely-used building materials including iron ore, timber doesn’t require a lot of energy to change it from a raw product to a useable one, and can be remanufactured with ease.


Timber quite possibly has the longest life cycle of any material in human use – it just keeps coming back in different forms! As it’s incredibly easy to recycle, timber can be used over and over again for a host of different purposes. Goodness knows what your bedside table used to be!

Energy efficient

Trees are the product of solar energy, which leaves them (pardon the pun) as our most energy efficient construction material.

Homes that are built without the use of timber don’t positively affect the environment, whilst timber homes create a carbon neutral atmosphere, taking in all the negative aspects of the air, and creating clean, healthy air.

Architects, developers and designers can dramatically reduce CO² emissions by using timber as an alternative to other products.

Little known fact

An extra 15 tonnes of CO² emissions are emitted in the production of a concrete slab than from a timber floor. It takes approximately 64-years to recover this in energy savings. Astounding!


And that’s it

We hope you learned a little bit more about the sheer importance of timber, and why it’s the most renewable, dependable and environmentally friendly piece of material you could use in your construction projects.

So, if you’re ready to get creative and take part in your own projects, do get in touch and browse our range of timber! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on all the latest timber news!