Healthy, Managed Forests Absorb Carbon.
Wood Products Store Carbon.
Washington, Meet Your Natural Carbon Solution.
Science now confirms that growing and harvesting wood from carbon-absorbing trees under sustainable practices, is a natural way to create and accelerate substantial net carbon reductions.
And the use of wood products – as a substitute for more energy intensive building materials, reduces our carbon footprint – as wood naturally stores carbon indefinitely.
The practices that maintain healthy, managed forests for sustainable timber harvest also reduce the risk of mass carbon emission events such as catastrophic wildfires.
Washington’s forest products industry is Below Net Zero. While growing, managing, harvesting, transporting and manufacturing wood and paper products emits some greenhouse gasses, growing trees and using wood products store more carbon, reducing Washington’s carbon footprint by 12%. (Source: Global Warming Mitigating Role of Wood Products from Washington State’s Private Forests, University of Washington)
Sustainable forestry provides a natural solution for reducing carbon in Washington state.
• The forest industry is part of a carbon-friendly solution. Forest landowners grow and harvest trees, rather than converting their lands to home sites when practicing sustainable forestry, and the growing trees and harvested wood absorb and store carbon.
• Using natural wood building products as substitutes for more energy intensive materials, is a natural solution for reducing carbon.
• Modern working forestry supports additional environmental benefits we all care about such as protecting the cool, clean water that salmon need to thrive.
• Supporting working forestry-derived carbon benefits can achieve carbon reductions at the lowest cost to our economy, consumers and businesses while creating family-wage jobs and carbon friendly wood products.
Frequently Asked Questions About Forest Products and Carbon
Healthy, growing trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, then store that carbon as tree biomass, or wood. When timber is harvested, the carbon stays in the wood, lumber and other timber products for their useful life.
Science now confirms that growing and harvesting wood under sustainable practices, and preferencing the use of wood products that we know store carbon indefinitely, is a natural way to create and accelerate substantial net carbon reductions.
Large, unmanaged, and unhealthy forestlands pose a greater risk of mass carbon emission events such as catastrophic wildfires and large-scale treefall in windstorms resulting in excessive, carbon-emitting decay and rot.
The good news is working forests and wood products can help us reduce carbon in the atmosphere by:
- Increasing sustainable forest management: harvesting timber, transferring carbon storage to wood products, and reforestation increases carbon stocks
- Lowering the carbon footprint of buildings by using wood products to substitute for fossil fuel intensive materials.
- One square meter of wood used in construction prevents the emission of 1.1 tons of carbon when substituted for other building materials.
- Reducing emissions from deforestation or converting lands to non-forest uses
- Expand forest areas through afforestation, or planting trees in on-forested lands.