Forest Management to Address Climate Change: FSC Woods featuring Oregon Conservation Center
Brad Kahn, Forest Stewardship Council
Aubrey McCormick, Forest Stewardship Council
Ryan Temple, Sustainable Northwest Wood
This session will cover the landscape of wood construction as one solution to climate change, starting with what it means to manage a forest responsibly. The Forest Stewardship Council is the world's most trusted forest certification system, but what's behind the familiar tree and check logo? How do FSC-certified forests and products contribute to the climate fight and reduce embodied carbon, and what can builders do to be climate smart? What does the research show and what products are available today?
This session will dig into what it takes to use climate-smart wood products, offering examples of builders and projects going the extra mile to reward foresters storing more carbon in the woods (and the wood). In a region with a fairly clean energy mix, reducing embodied carbon is the leading edge for green building. And no material offers more promise than wood, but only if we take care of the forest. This session will offer a path forward to a future full of climate-smart wood and healthy carbon-storing forests.
When the Oregon Conservation Center specified wood for their remodeled headquarters, they insisted that it come from well managed forests. Because The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the anchor tenant, Sustainable Northwest Wood offered that much of the wood could also come from TNC land. They were intrigued that wood for TNC could come from TNC; and once we detailed the community and ecological benefits of that choice, they were sold.
Ecological benefits are amplified when they also contribute to community well-being. All the wood described above came from within 250 miles of the project site. From the loggers to the mills to the truckers to the remanufacturing facilities, multiple people touched this wood. The trickle down economics have meaningful impacts in impoverished rural communities like Fossil, Molalla, Coquille and Hubbard where every single job is precious. The project owners can be proud that they shattered the perception that jobs and the environment are mutually exclusive. With thoughtful choices, they are in fact mutually dependent.
Even as the urgency and impacts of climate change grow, there remains only one proven way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a scale that matters: forests.