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U.S. SOFTWOOD INDUSTRY: A GLOBAL LEADER IN SUSTAINABILITY

The U.S. has more trees today than 70 years ago. In fact, over 1 billion seedlings are planted in the U.S. every year – the equivalent of 2.7 million trees every single day of the year. Modern forest management ensures not only that felled trees are replaced, but that every year more wood is grown in U.S. forests than is harvested.

Environmental Stewardship

  • According to The State of America’s Forests report, responsible forest management has resulted in more than 50 consecutive years of net forest growth that exceeds annual forest removals.
  • The United States has a vast amount of wood available for commercial use. In the nation’s timberlands, representing two-thirds of U.S. forest area, the total volume of live trees exceeds 28 billion cubic meters (1 trillion cubic feet).
  • Every two minutes U.S. forests grow 700 cubic metres. That’s enough to build a 12-story building
The Carbon Benefits of Softwoods

As trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and release oxygen (O2) back into the air. Softwood products store much of this carbon indefinitely. In the case of buildings, the carbon is kept out of the atmosphere for the lifetime of the structure—or longer if the softwood is reclaimed and used to manufacture other products.

  • As carbon reduction becomes increasingly important to building activity, wood’s compelling environmental benefits are helping to make it today’s building material of choice:
  • It is the only mainstream construction material that is renewable and produced using solar energy.
  • It has better insulation properties than other building materials.
  • Trees require less energy (meaning less CO2 emissions) to harvest and convert into finished products than any other construction material.
  • Wood is reusable, recyclable, can be used as biomass fuel and is biodegradable.
  • Wood is better for the environment than fossil fuel-intensive materials such as steel or concrete in terms of embodied energy, air, and other environmental impact categories.

American Softwoods Video

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