Using natural wood products instead of fossil fuel-intensive building products sharply reduces carbon emissions. Sustainable forestry can play a major role in carbon sequestration and help to mitigate global climate change.
The Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) is a study group made up of fifteen research institutions. Over the last decade, CORRIM has measured the carbon input and output of forests and other building materials at every stage of their life cycle through a process called Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and determined that forests are an integral part of the green economy. The full report containing a complete summary of CORRIM’s recommendations is available here.
Through Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), scientists analyze the total environmental impact of products based on all steps, beginning with gathering raw materials to create products, and ending when all materials are discarded and returned to the earth. All raw material inputs and product outputs are measured at every stage in the product life cycle, with the perspective that all stages are interdependent. Careful analysis then considers the environmental impacts of each of these inputs and outputs to identify the net environmental impact of a particular material or product.