The American Hardwood Export Council claims a report it has commissioned proves several robust environmental credentials support of the use of U.S. hardwood in Australia.
It says the amount of carbon stored in American hardwoods far exceeds the total emissions involved in extracting, processing, and transporting these products to Australia.
Each kilogram of American hardwood in use in Australia stores the equivalent of 1.835kg of carbon dioxide. This is considerably greater than the carbon dioxide emissions released during all stages from extraction, through processing and delivery to the Australian market (0.5655kg).
The emissions associated with the transportation from U.S. forest to Australian distributor has nominal impact on overall carbon footprint - the majority of imports to Australia are covered by ship, with sea transport a relatively low emissions mode of transportation.
Processing (kiln drying) of U.S. hardwoods relies predominantly on renewable biomass energy — in stark contrast to Australia’s heavy dependence on fossil fuel energy during processing.
Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director says, “Contrary to preconceptions, Australian architects and designers can now freely specify American hardwood without concerns regarding the environmental impact of its transportation.”
The council says this is the largest Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study ever undertaken in the international hardwood sector. The independent assessment is being undertaken by PE International, a leader in the field of LCA, in accordance with the ISO14040 series of standards for LCA.