The Housing Industry Association (HIA) estimates that around 80 percent of Australian homes are built with timber framing. Timber is one of the construction industry’s mainstays and has been utilised for millennia. It is strong, durable and when responsibly grown and harvested, can make a positive contribution to our Earth and reducing climate change effects.
With years of experience on the industry-wide journey towards decarbonisation, Timberlink has taken major steps to advance its own environmentally conscious agenda.
The Australian timber supplier has made a number of changes to their operations over the years in line with their company mission: To build a world-class timber products business that makes a positive impact for future generations.
Timberlink is currently in the process of completing a new facility in Tarpeena, SA, which will assist the company in producing NeXTimber® Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels and Glue Laminated Timber (GLT). It will be the first combined Radiata Pine CLT and GLT facility in Australia, helping the nation become more self-sufficient through reducing reliance on mass timber imports, and having the potential to assist in decarbonising the construction industry by creating timber for buildings that can store carbon.
“We have substantial programs of work planned in the areas of GHG reduction, and we’re continually looking for ways to reduce our water, waste and energy use,” says Trevor Innes, GM of Sustainability & Technical at Timberlink.
The majority of energy consumed by Timberlink’s manufacturing facilities is heat needed to kiln dry timber, and this heat is generated by combustion of renewable biomass (residue from the production process), in large high-efficiency heat plants.
In July 2021, Timberlink also announced the construction of a 2,100 sqm wood-plastic composite (WPC) manufacturing facility at their Bell Bay site in Tasmania. This wood-plastic composite plant will take wood residues and post-consumer recycled plastic from items like shampoo bottles which have been granulated and are used to create decking and screening products for commercial and residential applications.
Innes says that Timberlink is acutely aware that sustainability is a journey of constant innovation, as opposed to finally reaching a destination.
“We view it as vital that all industry sectors play their part in limiting global warming to levels that avoid catastrophic impacts to the planet,” he says.
To that end, they have committed to Science Based Targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in line with the more ambitious limit of 1.5°C warming above pre-industrial levels instead of the well below 2 degrees target of the Paris Agreement. And, of course, to track their progress to the required trajectory.
Timberlink also recently joined the Australian Packaging Covenant to help it move towards industry best-practice when it comes to reducing their packaging impact. Further demonstrating their commitment to social sustainability, Timberlink is currently moving towards having their first Reconciliation Action Plan accredited, building a robust community engagement model and working hard to become an employer of choice.