Metsa Wood have a New Solution to help the Construction Industry

6 March 2023

Metsa are worried about our future, but they have a plan!

In a world with limited natural resources, issues such as climate change are now encouraging societies to move away from older fuel sources and towards more sustainable solutions. The construction industry being one of those, with the construction industry consuming roughly half of the natural resources used globally its fast becoming apparent that this will no longer be sustainable. 

Metsa has a readily available way to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry: increasing the use of wood, but how will this work?

Tree canopies

What are the benefits of using wood?  

Using wood has many benefits, being a regenerative building material means that we can manage our resource and work within our means. Ultimately impacting our environment less and lowering our carbon emissions. All the wood from Metsa is traceable and comes from certified or controlled forests. 

As these trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon. After a tree has been harvested, four new seedlings are planted to create carbon sinks of the future. The carbon stored in the tree then remains locked when the wood material stays in use.  

Once the material is disposed of after being reused, the stored carbon is released back to the atmosphere, where it is absorbed again by trees through photosynthesis. This natural cycle makes the material a better solution than many of the current materials used.

How would using wood reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint? 

“Wood is a low-emission material that allows us to contribute to the sustainability goals of the construction industry. It is important to use wood material where it is best suited. All building materials have their strengths, but increasing the use of wood plays an important role in mitigating climate change,” says Henrik Söderström, SVP, Sales and Marketing from Metsä Wood. 

Would the industry just solely use wood to see the reduction in carbon footprint?  

To maintain how we work and the world around us we must make smarter use of our materials, fuel, and environment. The original take-make-waste economy no longer a viable option, meaning that alternatives must be adopted.

Metsa has found that the best results are reached when all the building materials are used together, they understand that different materials have different strengths. By using materials in conjunction with one another, we can utilise their strengths to our advantage. Wood products can be used alongside other materials in an increased way to overall reduce the industries carbon footprint and improve our overall build quality.

How would using wood slow down the carbon flows in forest-based biocycles?  

The average lifespan of an average building is usually around 50-60 years; however, wooden buildings can be in use for over 700 years. For example, the Stalekleivloftet in Norway has far outlasted many modern buildings and will continue to outlast many more to come.

Using wood as a building material has the potential to act as a substantially long-term carbon storage option and helps us to promote a more permanent aspect to our current building style. The industry has been concentrating on speed and quantity for a long time, but we need to tap back into our ability to create long lasting structures to create a more permanent liveable future.