Sustainable Forest Management Results in the Greenest Building Material

Lumber being harvested as a part of sustainable forest operations.

The health of the world’s forests is important – and not just because wood products are a beautiful way to decorate your home. Forest ecosystems are key to the survival of not only countless animals and vegetation but also all of humankind.

Many people falsely assume that using forest products like hardwoods contributes to deforestation and the destruction of wildlife habitats. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, compared to substitutes like plastic, steel and other building materials, lumber is by far the greenest material there is!

Thanks to sustainable forest management practices, we can reduce carbon, produce oxygen AND enjoy beautiful, natural hardwood products in our homes.

How Sustainable Forestry Works

Rather than contributing to the depletion of forest lands, sustainable forestry works toward healthy reforestation. Forest operations focus on harvesting old growth forest areas which, in turn, allows younger trees to thrive. Younger trees store more carbon than their older, more dense predecessors, and this unique cycle results in a win-win: green building products (wood) and the well-being of our hardwood forests (which ultimately reduces greenhouse gas in the atmosphere).

New trees growing as a result of sustainable forestry practices.

Who Developed Sustainable Forest Practices?

The United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) created the first guidelines for sustainable forest management, and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sets standards and provides forest certifications to organizations that practice sustainable forest management in the American lumber industry.

Baird Brothers Talks Sustainable Forestry

The responsible use of forest resources is of the utmost importance to Baird Brothers – and we have worked for decades to form relationships with others who feel the same way. Recently, our friend Amy Shields stopped by Studio 3B to talk about the new partnership between Baird Brothers and the Real American Hardwood Coalition.

Why such a partnership? Real American Hardwood is working to provide a greener world for future generations through the promotion of the forest industry. Listen to Steve Stack and Amy discuss why the forest industry and its products are imperative for a sustainable tomorrow:

What are the Incentives for Green Forest Management Practices

Sustainable forest management practices don’t only ensure future economic development for stakeholders in the forestry industry – they provide a safer and greener earth for us all.

Allows for the Sustainable Development of Natural Resources

Sustainable forestry practices are about managing forest lands in such a way that their natural beauty and wildlife remain intact while providing wood materials for building projects: framing, flooring, interior doors, decor and MUCH more. When comparing hardwoods to other building materials, it’s easy to see how man-made products damage ecosystems (not to mention the fact that their manufacturing processes result in greenhouse gas emissions and significant energy use).

Creates Much-Needed Forest Biodiversity

Single tree selection plays a major role in forest ecology, helping to maintain a natural habitat for different species while also regulating soil conditions to aid in tree regeneration (which ultimately slows the process of global warming).

Unlike non-timber forest products, hardwoods store carbon for their entire useful life, whether standing in a forest or used in your home, office, outdoor space or cabin. When managed properly, tree selection is actually an enhancement to the forest ecosystem. Removal of older trees results in openings within the canopy. Those openings allow sunlight and precipitation to reach the forest floor. And, ultimately, those nutrients allow seedlings to grow more easily. That entire process (lifecycle) results in better forest health – which benefits all living things!

Old growth tree within a hardwood forest.

Fights Climate Change

Removing old growth trees to make way for younger trees isn’t the only way sustainable forestry practices help fight climate change. As Amy mentioned in the podcast, forest products contain carbon dioxide for their entire life, keeping those emissions from being released into the air when the tree would otherwise die and rot naturally.

Carbon sequestration – aka the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide – is an important piece of the sustainable forestry puzzle. Interestingly, since CO2 is absorbed by growing trees (and still stored in the resulting wood products), it offsets the energy required to harvest, process and transport hardwood products. Compound that by purchasing lumber from a source close to your local community (rather than from Canada or Europe), and you’re further cutting down on the emissions used to produce the materials. The result? Emissions that are close to, if not under, zero!

Support Sustainable Forestry Practices With Baird Brothers

A family enjoying the preservation of our world’s forests.

Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods has made it our mission to provide future generations with a green, healthy tomorrow. We believe that each forest’s health is essential to the overall health of the earth – not to mention ourselves!

Buying from Baird Brothers means supporting sustainable forest management. When you visit us online, you’ll find a wide variety of sustainably sourced wood species, and with them, you can build a better tomorrow for yourself and future generations.