As the premier timber suppliers in the Brisbane area, we don’t take our responsibilities lightly. We feel one of our biggest responsibilities is to leave our environment and our climate better than we found it. If we cannot do that, we feel we should at least do whatever we can to stop climate change before it begins to have even worse effects on us than it has already.
The best way we can help from our position as timber suppliers is to insist that any timber we make available for sale has been harvested in a sustainable manner. Why is this so important? Because of the carbon footprint and the principle of carbon storage.
Carbon Storage and the Carbon Footprint
For most of their growth cycle, trees breathe in a way that is symbiotic with humans and animals. When we breathe the air, we use the oxygen and we exhale the carbon dioxide or CO2. When trees breathe, they use the carbon to make cells and exhale the oxygen. This process is called carbon storage.
It is therefore advantageous to keep a semblance of balance between the number of humans and animals and the number of trees.
Sadly, it hasn’t worked that way for the last hundred years. As mankind has increased its population thousandfold, we have deforested an incredible amount of land on every continent except Antarctica.
It has been theorised by many scientists that the air we breathe now contains much less oxygen than it used to contain during Biblical times. Up to now this has not been a problem. However, a potentially uglier problem has taken its place: climate change.
Climate change has been caused by an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. To make a long story short, the more CO2 that is in our environment, the faster our climate begins to heat up.
Since all greenhouse gases contain various forms of carbon, the estimate of how much any person or operation contributes to global warming is now known as its carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is a rough estimate of how much carbon is released into the environment.
Ethical and Sustainable Harvesting of Timber
The days of deforestation without consideration of its effect on the environment have taken a great toll, both in Australia and across the world. With the exception of our science-challenged friends in the United States, the one thing that every government in the world seems to be able to agree upon is that global warming presents possibly the biggest danger to mankind in the next hundred years.
If we are going to get a handle on climate change and possibly even reverse it, it is crucial that we start replacing every tree we chop down. While this is not possible when areas are cleared for residential purposes, it is possible when trees are cut to provide timber.
When trees are harvested in a sustainable manner, they are harvested when they are past their peak years of converting carbon into timber. Each tree that is cut down is replaced by a newly planted tree. This actually replaces trees that are no longer storing carbon at their former rate with trees that are storing carbon at a faster rate.
The end result is either a neutral or a negative carbon footprint. For every tree that is taken down, another replaces it, storing carbon and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. The benefits are twofold: climate change is slowed down while we get fresher, more oxygen-rich air to breathe.
What Does Sustainable Forest Management Do?
Sadly, not all timber suppliers think it is important to take care of our environment. To help combat this, the government began a program of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in 1992.
The program includes a policy framework promoting SFM and conservation. They also established Regional Forest Agreements (RFA’s) to provide a regional approach to balance the fine line between production and conservation. Most importantly, Australian forests are now certified by an outside third party.
Most Ethical Timber Suppliers in Brisbane
So, why do we believe in sustainable forest management? It’s because we want to leave a livable world for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Anything less is not acceptable.