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Carbon accounting roadmap for Australian building industry

2 May 2024

WoodSolutions new EPD Database provides carbon accounting roadmap for building industry

There is considerable discussion among governmental bodies, regulatory agencies, sustainability rating systems, and professionals within the industry regarding the emergence of ‘zero-carbon’ initiatives. These initiatives carry significant implications for the building and construction sector.

Conversations are emerging surrounding various aspects such as material selection, the impact of embodied emissions, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) associated with both building materials and construction processes throughout the entire lifespan of structures. This entails a thorough examination of the carbon footprint at each stage of the building process, ranging from material extraction to eventual demolition and disposal.

Addressing these inquiries necessitates comprehensive data on manufacturing emissions associated with building products and much of the world already uses this approach. In response, WoodSolutions has partnered with Thinkstep-ANZ to develop an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Database. This database consolidates pertinent information drawn from all publicly available EPDs for timber building products used in the Australian market, encompassing structural (both treated and untreated), aesthetic, and landscaping components manufactured in Australia and overseas.

This highly valuable database includes industry average EPD data and product specific data from individual publicly available company EPDs. It includes values for the fossil fuel emissions (GWP fossil) used in the production phase (Modules A1-A3), the biogenic carbon storage value (GWP biogenic) recognising the carbon sequestered in the wood, and a GWP-total value – which is these two values added together. This GWP-total value includes the biogenic carbon in forests and the fossil carbon emissions included in forestry practices, haulage, processing, kiln drying, planing, and packaging.

This database is a major benefit for embodied emission data users in the building and construction industry. All the embodied emission information for the major timber building products, used in the Australian market and that have EPDs, is now in one place and easily accessible. Industry professionals can now access detailed information on the environmental impact of key timber products and have more accurate knowledge to feed into their decision-making process. The database covers more than ninety products including structural timber products, internal appearance products, landscape products, and more.

“This new resource from WoodSolutions is a huge win for the industry as it delivers crucial, consistent, and accurate data for timber and building products in use across the market,” said Kevin Peachey, Head of WoodSolutions.

“This EPD database gives the building and construction industry the ability to calculate carbon emissions more holistically during the first three stages of the building process to help achieve sustainability ratings for projects.”

Click here to download the database.

Source: WoodSolutions

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