Wood industry aims to double the amount of timber used annually in the European built environment by 2050

/ / Wood construction, Wood Construction News, Circular Bioeconomy
Photo: Siebe Briers

The European Confederation of the Woodworking Industry held its winter 2021 General Assembly on
Friday 26th November 2021 in an online format. During the meeting CEI-Bois presented its Advocacy Report, a comprehensive overview of its activities undertaken in 2021.

Mr Sampsa Auvinen the Chair of CEI-Bois ended the Advocacy Report by looking to the future and
noting: “We see significant potential to increase the amount of wood used in both new build and renovation.
Currently 0.5Gt of CO2 equivalent is taken out of the European forest each year in the form of
sustainable timber, of which we believe approximately 15% ends up in Long Life Harvested Wood
Products. CEI-Bois thinks we should be aiming to at least double this figure by 2050 so that wood can
play its full role in tackling climate breakdown by making a significant contribution to decarbonising the
built environment. There is a very simple way to respect the environment and to preserve it for future
generations: simply by choosing wood products one reduces greenhouse gas concentrations in the
atmosphere which has great benefits for the environment.”

The Assembly was addressed by guest speaker architect Anthony Thistleton of Waugh Thistleton
Associates an architectural practice based in London specialising in building in wood. Earlier this month,
on the eve of the COP in Glasgow, his colleague, architect Andrew Waugh launched the GLOBAL WOOD
MANIFESTO
, produced by a collaboration of European, North American, Australian and New Zealand
wood and forestry organisations led by CEI-Bois. The manifesto makes the case for a significant increase
in the use of wood in both construction and renovation as the only sustainable structural material that
grows worldwide which can enable a substantial decarbonisation of the built environment – based on
existing business models and proven technology; providing vast carbon sinks in our rural areas and
carbon stores in our cities.

During the General Assembly, Anthony Thistleton challenged CEI-Bois members to:
“Accelerate the production of Cross Laminated Timber to have the capacity to drive the timber
revolution. Timber is not only good for the environment timber is the way out of the climate crisis. The
Woodworking Industry must work together more than ever to help deliver clear and simple messages
that can correct existing misperceptions.”

The Assembly also ratified the composition of the CEI-Bois Board Members for the year ahead and welcomes a new staff member Mr Sonda.