At Castle Timbers, we’ve always known that trees are important. Indeed, our very livelihood depends on them. Aside from us though, a brief look at the UNESCO, World Heritage Convention website, heavily underlines their importance not least of all the fact that some 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their existence, be it for food, medicine, fuel, or a combination thereof.
There are around 69 million hectares of forest cover around the world (we need more), from which, around 13 billion tonnes of carbon is stored in trees and soil.
Till recently, commercial forests were not seen as being quite so important in their role as climate custodians, but a study published in June 2021, on the Nature Communications site entitled: “Commercial afforestation can deliver effective climate change mitigation under multiple decarbonisation pathways”, changes that perception. This study highlights the effectiveness and significance of commercial forests, like those of MTO, who own Castle Timbers, and from whom we sustainably source the materials that make the products we sell to you.
This fascinating study, using predictive modelling, shows that these types of forests have the potential to mitigate the negative impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) through the future use of harvested materials and products. Not only that, and something that speaks directly to the MTO business strategy of a circular bioeconomy, is that “new commercial conifer forests [for example] could deliver up to 269% more climate mitigation than semi-natural broadleaf forests by 2120.”
This is not to say that natural forests do not have their place, and in fact, are just as important if not more when it comes to biodiversity. Subject for another day, but natural wilding projects are doing wonders for ecosystems and the environment. Also, something, we at Castle Timbers are fully behind in our championing of sustainability.
Back to the business of trees - afforestation: Much of the carbon removed from sustainable commercial forests during harvesting is “locked up” in wood products over an extended period. Items such as sawn-wood, panel boards used for construction, lumber, poles and even the shelves and products we sell through Castle Timbers, are all storehouses for future carbon credits.
How it works - the tree is planted and grown to commercial maturity. In some instances, it may take anywhere from 15 – 50 years to grow before it is harvested. During this time, the tree is storing carbon into the ground around it. This is also called ‘carbon sink.’
The tree is then turned into a variety of wood products, which can be used in multiple stages of hierarchical use. This means that the GHG mitigation may take place more than a century into the future. This is, however, dependent on the type of forest and how long the trees take to grow, how it is managed and harvested, the types of products made and the technology that is utilised to turn the timber into these products and capture the carbon dioxide emissions, and then again into bioenergy at the end of the lifecycle for instance or naturally composted and returned to the soil. These among a myriad of factors.
However, as the demand for wood and wood products increases, as the awareness and commitment from consumers and producers to sustainability expands, the report hypothesises that “commercial forests could supply a large share of these future demands whilst delivering comparable or more long-term GHG mitigation compared with conservation forests.”
Human beings though, are by far the biggest threat to climate change on our planet, and every decision we make, counts, which is why, when you purchase a Castle Timbers product, you know the provenance of your item.
Every piece of the tree is used in the overall process of us providing you with your wood purchase – be it a shelf, a tea tray, or any other product – which is part of our circular bioeconomy approach to business, giving you the peace of mind that style and quality are not compromised by commercial output.
From our forests to your home
Ps. Head on over to our products page here to see some of the latest designs on offer.