Wood produces less carbon dioxide in its production than many other major building materials

The production and processing of wood uses less energy than most other building materials, giving wood products a very low carbon footprint. Wood can often be used in place of materials like steel, aluminum, concrete or plastics that require large amounts of energy to produce.  This means that there are less carbon dioxide emissions associated with wood products than other major building materials.

According to research “substituting wood products from well managed forests and plantations for more greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive building products in cladding, wall, roof and floor framing could reduce the GHG emissions of a typical house by up to 18 tonnes over its life.”

Reference: An FWPA factsheet based on an RMIT study: Understanding the carbon footprint of material choice in Australian housing using lifecycle assessment.

Substituting a cubic metre of wood for other construction materials (concrete, blocks or bricks) could save up to 1 tonne of CO2 emissions.


Reid, H. et al (2004) Using Wood Products To Mitigate Climate Change: A Review of Evidence and Key Issues For Sustainable Development, International Institute for Environment and Development.

‘Timber as a Sustainable Building Material’ – University of