On average log trees grow in commercial Northern forests for 80 years, and for that time they sequester carbon. Once the logs are harvested, the stored carbon remains in them. The longer the wood products are being used and re-used before turning into bioenergy and biogenic CO2 at their end of life, the longer the carbon is stored (3). This means that slowing down the carbon flow plays a big role in mitigating climate change. The carbon stored in bio-based products can act as a temporary reservoir with positive climate effects (4). Simply put: we need to extend the service lifetime of wood products from sustainably managed forests and encourage to reuse of products to keep carbon stored longer.
The carbon benefits of wood construction can also be quantified as substitution impacts. It is estimated that one tonne of carbon in wood construction products substituting a non-wood construction product on average displaces emissions of approximately 2.1 tonnes of carbon or roughly 3.9 t CO2 eq (5).