Sustainable plantation forestry can deliver climate mitigation and a climate-friendly building sector, new landmark Australian study finds

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) research to be presented at the National Forest Industries Symposium tomorrow has found planting production trees to offset emissions from Australia’s biggest companies would deliver a win-win; both tackling climate change and securing more future timber supply for Australia’s housing industry.

FWPA Managing Director Ric Sinclair, who will present the study’s findings said, “Many ASX companies are declaring climate action agendas and those that use offsets as part of their response will need to access land and plant trees to meet their targets.

“This study found companies making up the ASX50 could offset 10% of their emissions for the next 25 years by planting 410,000 hectares of plantations along with their usual environmental plantings,” Mr Sinclair said.

“At harvest, those plantation trees would deliver around 50 million cubic metres of wood, more than one and half times more than Australia’s current annual harvest volume. Those timber products, like framing for homes, would go on storing carbon for decades to come.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said, “Timber plantations are a massive opportunity for big business to complement environmental plantings in key forest industry regions where the additional timber supply will support jobs and future timber demand,” Mr Hampton said.

“This ground-breaking research couldn’t come at a better time. Our building industries are crying out for our nation to be more self-sufficient in timber production for our homes and renovations. It also highlights the need for state and federal governments to develop policies to trigger this growth.

“If our major companies pivoted to plantation trees for at least some of their offsets they would do a great thing for Australia. They would reduce our carbon emissions profile, they would leave more land for agriculture, and they would help overcome the shortage in framing timber.

“As many companies move towards a goal of net zero emissions by 2050, we will need more types of carbon abatement projects.”

The Symposium will feature a range of key presenters including Volvo biomaterials scientist Sandra Tostar who will speak about the car maker’s race for wood-fibre in new vehicles as well as Canadian Forest Products Association CEO Derek Nighbor who will discuss social licence issues ahead of the Canadian election.

Other presenters include:

  • Keynote Speaker – Federal Assistant Minister for Forestry – Senator Jonno Duniam.
  • New Forests CEO – David Brand.
  • UK head of climate diplomacy in Australia – Akhil Abraham.

Tickets to this virtual event can be purchased here.



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