Going green is the new trend, right? Not so fast! The forest products industry began implementing eco-friendly measures long before they went mainstream! Employing nearly one million men and women in the United States, the wood industry is consistently engaging in practices like:
- sustainable forest management
- fiber recovery
- efficient manufacturing processes
- energy generation
- and more
To understand the true impact of the lumber industry, we begin with its most important renewable resource — the sun. With help from the sun, growing forests absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen. Just one acre of trees can remove over 2 tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year!
You might be thinking, right, but doesn’t the forest products industry cut down these air-cleaning trees?! Forest products companies need trees to sustain their businesses, so reforestation is a top priority for them. In fact, most of the trees planted each year are planted by forest products companies! In the past 50 years alone, the US has successfully grown more timber than it has harvested. And, an increasing demand for wood products has resulted in nearly a 50% increase in timber inventory. So, believe it or not, there are actually more trees in the United States today than there were 70 years ago!
With sustainable forest management practices, this sphere of business can remain productive indefinitely. The fiber from trees provides materials for a variety of products we all use every day — furniture, flooring, paper, pencils, not to mention the buildings we work in and the homes we live in. This one industry serves the needs, in some fashion, of nearly every human being on this planet!
Now that the masses have caught on to going green, interest in the procurement of sustainably produced wood- and paper-based goods is on a steady uptrend. Consumers, retailers, investors, communities, and governments are all becoming increasingly aware of where their products come from and how they are sourced. Organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council work to ensure forests are responsibly managed, and are supported by groups like Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and National Wildlife Federation to name a few. Look for the FSC logo on your next wood product purchase!
The combined impact of all sectors of the forest product industry is significant to say the least. Not only does it create jobs for people all over the world, but it also feeds our economy, supports our infrastructure, and provides a renewable product to consumers.
The forest products industry is dedicated to keeping our environment safe and sustainable for future generations. After all, it’s own life depends on it!
Thank you for your past support of the National Forest Foundation’s (NFF) tree planting program. Because of the generous support we received from individuals, communities, and partners like Continental Underwriters, we planted 1.8 million trees across our National Forests in 2017 and 11 million trees over the past decade. Continental Underwriters’ support helped improve water quality for communities, restore important fish and wildlife habitat, and enhance recreational opportunities for all Americans. – Director, Ecosystem Services – National Forest Foundation