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Timber industry welcomes housing pledges, calls for greater use of low carbon materials

Timber industry welcomes housing pledges, calls for greater use of low carbon materials

The Confederation of Timber industries (CTI) welcomes recent housing pledges made by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and calls for these homes to be built using low carbon materials.

Labour has committed to building 100,000 council homes and “at least” 50,000 affordable homes via housing associations a year by the end of parliament in its election manifesto published today.

This follows the Liberal Democrats manifesto pledge to deliver 100,000 social rent units a year and require all new homes to reach Passivhaus standards from 2025 announced yesterday.

Funding of the Lib Dem house building programme will be part of a planned £130 billion package of infrastructure investment, while Labour will pull from a £150 billion Social Transformation Fund.

Roy Wakeman, Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries, said:

“The timber industry welcomes the recent statements of intent from political parties in their manifestos to significantly expand housebuilding programmes over the course of the next Parliament.

“We now call for all parties to take their commitments a step further and pledge to build these homes using low carbon materials, which will help drive and accelerate change in the construction industry to achieve its carbon emissions targets.

“Construction is directly responsible for 10% of all GHG emissions in the UK, but if we substitute energy-intensive materials like cement and steel for sustainable timber we can shift the needle.

“As was made clear in the recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries, timber is the only proven solution which can allow us to build houses quicker and to higher quality standards, all the while lowering our carbon emissions.

“This has been called the first ‘climate change election’, and as an industry we are advocating for any major new house building programmes initiated by the UK Government in 2020 to be tied to the UK’s zero carbon targets.

“We strongly encourage all of the political parties to get behind the recommendations of the APPG and embrace solutions which will tackle both our housing and climate crises.”


Contact the CTI if you have any questions about this update please contact 07921 726212 or [email protected]  

Notes to editor

Independent research shows if timber were used to build 270,000 new homes per year this would store 3,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

You can read and download the APPG for the Timber Industries report, ‘How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis’ on our website.

The timber supply chain contributes approximately £10 billion to the economy and employs around 200,000 people in the UK.

About the CTI

The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) is an umbrella organisation representing the UK's timber supply chain from forest to end of life recycling, including producers, manufacturers and distributors of timber. Find more info on our website: www.cti-timber.org

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Timber industry welcomes housing pledges, calls for greater use of low carbon materials

The Confederation of Timber industries (CTI) welcomes recent housing pledges made by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and calls for these homes to be built using low carbon materials.

Labour has committed to building 100,000 council homes and “at least” 50,000 affordable homes via housing associations a year by the end of parliament in its election manifesto published today.

This follows the Liberal Democrats manifesto pledge to deliver 100,000 social rent units a year and require all new homes to reach Passivhaus standards from 2025 announced yesterday.

Funding of the Lib Dem house building programme will be part of a planned £130 billion package of infrastructure investment, while Labour will pull from a £150 billion Social Transformation Fund.

Roy Wakeman, Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries, said:

“The timber industry welcomes the recent statements of intent from political parties in their manifestos to significantly expand housebuilding programmes over the course of the next Parliament.

“We now call for all parties to take their commitments a step further and pledge to build these homes using low carbon materials, which will help drive and accelerate change in the construction industry to achieve its carbon emissions targets.

“Construction is directly responsible for 10% of all GHG emissions in the UK, but if we substitute energy-intensive materials like cement and steel for sustainable timber we can shift the needle.

“As was made clear in the recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries, timber is the only proven solution which can allow us to build houses quicker and to higher quality standards, all the while lowering our carbon emissions.

“This has been called the first ‘climate change election’, and as an industry we are advocating for any major new house building programmes initiated by the UK Government in 2020 to be tied to the UK’s zero carbon targets.

“We strongly encourage all of the political parties to get behind the recommendations of the APPG and embrace solutions which will tackle both our housing and climate crises.”

How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis

MPs call for Government to focus on timber industry to tackle housing crisis and climate change

A report launched today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries (APPG), highlights the key role timber industries can play in helping the Government meet its targets for housebuilding whilst working to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The report argues that using timber in construction is key to meeting emissions targets, and urges the Government to implement the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee by increasing the use of timber in construction.

A long-term spending commitment, reform of right-to-buy and building regulations that encourage innovation in construction are amongst the recommendations to the Government made in the report. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) have long featured in the timber industry. Timber frames are built using offsite construction methods, and are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods.

In order to meet the skills requirement needed to build more homes, the report recommends that Government should place an increased emphasis on construction apprentices and invest in developing construction courses, bringing together skills development with technological solutions.

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How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis

A report launched today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries (APPG), highlights the key role timber industries can play in helping the Government meet its targets for housebuilding whilst working to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The report argues that using timber in construction is key to meeting emissions targets, and urges the Government to implement the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee by increasing the use of timber in construction.

A long-term spending commitment, reform of right-to-buy and building regulations that encourage innovation in construction are amongst the recommendations to the Government made in the report. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) have long featured in the timber industry. Timber frames are built using offsite construction methods, and are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods.

In order to meet the skills requirement needed to build more homes, the report recommends that Government should place an increased emphasis on construction apprentices and invest in developing construction courses, bringing together skills development with technological solutions.

Martin Whitfield MP, chair, APPG, said:

“This report addresses an important dilemma governments have: increase housebuilding whilst reducing carbon emissions. The timber industry will provide skilled jobs, it can deliver sustainable and affordable homes and it should be at the forefront of addressing the climate emergency we face.

“Housebuilding should be part of an environmental revolution that is firmly integrated into our net-zero emissions targets. Using timber will lock carbon within homes for generations and is considerably more environmentally friendly than other core building materials such as concrete.”

Roy Wakeman OBE, chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries, said:

“We know there is capacity in the industry which can be unlocked with the right policies, regulatory framework, and partnership between the public and private sectors. By bringing together experts from across the timber supply chain - all the way from the forest to the finished house - we will be able to make an even greater contribution.”

The report follows a UK-wide inquiry the APPG launched to explore how the timber industry can contribute towards solving the housing crisis.

Download the report here.

Timber is essential to zero-carbon bio-economy

New Book – Wood: Building the BioEconomy – shows how the EU can reduce emissions while increasing output.

CEI Bois, the pan-European trade body for the timber supply chain, is calling on politicians to put wood at the centre of plans to reduce emissions and achieve zero carbon targets. 

CEI Bois has released a new publication, Wood: Building the Bioeconomy which shows how the EU can reduce emissions by using low carbon, renewable, biological alternatives such as timber over high carbon materials such as concrete, steel and plastic.

The book shows this would be good not just for the climate, but also the economy. Increasing the use of European wood-based products in global construction, textile and plastics markets could generate as much as €60bn of revenue.

“If we are to restore balance in the atmosphere, we need to reduce emissions in the first place, while also increasing the capacity of the global carbon sink,” said Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary General of pan-EU industry body CEI Bois. 

“Forests and timber are part of both solutions, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, and storing it as wood. Timber harvested from the forests can be turned into high-value products for construction using only a fraction of the energy and carbon that other materials would need.”  

“The more Governments across the continent can support and invest in wood, the more valuable this bioeconomy can become, helping to reverse the adverse climate and environmental impacts of human activity, and meet our obligations under the Paris agreement.”

EU forests provide a net sink of around 424 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, equivalent to around 10% of the total GHG emissions of Europe. Thanks to sustainable forest management by the industry, this massive carbon sink has grown by 9% in area as compared to 25 years ago.  

A total of 43% of the EU is now covered in trees, supporting the livelihood of around 3 million people, with forest producing around 470 million m3 of roundwood and building thousands of homes which are high quality, warm, and sustainable.

The development of cross-laminated timber (CLT) means timber can be have a higher strength to weight ratio than steel and the fire resistance to be used in high rise buildings, and universities and businesses continue to innovate to make it even more versatile.

As a material lends timber lends already itself to modern methods of construction, such as offsite, with timber frame able to be built up to a third quicker than other methods using brick and masonry and producing up to 90% less waste.

Download a free copy of Wood: Building the BioEconomy here.

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