Wood In Architecture Issue 2, 2020

SUSTAINABILITY 19 WOOD IN ARCHITECTURE • ISSUE 2 • 2020 derived from the USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) programme on forest volume, growth and harvest. Users can drill down to show data on individual hardwood species at national, state and survey unit level. This level of access to data on the distribution growth and harvest of commercial species at national level is unprecedented in the global forest products sector. In addition, AHEC was also one of the first to commission a comprehensive LCA study of the cradle-to-gate environmental impacts of delivering US hardwood lumber and veneer in 2012. This study is unique in the wood sector for the level of detail on environmental impacts provided for individual species and thicknesses of lumber and transport scenarios. AHEC has subsequently used this data to inform LCAs of finished products and structures containing US hardwoods regularly undertaken for AHEC demonstration projects. The AHEC website hosts an LCA tool providing easy access to environmental impact data on selected American hardwood species and thickness to the overseas customer using the specified transport route. "We have developed the American Hardwood Environmental Profile (AHEP) system to provide our members with a simple mechanism to deliver species- specific data required to be reported for EUTR and similar regulations, alongside sustainability data from the FIA, the LCA and the Seneca Creek Assessment, to their overseas customers. AHEPs can be issued by AHECmembers either for the termof an individual supply contract or for individual consignments of US hardwood exported by AHEC members to anywhere in the world. Looking ahead, we want to push for full integration of scientific life cycle data into the design and procurement process, confident in the knowledge that the choice of American hardwood is environmentally sound and exceeds all legal requirements," concluded Mr Chan. | WIA Although approximately 22% of the total forest area in the hardwood growing region of the US is certified, the certified area is concentrated in larger consolidated areas of state forest land or private land managed by Timber Investment Management Organisations and Real Estate Investment Trusts. Moreover, supply is dominated by softwoods and lower grade hardwoods, much destined for the paper industry and other industrial uses. Over 90% of hardwood supply in the US derives from non-industrial landowners, of which there are nearly nine million with an average area of less than 10 hectares. In total, it is estimated that no more than 2%of non-industrial ownerships and 3% of non-industrial forest area is certified. ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION FOR AMERICAN HARDWOOD SPECIES In the absence of large-scale forest certification, the US hardwood sector has developed innovative mechanisms to demonstrate and communicate the sustainability of products. This draws on comprehensive national data sets on forest resources, governance and management and independent risk assessment involving the collection and systematic analysis of data to demonstrate that all US hardwood is legal and sustainable. It also considers scientific and ISO conformant LCA of the environmental impact of each individual US hardwood specification at point of supply tomanufacturers in export markets. AHEC has highlighted the importance of a risk-based approach to responsible timber sourcing in which the first step is to assess the quality of forest governance in a supply region by combining data on forest resources with information on forest laws and institutions. As such, the AHEC website hosts an interactive forest map to provide easy access to data