Exceptional performance that's carbon-positive
No construction material offers more environmental benefits than wood. Renewable, non-toxic, recyclable and bio-degradable, forests absorb CO². Making timber also uses a fraction of the energy needed for concrete, steel and aluminium – and Södra even generates renewable power as part of the process.
Think of trees as the world’s air filtration system. Every day, through photosynthesis, forests all over the globe ingest CO², locking in the carbon, and generating fresh oxygen. Over a year, just one acre of forest will absorb twice the CO² produced by an average car.
The energy used to harvest, process and deliver timber on-site for use (called ‘embodied’ energy) is extremely low. In turn, this reduces the typical 30-50% embodied carbon footprint of a building. A timber building structure also requires a fifth of the vehicle deliveries demanded by concrete, for example. All this means reduced harmful emissions, pollutants and less consumption of finite resources like fossil fuels.
Trees absorb most CO² whilst they are growing; then, as they age, absorption declines. Each cubic metre of timber locks in about a tonne of carbon. Unless wood is either burnt or rots, the carbon remains safely stored. Södra’s timber only comes from mature trees - those that have stopped absorbing harmful carbon dioxide and fully benefited the environment.
Harvesting and replanting forests sustainably keeps the tree stock young and growing, which maximises the capture of carbon. For every tree felled, our members plant another three in its place. Södra’s carefully managed forest areas remove more atmospheric CO² than if they were left untended to mature.
The cold Swedish climate and resulting slow tree growth creates stability and strength. Södra’s spruce, for instance, can grow for up to 120 years before harvesting. It’s this slow growth that gives you distinctive durability and a premium finish.
Södra’s timber mills use everything harvested. Approximately 50% of log volume becomes sawn timber. The rest is used by the pulp industry and wood board industry. Bark, wood chips and sawdust are used as energy in the sawmill and any surplus is sold to the biofuel sector. All Södra industries are self-sufficient in energy by utilising the waste product.
A long-term approach is not new to us, our forests are here to stay.