Welcome to the Hardwoods GREENBELT
Here you will find a quick reference guide to many of the environmentally responsible products within our distribution, as well as their environmental qualifications and which LEED® credits they may support.
Not finding what you’re looking for? Be sure to contact one of our distribution centers for more ideas of how Hardwoods can source the products that help you achieve your goals in environmental design.
Hardwoods Greenbelt Brochure
Click on the above table to download a copy in PDF format
Hardwoods Specialty Products and The Environment
For more than seven decades our business has relied on the sustainability of the forest products industry. Our business is built around a renewable and recyclable resource and we recognize that as one of North Americas largest hardwood wholesale distributors, we have an obligation to minimize our impact by making the environment an ongoing component of our business decisions. Sustainability isn’t just a marketing gimmick; it is a practice that ensures the future of our business.
That is why every distribution center at Hardwoods Specialty Products has been certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council for Chain of Custody. FSC guarantees the integrity of the supply chain for these certified products and insures that these products have been harvested from forests that meet stringent environmental, social and economic standards or are from verified recycled sources.
We are also members of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC), supporting green building initiatives through accredited programs such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®). This program is active in 30 countries around the world and has rapidly become the most widely used standard in certifying green construction.
Hardwoods is reducing the environmental impact of our operations through waste prevention. Both paper and aluminum recycling programs are standard practice in each of our locations, as well as electronic invoicing, reducing our requirement for paper and the use of fossil fuel in the delivery of those invoices. Our distribution centers only purchase consumable paper products made from post consumer, recycled or FSC fiber, and all cardboard cover sheets are made from 100% recycled cardboard.
Products and Suppliers
We are constantly striving to add new environmentally responsible materials to our product offerings.
We know that the strength of our green product line is only as environmental as our supply chain. Therefore we look for vendors whose products have been certified through a third party. Many of our vendors are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Composite Panel Association’s Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP), the Program for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification (PEFC), and ISO 14001 for environmental management, as well as by the California Air Resource Board (CARB) for composite wood product emissions.
Global and local communities vastly benefit from well managed forests, and we understand that the decisions we make in how we conduct our business and where we source products, also implies a social and economic responsibility to the people and communities that live in those regions. For this reason, we ask that our foreign manufacturers supply us a statement of compliance with all government regulations regarding fair wages and labor unions’ rights to collective bargaining, as well as contribute to the laborer’s social insurance benefit programs as enforced by their local governments.
When compared to products like concrete and steel, the production of wood products consumes far less energy, emits less greenhouse gases, releases less pollutants into the air and generates far less water pollution. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus reducing greenhouse gases and improving air quality. Unlike most construction and decorative products, the properties inherent in wood, as a natural, sustainable, renewable and recyclable resource, make it a logical environmental choice for any project. Not to mention woods desirable aesthetic characteristics which provide warmth and character and make it a natural choice in a multitude of design applications.
Part of understanding why wood is one of the most environmental building or interior design materials is to understand the carbon dioxide generation associated with wood itself. Clean, natural energy grows the trees that produce wood products. The growth of wood is generated by solar power, the sun, and requires no power to irrigate, as this is done through natural rainfall. Sure, fossil fuel will be used in the harvest of the logs, however this is an extremely efficient process and harvesting will only occur in an area after decades of growth. An important fact to remember about wood is that it stores carbon within its fiber. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air during their growth and return pure oxygen to the environment. Once the carbon is stored in the wood, it remains there until the wood completely decomposes. This stored carbon makes up nearly half the woods dry weight.
The production of products like metals, concrete, drywall or even brick, require far more consumption of energy and burning of fossil fuels. In many wood processing facilities, the wood byproducts or waste material is used for generating power for those factories. If you consider this along with the fact that the creation of the material requires little to no energy, and there is little fossil fuel consumption in harvesting the material, it has been suggested that wood products are “carbon neutral”, or possibly even “carbon negative”.
Life cycle tests have been conducted with various building materials to assess the number of kilograms of carbon emissions which are generated in the production of one metric ton of a given material. Studies included everything from harvesting and the preparation and processing of raw material, conducting primary and secondary manufacturing, as well as accounting for the transportation needed during the process. We should also consider the net effect of the carbon storage of wood; removing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it in the fiber until decomposition. This makes these products carbon negative (Framing lumber -457 kg, and MDF -382 kg). These studies show an obvious environmental advantage in using wood products.
Here are a few comparisons:
Dr. Jim Bowyer, Dr. Steve Bratkovich, Alison Lindburg, and Katheryn Fernholz, 2008. Wood Products and Carbon Protocols Carbon Storage and Low Energy Intensity Should Be Considered. Dovetail Partners, Inc.
When considering how “Green” or “Environmentally friendly” wood products are, we must first consider wood’s carbon impact in relation to all the other alternatives we have in building and design products. Consider the source of those products. Are the materials certified, sustainable, or recycled? Consider the products emissions and effects on air quality. And consider the supply chain; is the supply chain certified by a third party and do they conduct their business in a way that is environmentally conscious and promote similar environmental practice throughout their supply chain?
At Hardwoods Specialty Products we incorporate environmental awareness throughout our business. It is an active part of the decisions we make in sourcing, as well as consumption, and something we promote throughout our supply chain, and endorse through associations, third party certifications and accredited green building and environmental programs. Environmental awareness and sustainability is truly THE NATURE OF OUR BUSINESS.
Contact a sales professional today to learn how Hardwoods Specialty Products can help distinguish your company in the marketplace by providing global sourcing of products that drive sustainable design.