At Ron Jones Hardwood, we find it incredibly exciting that Starbucks is working on a plan to become “Resource Positive” to combat the ever-growing problem of pollution and waste, especially from modern building materials. Starbucks, if you have not considered it yet, using more hardwood lumber in the construction of new cafes will help to significantly decrease your total carbon footprint. Today, real hardwood lumber is not only sustainable, it is the only naturally renewable resource that absorbs and captures carbon. This makes hardwood lumber one of the only carbon-neutral and even potentially carbon-negative materials. As we know, it is important to sequester carbon to mitigate it’s negative effects on climate change. In addition to woods natural properties, compared to other building materials, hardwood lumber creates far less pollution during the manufacturing process. In fact, hardwoods have significantly lower rates of carbon emissions, water pollution, and overall air pollution as compared to the production of steel, and concrete (also plastics).
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and other impacts. Steel and concrete consume 12% and 20% more energy, emit 15% and 29% more greenhouse gases, and release 10% and 12% more pollutants into the air, and generate 300% and 225% more water pollutants than wood, respectively (Forest Foundation).
Trees are designed by nature specifically to capture carbon from the air. Carbon is locked inside the hardwood which is eventually used to make furniture, flooring, doors, molding, and many other useful products. These unique properties make hardwood a perfect building material for a company that is shifting to more ecologically friendly business model. The American hardwood industry has been practicing sustainable harvesting within our forests for multiple decades. We are committed to ensuring that hardwood lumber can continually be replenished as an important resource that can be utilized for future generations. Surprisingly, harvesting a mature hardwood tree is actually an important step in reducing carbon emissions. When a mature tree dies, falls to the ground, and begins to decay, it releases all of the carbon it had sequestered back into the environment.
So, Starbucks, next time you think about building a resource-positive new café, consider making the switch to the “new” natural, carbon-neutral, longer lasting and aesthetically beautiful building material alternative’ American hardwoods.