Why is World Wood Day important to us?

March 21st is celebrated globally as World Wood Day. Why do we celebrate World Wood Day? What’s so special about wood that we have an international day dedicated to this material?

Wood is one of the oldest building materials of all time. It grows using sun and land, cleans air, provides a wonderful experience and benefits our health. Not to mention, it looks fantastic too.

Here are some other reasons for choosing wood:

  • It is an insulator - keeping you warm in the winters and cool in the summers
  • It is a natural air purifier
  • Buildings made in wood can offset a staggering amount of carbon emissions from vehicles
  • Construction using wood is less polluting for the air, water as well as noise.
  • Wood has the lowest carbon footprint
  • Wood is biodegradable and is useful at every stage of its life

So then how did we come to regard using wood as bad for the environment? The answer lies in the single term - sustainability. Modern human lifestyle by itself is very demanding of the earth’s resources. However, sustainable use of those resources can maintain a sense of balance.

In India particularly, tropical wood was the preferred material for construction of homes and other applications like furniture, doors and windows, outdoor structures and so on. Tropical forests were systematically decimated for their wood without any effort to replant them to ensure the longevity of the forests. As a result, forests became endangered and many species that depended on them suffered as well. This indiscriminate logging of forests and the subsequent crisis made us believe that the best way to protect the forest is to minimize our use of wood. Need for tall buildings and absence of supporting wood construction technology played a major role in the decline of use of wood in construction as well.

The Difference of Sustainability

The Difference of Sustainability

Countries like Canada practice sustainable forestry, which in other words means commercial use of forests in a disciplined and responsible manner. Here are a few statistics worth considering:

  • 10% of the world’s forests are in Canada
  • 40% of Canada’s forests are in British Columbia, its westernmost state
  • In B.C. 60% of the forest area is protected, leaving just 40% available for commercial harvest.
  • Every year less than 1% of the commercial forest is harvested.
  • For every 1 tree harvested, 3 new trees are planted in its place
  • Canada has achieved 0% de-forestation for the past 20 years. Canada’s forest area is actually increasing.
  • Forest management practices are strictly audited by independent agencies with a comprehensive set of criteria
  • For every one container of wood imported from Canada to India over 17,000 kgs of carbon dioxide is taken out of the atmosphere and locked into the lumber offsetting the impact of transportation by 2.3 times

Environmental Impact of transportation from B.C. Canada to India

Wood when procured from sustainably managed sources and used in construction can bring immense benefits to people at an individual level and to the world at an environmental level. Many modern day architects have been championing the use of wood to bring a positive change to the quality of our lives. Wood construction technology has empowered architects to work with greater artistic freedom even in large or tall structures.

This World Wood Day we owe it to ourselves to consider nature’s boon and the opportunities provided by technology to re-evaluate our choices and move towards a better future. Let’s appreciate wood sourced right!

To find out how you can use Canadian Wood in green building, write in to and we will come back to you swiftly.

FII India, funded by the government of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada represents Canadian wood in India for all its five species viz. Western Hemlock, Douglas-fir, Yellow-Cedar, Western Red Cedar and Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF). FII works closely with architects, manufacturers, importers and real estate developers to provide technical and procurement assistance for their requirements free of any cost.