Western Red Cedar is a truly sustainable building material.
It has the lowest environmental impact when compared
with other materials such as brick and fibre cement.
Independently certified, it is harvested legally and
sustainably from managed forests in British Columbia.
Make the right choice for your client and your environment,
go green with Western Red Cedar.
Cedar decking is derived from a renewable resource. It grows from the earth, is harvested, manufactured and used for decades or even centuries. Then, when its useful life span is ended, it returns to the earth.
This natural life cycle explains why real cedar decking is the environmentally sound choice when compared with alternative materials like concrete, plastic or metal. Only wood comes from a renewable, biodegradable resource. Today's sustainable forestry practices ensure a perpetual abundance of high-quality wood from North America's forests. Aluminum and concrete come from materials extracted from the earth. Once removed, they can never be replaced. Plastics are derived from dwindling petroleum reserves.
Of each tree harvested, 95% goes into useful products. The remaining 5%, the branches, is left on the forest floor to biodegrade into rich compost for the next crop.
Concerned about tomorrow? Cedar's on your side.
|Sustainability of Building Materials |
| ||Wood ||Steel ||Concrete |
|Total Energy Use ||Lowest ||140% more ||70% more |
|Greenhouse Gases ||Lowest ||45% more ||81% more |
|Air Pollution ||Lowest ||42% more ||67% more |
|Water Pollution ||Lowest ||1900% more ||90% more |
|Solid Waste ||Lowest ||36% more ||96% more |
|Ecological Resource Use ||Lowest ||16% more ||97% more |
B.C. wood products you buy come from forests that are being regenerated, where wildlife habitat is protected and the biodiversity of the forest is maintained.
Forest companies practise sustainable forest management through:
- Government regulations
- Forest and Range Practices Act
- Land use planning
- Setting harvesting levels
- Forest Practices Board
- Professional accountability
- Research capabilities
- Applying the latest science
95% of B.C.'s land base is publicly owned, and British Columbian's demand strict regulations that balance the environmental, recreational and economic values of their forests for the long term. B.C. has forest legislation with tough regulations and standards that set strict conditions for companies, licensed by government, to harvest public forests.
Forest and Range Practices Act
Forest companies must develop plans that describe strategies they will use and the results they will get. See Forest and Range Practices Act.
Land Use Planning
B.C. enforces protection , resource development and special management to conserve ecological and cultural values.
- B.C. has 12 million hectares (almost 30 million acres) of protected lands where no forestry, mining or industrial development is allowed - an area as big as the State of New York, and larger than Austria and the Netherlands combined. Since 1992, B.C. has doubled its protected land base to more than 12%.
- 14% of BC land is designated for special management , which means other values such as wildlife habitat take precedence over logging.
Setting Harvesting Levels
This process involves a detailed technical analysis, including public comment and a review of non-timber values such as wildlife and fish habitat, soils, water, and recreation values. It ensures that all harvest levels are based on the latest information, practices and government policies, both economic and environmental. See Harvesting Techniques.
Provincial laws require that all harvested areas be regenerated promptly after harvesting. Native species are used and forest companies are legally obligated to ensure regeneration success. See Reforestation.
Forest Practices Board
An independent watchdog, the Forest Practices Board strengthens government forest regulatory regime. It is a combination auditor general and ombudsman that reflects the public's interest by promoting stewardship. The Forest Practices Board holds both government and the forest industry accountable for forestry practices. See Forest Practices Board.
Trained resource professionals, such as foresters, agrologists, engineers, geoscientists and biologists, ensure B.C. meets the high standards needed for sustainable forest management. They all must belong to regulatory bodies if they wish to practise in B.C.
B.C. has an exceptional concentration of forestry research capacity, including universities, provincial and federal government operations, industry research laboratories, technical institutes and other organizations. Through provincial, federal and private funding sources, B.C. and its forest sector are committed to gathering and applying new knowledge in the science of sustainable forest management.
Applying the Latest Science
Where forest companies were once encouraged to clean up harvest areas, forest professionals know that debris such as the stumps, branches and fallen trees left on the forest floor after harvesting are critical to manage biodiversity. They provide habitat for plants, animals and insects, and a source of nutrients for soil development.
How B.C. Scores
- High compliance rates.
- High level of third-party certification.