Wood Mileage CO2 Certification System Promotes Local Wood Use

Wood Mileage CO2 Certification System Promotes Local Wood Use

Kyoto Prefecture in Japan has begun applying its Wood Mileage CO2 Certification System to general wood for housing. Under the system, established in 2004, the prefecture issues certificates guaranteeing that the wood originated in Kyoto prefecture and indicating how much carbon dioxide (CO2) was discharged during its transportation. So far, however, the system had been applied only to wood thinned from tree plantations, which is used in civil engineering works.

Wood mileage CO2 is calculated by multiplying the volume of the wood and the distance it travels by coefficients applicable to different modes of transport. For example, CO2 emissions per cubic meter of Kyoto origin timber transported 55 kilometers amount to 10 kilograms, while emissions for the same amount shipped in from other prefectures averages 152 kilograms. Expanding the application of this system to housing timber is expected to help Kyoto consumers understand that they can be friendlier to the environment when they use local wood.

Under the revised system, Kyoto certifies and registers three kinds of companies: Green Construction Networks, consisting of wood suppliers such as forestry companies and lumberyards; Green Builders, comprising home builders; and Green Architectural Offices. The timber that is grown, processed and distributed by these companies is certified as having originated in Kyoto.

To help the public understand the system, a certification logo is attached to timber and other products and displayed at certified companies. The first shipment of certified timber for residential home construction was made on Feb. 16, 2006, the first anniversary of the coming into effect of the Kyoto Protocol.
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