Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Tropical Hardwood
In an era where environmental sustainability is paramount, Kayu Canada emerges as a model of eco-friendly practices in the exotic hardwood industry.
Our commitment to sourcing premium hardwood from sustainably managed forests demonstrates how we balance business success with ecological responsibility.
All our tropical hardwood is purchased from companies that operate within a strict environmental policy.
For example, the hardwood that is shipped from Indonesia comes from a well-managed forest that not only helps with planned out reforestation but also helps the local economy providing much needed jobs.
“With the increased impact of the climate crisis, the next decade provides yet another critical moment for Indonesia and the world in ensuring that we can sustainably manage our forests and land while also improving community livelihoods.”
said UNDP Indonesia Resident Representative, Mr. Norimasa Shimomura.
Wood is a sustainable and environmentally friendly building material for decks, sidewalks, soffit and more because:
- It absorbs carbon dioxide while growing,
- It is adaptable
- It is recyclable and
- It can be uses as a biofuel
Environmental impact of tropical hardwood compared to composite materials
Resource Extraction and Production
Tropical Hardwood: Harvesting exotic hardwood, especially from sustainably managed forests, involves selective cutting which preserves the ecological balance. Sustainable practices ensure that for every tree harvested, another is planted or allowed to regenerate naturally, maintaining biodiversity. The carbon footprint in the production of exotic hardwood is relatively low, primarily limited to the harvesting and transportation processes.
Composite Materials: These are typically made from a blend of recycled wood fibers and plastics. While using recycled materials seems environmentally friendly, the production process itself is energy-intensive. It also involves the use of plastics, which are petroleum-based products, contributing to fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Both materials require transportation, which contributes to their carbon footprint. However, the weight and volume of the materials can affect the efficiency of transportation. Generally, heavier and bulkier materials result in higher transportation emissions.
Durability and Maintenance
Tropical Hardwood: High-quality tropical hardwoods are known for their durability and longevity. They naturally resist rot, insects, and weathering, which minimizes the need for frequent replacement or maintenance. This longevity can reduce the overall environmental impact over the material’s life.
Composite Materials: While they are also durable and require less maintenance than traditional wood, they can show signs of wear and tear such as fading and staining over time. Their lifespan may be shorter than high-quality hardwoods, potentially leading to earlier replacement and additional resource consumption.
End of Life
Tropical Hardwood: At the end of its life, exotic hardwood is biodegradable and can be recycled or repurposed. This reduces its impact on landfills.
Composite Materials: Composites are more challenging to dispose of due to their blend of wood fibers and plastics. They are not as easily recycled as pure wood products and can remain in landfills for extended periods.
Tropical Hardwood: Responsibly sourced hardwood acts as a carbon sink during its growth, capturing CO2 from the atmosphere. This benefit is sustained as long as the wood is in use.
Composite Materials: The use of recycled materials can be seen as a benefit, reducing the demand for virgin materials and helping manage waste, particularly plastic waste.
While both materials have their environmental impacts, sustainably sourced tropical hardwood often has a lower overall environmental footprint when considering its full lifecycle.
Its natural durability, potential for carbon sequestration, and biodegradability at end of life are significant factors that make it an environmentally conscious choice compared to composite materials.