For those interested in the environmental impact of their purchase decisions, solid hardwood countertops provide an unparalleled option. The service life of an installed solid wood countertop is measured in decades. That’s years of beauty and carbon storage, while the next countertop grows in the forest.
Between 1953 and 2007, U.S. hardwood growing stock increased from 5.2 billion cubic meters (m3) to 11.3 billion m3.
The U.S. hardwood resource is estimated at 272 million acres, the largest temperate hardwood forest in the world; approximately 25 percent is concentrated in the Appalachian region.
The volume of wood standing in U.S. forests increased by 610 million m3 per year between 2000 and 2010.
Annual tree growth in the Appalachian region exceeds harvesting and mortality 2.45:1; this ratio has increased five percent in the past five years.
Wood compares favorably to alternative materials in terms of global warming potential; 1 kg of U.S. hardwood lumber stores 1.6 kg CO2 equivalent for its entire serviceable life.
American hardwood is a “carbon positive” material meaning the amount of carbon sequestered by the material exceeds the amount emitted from its manufacture and transport.
Over its full life cycle, wood releases 24 to 47 percent less air pollution, eight to 23 percent less solid waste and requires 26 to 57 percent less energy to manufacture compared to other building materials.
American Hardwood Industries’ forest harvesting management practices require pre-harvest planning which includes soil erosion control, the amount of wood residue that may be left in the forest, access road construction and water quality.
Augusta Surfaces solid hardwood surface products are manufactured within a day’s drive of the timber harvest site.
Wood residues produced in the manufacture of Augusta Surfaces products are used to power onsite lumber dry kilns.