Net Zero roadmap for timber sector debuts

24 January 2023

A new timber industry net zero roadmap shows the timber supply chain is responsible for 1,575,356 tonnes CO2 equivalent (e) territorial emissions – which is about 0.35% of the UK total.

Commissioned by Timber Development UK (TDUK) in collaboration with 11 UK timber trade associations, the Timber Industry Net Zero Roadmap was developed following a comprehensive effort to map and measure carbon emissions across the whole supply chain.

The first step was identifying the size of the challenge. After 12 months of expert analysis, the CO2e emissions for the timber sector are far lower than for steel production - responsible for 12 million tonnes CO2e (2.7% of UK emissions), and concrete, which is responsible for 7.3 million tonnes CO2e (1.5% of UK emissions).

The Roadmap also seeks to influence the 3,655,715 tonnes CO2e of imported embodied emissions which comes from the processing of wood products in the country of origin. This figure, taken together with territorial emissions, would make the timber industry responsible for about 0.68% of the UK’s total emissions. 

Of the total consumption emissions, 49% of these emissions are from the transport of timber products, and 34% are embodied in imported materials. The remaining 17% are from the UK production processes within the industry, and waste.

One of the key aims of the Roadmap says Timber Development UK sustainability director Charlie Law, is to challenge the misconception that as the timber supply chain comes from a low-carbon base, there are few opportunities for the timber supply chain to influence their emissions.

“There are some really quick wins in there for businesses – wherever you are in the supply chain – which can be put into practice now,” said TDUK sustainability director Charlie Law.

“And if you reduce your carbon, you reduce your costs.”

The Roadmap is being made freely available for all businesses in the timber supply chain to adopt, alongside a set of 10 high-level policy recommendations.

These policy recommendations include the alignment of industry to better measure carbon, as well as set dates and actions to reduce road transport emission intensity, manufacturing emissions intensity, and more – along with tools to help businesses make the change happen.

You can download the roadmap for free from You can download the full roadmap here - ROADMAP

The new Roadmap