EPD Australasia

Abodo Wood Recognises Need for Environmental Transparency

Abodo is a family owned, New Zealand based timber company, priding themselves on producing beautiful, durable, and renewable timbers. The company has long had a strong environmental commitment: harvesting from certified rapidly renewable plantation forests, minimising transport related emissions and crafting for durability.

The company published its first Environmental Product Declaration in August 2020, the first Australasian EPD to be formally registered with the European ECO Platform.

We spoke to NZ-based Sales & Technical Director Ben Campbell about why they made the investment and how they plan to use the EPD moving forward.

You have recently published your first EPD for Vulcan Thermally Modified Radiata Pine.  What prompted Abodo to invest in an EPD?

We export our product to many markets around the world. In Europe particularly we have seen an increase in demand from the design community for EPD’s on building products. Similarly. in our home market of Australasia building designers are starting to request better product transparency, particularly regarding embodied carbon.

How do you envisage the EPD will be used by Abodo now and in the future?

It will be used primarily as a marketing tool in demonstrating our commitment to being at the forefront of environmental sustainability. We will also use it to benchmark improvements in our manufacturing process and supply chain.

Were there any learnings from the process of developing the EPD?

One of the things we learnt through the EPD process is that while our timber products are carbon negative, there are still significant emissions involved with the manufacture that we weren’t aware of. This has opened our eyes to areas for improvement that we are now looking to address.

What we have found from our research in comparing against competitors is that there is some inconsistency across the reported numbers – so there may be some room for improvement there.

Based on your own experience, do you feel that EPDs are adding value to the construction industry as a whole?

Yes absolutely. The construction industry historically has been a poor at considering its effect on the environment. With climate change becoming a critical political issue, governments globally are starting to focus on how they can better control the environmental footprint of buildings. EPD’s play an integral part in proving our commitment to producing sustainable products for future generations.

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