15.03.2022. Urban forests can transform cities into healthier places to live, not ‘just’ thanks to trees, but also through wood products for furniture and construction.
Technology engineered by nature
By 2030, 5 billion people will live in cities. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explicitly address the need for sustainable urban development, aiming to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (UN SDG 11).
© Sergio Sala
Trees are an exceptional biotechnology, engineered and powered by nature. Trees placed strategically in cities provide shade and lower temperature, reducing the need for air conditioning by 30%. Urban forests can cool the air by 2 and 8 degrees.
Trees are known to act as carbon sinks, but trees also filter harmful pollutants from the air. Polluted air threatens the health of most city dwellers around the world. In 2014, nine out of 10 people living in 3,000 cities across 103 countries did not breathe clean air, according to UNDESA.
Although cities take up only 2% of the Earth’s land mass, they are responsible for as much as 75% of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) that are released into the atmosphere. Given that cities are the main source of carbon emissions and contain most of the human population (UN-Habitat, 2011), the most important efforts for climate-change mitigation and adaption will have to be implemented in urban areas.
© Mitchell Luo (left) © Thinh Nguyen (right)
Wood products, part of our ‘urban forests’
This means that, in many ways, forests are the way ahead for a sustainable economy. And INTERHOLCO’s Sustainable Hardwood Made in Africa is an important part of it.
Some studies estimate that replacing conventional construction materials with wood could save up to 31% of global CO2 emissions. Engineered wood materials perform better than fossil-based raw materials with regards to climate change mitigation.
INTERHOLCO’s goal is to increase its range of secondary and tertiary products to support the growing demand for low-carbon timber construction. All of which, proudly Made in Africa and certified to the highest socio-environmental standards currently available, those of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C022952).
© Uwe Binhack / INTERHOLCO
So, whilst cities benefit from high-quality wood that continues to store carbon up to its end of life, and which can be repaired, recycled, upcycled and even composted, the forest that INTERHOLCO manages responsibly in the North of the Republic of Congo continues to be a forest, for its 16,000 inhabitants, for people in cities and planet.
Taking the lift up to the 25th floor of a wooden tower… admiring the view through the wooden frame of a window … indulging on the wooden terrace of a pool… breathing in the natural scent of a forest through all the many applications made from wood…
How do you imagine your future with wood?
INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.
Communications contact INTERHOLCO
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Neuhofstr. 25, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82