Woodknowledge Wales has submitted evidence on how could Wales heat and build homes and workplaces by 2035
“Woodknowledge Wales was honoured to be invited to participate and submit a response to the Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge,” said Diana Waldron, Head of Built Environment.
“As a charitable Community Benefits Society organisation, our vision is the transformation of Wales into a high-value forest nation. We place a zero carbon and socially just Wales at the centre of our proposal. We strongly believe well-managed natural resources are key to achieving sustainable development and offer a number of attractive opportunities for financial growth at a national level,” Waldron continued.
We champion retrofit first, biogenic first and fabric first approaches
Inspired by regenerative thinking, we collaborate with our growing membership network to build trust and accelerate learning to proactively drive systemic change across construction, timber manufacturing, forest industries and land-use.
In our Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group submission, we propose to focus national growth strategies on the following key areas:
- Building performance targets and evaluation;
- Embodied carbon assessment;
- Creation of a well-governed, standardised, free access UK embodied carbon product database (i.e. EPDs);
- Land use change;
- Further bold interventions to support higher national economic development focused on decarbonisation strategies;
- More skills development and recruitment.
By championing retrofit first, biogenic first and fabric first approaches and focusing on the key areas above, we aim to provide healthier homes for everyone as a socially just nation and ensure all buildings in Wales are on a pathway to achieving higher quality standards. This improvement must, however, take into consideration the negative environmental impact of the construction sector. By holding ourselves accountable for these impacts and their contribution to the climate emergency, we can truly begin to make better decisions to reduce and ultimately eliminate them .
We propose the development of a system which encourages the creation and use of more Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) across the board.
“The carbon we emit now has much greater impact than carbon emitted in the future”, explains Waldron. ” We cannot just focus on improving operational carbon. Embodied carbon is equally (or even more) relevant.”
The proposed pathway outlined in the Woodknowledge Wales evidence submission also supports biogenic carbon storage in the built environment as a Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) solution. We also recommend incentives to encourage changes land use to create more productive forests in Wales, for the benefit of the national economy and ultimately the Welsh people.
“The overarching goal of the proposal is to achieve a more independent Wales. By reducing dependency on imports of biogenic materials and skills, our country has the potential to fulfil its own economic needs. We just need to create the right system to further encourage these processes,” summarises Waldron.
Read or download the full Woodknowledge Wales, Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group: evidence submission