New Aussie Plan: Could Timber Buildings Earn Carbon Credits?

Under a new industry-wide decarbonisation plan, Australia is poised to tap into its $24 billion forest and wood products industry to achieve net-zero commitments.

Mon 13 May 24


Australia must use greener, cleaner and more sustainable materials if it is going to meet its 2021 pledge to achieve net zero by 2050. 

It comes as a blueprint co-published by the UN last year reported that replacing steel, concrete, aluminium, and glass with biobased products like timber could cut 40% of global emissions, accelerating the global push to decarbonisation.

Now, the FWPA, Australia’s research and development organisation (RDC) focused on forest and wood products,  is working with engineering giant Wood Beca and the Australian Forest Products Association (or AFPA) to develop a decarbonisation plan, or roadmap, for the $24 billion industry.

Wood Central understands that work on the new plan, which will target carbon sequestration in commercial forests up to 2050, has already commenced and will include recommendations for softwood and hardwood plantation forests, wood processing sites, managed native forests, and the paper and packaging manufacturing sector. 

Importantly it opens the door for the country’s construction industry to acquire Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU) by using carbon-storing timber in building projects, like T3 Collingwood, as well as support greater paper and package use. 

The plan will allow mass timber-rich construction projects (i.e. T3 Collingwood) to apply for ACCU credits – footage courtesy of victoria_wood.

As it stands, more than 80% of the Australian housing industry uses timber framing, with the forest products industry playing a crucial role in meeting the Australian government’s pledge to build 1.2 million houses over the next five years. 

According to Andrew Leighton, FWPA’s CEO, the new plan “is a testament to our commitment to supporting the industry in capturing and storing more carbon. Through research-backed initiatives and strong industry consultation, we aim to lead the way in sustainable practices.” 

The roadmap project is the final element of an industry-wide carbon plan endorsed by both the FWPA and Australia Forest Products Association (AFPA) Boards in August 2023 – establishing, for the first time, an industry-wide strategy that will identify and outline methods to achieve significant carbon reduction targets.

“As facilitators of this plan, FWPA is laying the groundwork to future-proof our industry,” said Chris Laffety, FWPA’s RD&E Manager. “We are identifying the best paths to manage our carbon-storing resources, mitigating risks, and creating opportunities for our member companies to contribute to a robust and circular Australian economy.” 


  • Wood Central

    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.


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