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Comparative assessment for biogenic carbon accounting methods in carbon footprint of products: a review study for construction materials based on forest products

Lars GF Tellnes (1)   , Christelle Ganne-Chedeville (2), Ana Dias (3), Franz Dolezal (4), Callum Hill (5-6), Edwin Zea Escamilla (7)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 5, Pages 815-823 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2386-010
Published: Sep 25, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Review Papers

Collection/Special Issue: COST action FP1407
Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach
Guest Editors: Giacomo Goli, Andreja Kutnar, Dennis Jones, Dick Sandberg


The forest and building sector is of major importance in climate change mitigation and therefore construction materials based on forest products are of great interest. While energy efficiency has had a large focus in climate change mitigation in the building sector, the carbon footprint of the construction material is gaining relevance. The carbon footprint of construction materials can vary greatly from one type to another, the building sector is consequently demanding documentation of the carbon footprint of the materials used. Using an environmental product declaration (EPD) is an objective and standardised solution for communicating the environmental impacts of construction products and especially their carbon footprint. Nevertheless, it is challenging to include the features of forest products as pools of carbon dioxide. There is currently a focus on research into methods for the accounting of sequestered atmospheric carbon dioxide and also implementation of these methods into technical standards. This paper reviews the recent research and technical standards in this field to promote a common understanding and to propose requirements for additional information to be included in EPDs of forest-based products. The main findings show the need for reporting the contribution of biogenic carbon to the total on greenhouse gas emissions and removals over the product’s lifecycle. In order to facilitate the implementation of more advanced methods from research, the EPD should also include more detailed information of the wood used, in particular species and origin.

  Keywords


Climate Change, Forest Based Construction Materials, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), Carbon Footprint, Global Warming, Delayed Emissions, Carbon Storage, Biogenic Carbon

Authors’ address

(1)
Lars GF Tellnes
Ostfold Research, Stadion 4, NO-1671 Kråkerøy (Norway)
(2)
Christelle Ganne-Chedeville
Bern University of Applied Sciences, Institute for Materials and Wood Technology, Solothurnstrasse 102, 2504 Biel (Switzerland)
(3)
Ana Dias
Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal)
(4)
Franz Dolezal
IBO - Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building, 1090 Vienna (Austria)
(5)
Callum Hill
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Postbox 115, Ås 1431 (Norway)
(6)
Callum Hill
InnoRenew CoE, Livade 6, SI-6310 Izola (Slovenia)
(7)
Edwin Zea Escamilla
University of Zurich, Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Zähringerstrasse 24, CH-8001 Zürich (Switzerland)

Corresponding author

 
Lars GF Tellnes
lars@ostfoldforskning.no

Citation

Tellnes LGF, Ganne-Chedeville C, Dias A, Dolezal F, Hill C, Zea Escamilla E (2017). Comparative assessment for biogenic carbon accounting methods in carbon footprint of products: a review study for construction materials based on forest products. iForest 10: 815-823. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2386-010

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: Feb 01, 2017
Accepted: Jun 30, 2017

First online: Sep 25, 2017
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2017
Publication Time: 2.90 months

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