Building An Earth Day Commitment with Wood

April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Earth Day is a day to celebrate our planet and take action to keep it healthy. Each Earth Day, organizations and individuals around the world make commitments to reduce water usage, plant trees, reduce waste, and more. Our partner, Earth Day Northwest, is encouraging everyone in the region to act with resolve this year to benefit our lands and communities in the future.

Forterra’s Earth Day commitment is to demonstrate the social, economic, and environmental benefits of cross laminated timber in Washington State by Earth Day 2025.

Cross laminated timber (CLT) is a wood panel product manufactured by gluing together layers of lumber stacked in alternating perpendicular directions. The result is a lightweight yet strong structural building material that holds up well against fire, earthquakes, and temperature changes. CLT has been used successfully in European construction for more than 20 years.

The time is now to advance CLT usage in Washington and the United States. We need housing that’s affordable, good-paying jobs, and thriving natural landscapes. The development of CLT as an industry, if approached in a holistic manner, can help address all these critical needs.

CLT manufacturing can create work in hard-hit timber towns, while keeping our forests strong at the same time. Additionally, construction with CLT is quicker when compared to using traditional building materials, translating into lower bottom-line costs and the potential to invest in more attainable housing.

A community marketplace and 96 units of family housing in Tukwila

We can create opportunities that mutually support our lands and our communities. Over the next five years, Forterra will advance projects demonstrating that the emerging CLT market can link:

  • Permanent conservation of working forests.
  • Economic development in rural areas.
  • Attainable housing and ownership opportunities within cities and towns.

If we get it right, we will improve forest health, provide more living-wage jobs in Washington, and create new housing options for Washington residents.

It’s a tall order, but we believe in it. Forterra will take the lead on moving this commitment forward, but ultimately a village of stakeholders working together will make it happen. The right vision, people, and resources exist. The promise is there. We are committed to make good on that promise.