Publication in iForest - Review Papers - with contribution from Edwin Zea on Biogenic CO2 (iForest is an Open Access, peer-reviewed online journal published by the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology (SISEF).

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

Abstract: 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.

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