SLB, USDA Enhance Collaboration

Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that builds upon the existing collaborative relationship between the SLB and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA). SLB and USDA expand a public-private partnership that seeks to grow demand for wood products as natural climate solutions. The organizations will jointly explore and coordinate additional market development, research, technological advances, and other activities to expand the use of wood in the built environment.

“Since signing the original MOU in 2015, SLB and USDA have proudly worked together on many notable initiatives to promote and grow markets for softwood lumber in residential, commercial and multifamily construction. We look forward to continued collaboration and cooperation for the benefit of the entire softwood lumber industry,” explains Caroline Dauzat, Owner of Rex Lumber and SLB Board Chair. “Together, we’re working to accelerate the adoption of innovative wood building system solutions through strategic investments and partnerships in training and support of educational opportunities for construction professionals, sawmills in regions that have lost infrastructure, carbon and climate change resources, and the continued joint funding of WoodWorks.”

Key initiatives to accelerate adoption of innovative wood building solutions include:

Continuing joint funding of WoodWorks, a free provider of education and technical support related to the design, engineering and construction of commercial and multifamily wood buildings in the U.S.

Promoting carbon-sequestering wood as a means to mitigate climate change through responsible material selection.

Developing initiatives to expand understanding of embodied carbon, life cycle assessments, and the connection to forest management and wood construction.

Creating events to expand connections with large corporations who can use wood products to meet their sustainability goals.

Supporting university and young professional education programs by highlighting the benefits of forests and forest products and how to design and build with them.

Establishing support programs for real estate developers and owners by removing or addressing market barriers to using wood products in new market segments.

Exploring strategies and connections to sawmill investment for locations that have lost infrastructure.

The MOU was signed on September 14 during a quarterly WoodWorks Board meeting, an organization that the SLB and USDA jointly fund. Since 2014, SLB and its funded programs have achieved, through the support of wood building design and construction, a carbon savings of 20.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or the equivalent of taking 4.3 million cars off the road for a year.

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