As part of the brief set to the students, they were each tasked with designing their piece in the most sustainable way possible, whether this was through clever use of the material or through mindful usage of any machines. They were also asked to record all material and energy use so that the environmental impacts of each piece could be calculated using the Life Cycle Assessment method.
Over the past six years, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has worked with Thinkstep (formerly PE International), the global leader in sustainability performance management, to measure the environmental impact of American hardwoods. The results are ISO-conformant reports on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of American hardwood lumber and veneer, covering point of harvest in the United States through to delivery at the importer’s yard in major export markets. This science-based approach to measuring environmental impact, coupled with the United States’ proven and documented record of sustainability in hardwood production, goes a long way to help ensure designers that working with American hardwoods can, indeed, assist them to fulfill their desires to work sustainably and with minimal environmental impact.
Using the LCA data for American hardwoods, harvested, processed and exported to final destination, in addition to assessing embodied energy and management of waste products in manufacturing, AHEC will be able to document the full environmental impact of the selected designs.
Learn more about American Hardwood LCA and replacement rates here
Find out more about the sustainability of American hardwoods here