A long-promised Labour policy that will be implemented this year bodes well for the country in many ways: economically, environmentally, and through the creation of jobs. Mandating the use of sustainable materials—namely, wood—for government contracts, the Wood Procurement Policy is part of the government’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Recently, CEOs of more than 50 companies in the forestry and wood processing sector have called on the government to put the policy into place. It is expected to be implemented this June.
One of the primary benefits of the policy will be an increase in jobs around New Zealand as government procurement supports the wood processing industry—one which does not leak as much money to foreign interests as steel and concrete. Not only will such procurement directly aid the industry, but the government’s use of wood products in building will encourage innovation and shine a light on the timber options available to suit different purposes. Increased trade brings economies of scale, making it a win-win-win for the government, private purchasers, and the sector as a whole.
As architects and engineers become accustomed to working with New Zealand’s wood products via government contracts, they will also be able to offer their newfound experience to the private sector, making timber construction a more viable and attractive option. As New Zealand’s factories can increase output and streamline their processes to minimise costs, the country should be able to greatly increase production of processed timber products rather than logs for export, which are of higher value and will bring more foreign dollars to our shores.
Sustainable and eco-friendly building is a core value at Greenhaven Homes, and it is exciting to see that it will increasingly become the norm in New Zealand, beginning with this policy of procurement for government jobs. The manufacturing of concrete and steel is thought to contribute as much as 13% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Wood products are a far more sustainable choice. The government prioritising construction with timber will greatly progress the nation’s carbon zero goals.
As well as reducing the emissions that come with producing concrete and steel, wooden buildings can even be a CO2 sink. This means that using timber in buildings where possible provides double benefits when it comes to the fight against climate change.
As a provider of sustainably-built homes in New Zealand, Greenhaven Homes is looking forward to this policy being put into action. We use timber products in our factory to prefabricate affordable, quality, and energy-efficient homes of many sizes—exactly the kind of homes that would fit the government’s criteria under the new policy.
To increase demand for this kind of building is not only advantageous to Greenhaven but, we believe, to the nation as a whole. It means more jobs for Kiwis working with timber, a renewable and sustainable resource and one which is far more likely to be produced by a NZ-owned and operated company. It means a reduction in the carbon emissions involved in producing other building materials such as concrete and steel. It means an increase in timber buildings that can take CO2 from the air and store it.
If you, like the NZ government, are in the market for affordable, sustainable, and energy-efficient home builds which put Kiwis in jobs, take a look at our prebuilt homes for sale. You can also get in touch with the Greenhaven team to discuss what you are looking for.