Planet Ark Environmental Foundation’s Make It Wood campaign aims to encourage the increased use of responsibly sourced wood as a building material. A key part of this initiative is the adoption of Wood Encouragement Policies (WEPs) throughout Australia.
A WEP generally requires responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, as the primary construction material in all new-build and refurbishment projects. As such is it not intended to be a draconian, all encompassing dictum, but rather seeks to ensure that wood is at least considered as the primary structural component in these buildings.
The Shire of Manjimup, which is located 320km south of Perth, and the Shire of Dardanup, which is located close to Bunbury 180km south of Perth, have both voted to introduce a WEP at their respective council meetings in December 2016. As a result, there are now two regional and nine local councils that have adopted a WEP in Australia, and Rotorua Lakes Council has done some groundbreaking work in New Zealand.
The adoption of similar policies around the world is growing steadily, including Canada, Japan, France, Finland, Netherlands and the UK, who are all encouraging the use of natural, timber-based products in construction.