Environmental Information

More and more focus in today’s world is placed on whether a product is eco-friendly or “green”. We are proud of the fact that Southern Yellow Pine lumber products are the ultimate green product for many reasons.

S.I. Storey Lumber Company believes our practices are sound and environmentally friendly. Most of our employees live near where we work or have multi-generational ties to the area in which we operate. We grew up here and still live here. This is our neighborhood and we take pride in that. We take care of our surroundings and believe in the product we produce.

Consider these facts about Southern Yellow pine compiled by the Southern Pine Council:

Wood Products Enhance Our Environment

Suppose America stopped harvesting its trees to make lumber, plywood, paper, and other wood products. What effect would this have on our environment? Let’s consider.

What would we use as a building material for homes and furniture? What would we use to print books and stationery? Would we substitute steel, aluminum, masonry, plastic, and other products? Buy wood from other countries? Or do without?

If we substituted non-wood building products, the environment would be the clear loser. Non-wood products are environmentally expensive. The supplies of ores and petroleum for their production are finite; once gone, they are gone forever. Wood, on the other hand, is a renewable resource from an endless supply of trees. Non-wood products require far more energy to manufacture than wood: nine times as much to make a steel stud as a wood stud, for example. That further depletes supplies of fossil fuels and coal. Not to mention increased pollution of the air and water, while adding to the potential for global warming through the greenhouse effect.

Wood is also the best insulator of all structural building materials, with millions of tiny air cells trapped within its cellular structure providing a barrier against heat and cold. An inch of wood is 15 times as efficient an insulator as concrete, 400 times as efficient as steel, and 1,770 times as efficient as aluminum. So, homes and other buildings built with wood require far less energy to heat and cool, thus conserving fossil fuels and coal.

Another benefit of using wood is that it is reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable. Inorganic materials not only require excessive energy to produce, but also to recycle or dispose of them when their use has been terminated.

Each American uses nearly 718 pounds of paper and 100 board feet of lumber and structural panel products annually. Some may ask if we are running out of trees by harvesting so many of them for the needs of a swelling population? Not at all. Fortunately, the United States has some of the best tree-growing land in the world, and billions of trees are planted each year to sustain the forest. More wood is grown each year in the U.S. than is harvested or lost to disease, insects, and fire. Growth exceeds harvest by 28%. It’s no surprise, then, that the nation has more trees today than it had 75 years ago, or that about a third of the entire United States — 747 million acres — is covered with trees. Or even the fact that this amount of forestland is two-thirds of what existed in pre-Columbian America some 500 years ago.

A major reason that trees are so plentiful in America is because people plant and grow them for use as wood products. These trees also provide important environmental benefits, ranging from windbreaks, shade, and soil stabilization to pure aesthetics, wildlife habitat, plus improved air and water quality.

Forests are oxygen factories and greenhouse exchangers. Growing just one pound of wood in a vigorous younger forest removes 1.47 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replaces it with 1.07 pounds of life-sustaining oxygen. Carbon dioxide accounts for about half of the world’s greenhouse gases, which trap solar rays. An old forest reverses the process, removing oxygen and emitting carbon dioxide.

As long as America continues to plant and grow new trees for wood products, the environment will be the clear winner. So, in a very real sense, wood products are the most environmentally responsible building material anyone could ever use.

Southern Forest Facts:
Here are just a few of the many reasons the forests of the South are often called “America’s Woodbasket”:

  • 214 million acres of the United States’ forestland is in the South.
  • The South produces 15.8% of the world’s timber production, and 58% of the timber production in the United States.
  • By volume, the four most abundant Southern softwood species are loblolly, slash, longleaf, and short leaf (Southern Yellow Pine), making up one-third of the total inventory.
  • Annually, softwood harvests total 6 billion cubic feet or 420 million tons of sawlogs, pulpwood, and other industrial roundwood products.
  • Each year, Southern landowners plant one billion seedlings. Following annual harvests, 3.3 million acres are reforested.
  • 89% of Southern forests are privately owned; 11% are managed by government agencies.
Sources: American Forest & Paper Association • USDA Forest Service • Frederick Cubbage and Robert Abt; North Carolina State University, Department of Forestry
Southern Forest Productions Association
Southeastern Lumber Manufactures Association

P.O. Box 641700
Kenner, LA. 70064
504-443-4464  fax:504-443-6612
www.southernpine.com

Copyright © 2005 Southern Forest Products Associations.  All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission.