The Environmental Side of Manufacturing

The Environmental Side of Manufacturing

Here at Canadian Oakworks we have always strived to create the highest quality products possible, but with that comes the responsibility of also working to maintain and protect the environments that we depend on. Our products are made from real hardwood lumber sourced from mills and distributors that are FSC certified, coming from legally harvested forests, and utilize technology to reduce their environmental impact. We believe that we owe it to our planet to be as mindful and respectful as possible during the manufacturing process. Technology has drastically improved the quality and consistency of wood materials, and manufacturers are constantly working to develop better methods to harvest, mill and produce wood products.

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A study comparing the greenhouse emissions of wood and competitor materials indicates that hardwood and softwood manufacturing has drastically lower emissions than materials like cement, steel and aluminum. Looking at the building process for a typical single storey home, timber materials ranked lower in greenhouse emissions than all the compared materials, including aluminum windows, steel roof frames, brick wall frames, ceramic tiles and more.

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In terms of home comfort, wood is a natural insulator due to the air pockets in the wood grain. Depending on the species of wood and size of the piece, the R value will fluctuate. But I’m sure we can all agree that a wood floor is going to be a lot more comfortable on bare feet than a ceramic tile floor. There is an increased interested in stainless steel railings, for homeowners that want to create a sleek contemporary décor stainless steel seems like an obvious choice. The downside however to stainless steel railings is they are almost always cold to the touch. Which, in a province like ours with at least 6 very cold months out of the year, a cold railing isn’t very appealing. When you add in the environmental impact that manufacturing stainless steel railings has, wood railings are that much more enticing. Wood offers a comfort and familiarity while being easily customized and personalized.

In our manufacturing process we implement several systems to minimize our environmental impact. Carefully planning projects and production to reduce wood waste and maximizing the usable materials allows us to create a variety of products without needlessly creating waste. Strip material that is too small to be used for manufacturing is given away freely to the public to be used in their own wood working projects or as firewood for an alternative heat source. Our sawdust collection system allows us to maintain a safe breathable working environment, as well as being able to repurpose the sawdust for local farmers as livestock bedding or mulch. We only use environmentally friendly adhesives that are low VOC and FDA approved for indirect food contact.

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When the industry you work in depends on the sustainability of our planet it is only logical to put in the extra effort to help preserve these resources for future generations to enjoy. Wood railings not only offer a lifetime of beauty and safety but also ensure that we minimize our impact on our environment.