Timber Development UK - Roadmap to Net Zero

Timber Development UK (TDUK) are the largest, most comprehensive supply chain body for timber in the UK. The network of over 1500 businesses serves all stakeholders involved in the supply, design, build or use of timber.

TDUK aims to connect the supply chain, lead best practice, and accelerate a low-carbon future; empowering timber design, and acting as an agent of change towards more sustainable, low carbon forms of construction.

TDUK has a wide range of case studies of the impactful work it has undertaken with timber used as a core building material.

What TDUK needed

The relationship between TDUK and Energise started in early 2022 where Energise were commissioned by Timber Development UK (TDUK) to develop a Net Zero Roadmap for the industry. With the timber supply chain in the UK already employing more than 350,000 people and with a turnover of more than £10bn, timber is a significant contributor to the UK economy. TDUK sustainability director Charlie Law explained that the one of the key aims of the Roadmap is to challenge the misconception that as the timber supply chain comes from a low-carbon base, there are few opportunities for the timber supply chain to influence their emissions.

The most important first step required from this project was making sure all businesses within the sector could accurately count their carbon emissions. Once a business has their emissions profile, it allows them to see their environmental impact, plus operational inefficiencies, enabling a business to start their pathway to be more competitive in a low-carbon market.

The roadmap needed to illustrate:

  • The scale of the emissions of the industry,
  • What the biggest key drivers are,
  • The resource flow of how emissions move within the sector,
  • The overall emissions broken down by subsector,
  • The role that embodied carbon plays.


Since being commissioned, Energise have developed the first of its kind Net Zero Roadmap for the Timber Industry following a comprehensive effort to map and measure carbon emissions across the whole supply chain. This was done in collaboration with eleven UK timber trade associations (ASBP, BWF, Confor, NMBS, STA, TDCA, Timcon, TRA, WPA, WPIF and WRA). 

The analysis showed:

  • The timber supply chain is responsible for 1,575,356 tonnes CO2e territorial emissions, which is about 0.35% of the UK total.
  • This is low compared to other manufacturing industries such as UK steel production, which is responsible for 12 million tonnes CO2e (2.7% of UK emissions).
  • Another example is concrete which is responsible for 7.3 million tonnes CO2e (1.5% of UK emissions).
  • The Roadmap starts from the position that no emissions are acceptable.


With a range of pathways now set out in the Roadmap for the industry to achieve Net Zero by 2050 – at the very latest – this document has been made freely available for all businesses in the timber supply chain to adopt, alongside a set of ten high-level policy recommendations.

These policy recommendations include:

  • The alignment of industry to better measure carbon,
  • Setting dates and actions to reduce road transport and manufacturing emissions intensity,
  • Free tools to help businesses better understand their emissions profile.


Outcomes and benefits for TDUK

TDUK Members also received a discounted membership to use the Energise Net Zero Club platform designed to help SME’s understand and benchmark their carbon footprint, and create a Net Zero Action Plan.

Project highlight

The most important first step required from this project was making sure all businesses within the sector could accurately count their carbon emissions. Once a business has their emissions profile, it allows them to see their environmental impact, but also operational inefficiencies, enabling a business to start their pathway to be more competitive in a low-carbon market.

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Analysis of sector-wide emissions for the industry
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Developed pathways and policies to net zero, freely available
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Creation of business emissions profiles

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