Wood Products

Association of Washington Business

About the Project

The Clean Energy Transition Institute, in collaboration with SEI-US, and under the direction of Derik Broekhoff, produced a Washington State Industrial Emissions Analysis for the Washington Department of Commerce in July 2021.

This Clean Materials Manufacturing project expanded upon that analysis for six manufacturing sectors—aluminum, concrete and cement, glass, iron and steel, pulp and paper, and wood products—to provide background material for Building Washington’s Clean Materials Manufacturing Economy.

You will find the wood product manufacturing sector documents below:

  1. Manufacturing Sector Overview: This document explores the industry’s greenhouse gas footprint, industrial process, decarbonization strategies, and Washington workforce.
  2. Emissions and Decarbonization Strategies: This flowchart shows each step of the industrial process along with the associated emissions and relevant decarbonization strategies.
  3. Manufacturing Energy and Carbon Footprint: This document, published by the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the Department of Energy, maps the flow of energy supply, demand, and losses as well as greenhouse gas emissions for the sector.

Wood Products

Sector Highlights

Industry Description

Wood product manufacturing involves the production of intermediate and finished wood products such as lumber, plywood, veneers, wood containers, wood flooring, wood trusses, and prefabricated wood buildings.

Greenhouse Gas Footprint

There are 17 wood product manufacturing facilities in Washington with over 10,000 metric tons in annual carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e) emissions. Together, these facilities accounted for approximately 1.3 million metric tons of CO₂e in 2019.1

Industrial Process & Decarbonization

Wood product manufacturing starts with the extraction of raw material, either through harvesting timber or collecting recycled wood products. Harvested logs are then made into wood products through a variety of processes including de-barking, sawing, drying, planing, shaping, smoothing, laminating, and assembling. Lumber may either be air-dried or kiln-dried to some extent, depending on the type of wood products being produced. Drying lumber is typically the largest source of energy consumption by sawmills.2

Onsite steam and electricity production used in the wood product manufacturing process are the dominant sources of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. Hogfuel (i.e., wood and bark sawmill residue) is typically the largest source of fuel used onsite by the industry. Emissions from electricity generation and onsite heat production could be reduced by installing energy efficient equipment at facilities and deploying systems for waste heat capture and reuse as well as combined heat and power systems.

Additionally, since wood product manufacturing has lower heat requirements than many other manufacturing subsectors, electrification is a more viable option. This includes solutions such as ultraviolet wood curing, industrial heat pumps, and electric machine drives.3 Pathways to decarbonizing the wood products industry will likely involve a mix of energy efficiency improvements, electrification, and circular economy strategies.4


The wood product manufacturing industry directly supports over 12,000 workers in Washington.

1 Washington State Department of Ecology, “Facility Greenhouse Gas Reports,” accessed April 11, 2022, https://ecology.wa.gov/Air-Climate/Climate-change/Tracking-greenhouse-gases/Greenhouse-gas-reporting/Facility-greenhouse-gas-reports.

2 Thomas Donahue, Todd A Morgan, and Thale Dillon, “Oregon Sawmill Energy Consumption and Associated Emissions, 2017” (University of Montana, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 2017), https://www.oregon.gov/odf/forestbenefits/Documents/or-sawmill-energy-consumption-associated-emissions-2017.pdf.

3 Melanie Kenderdine et al., “Optionality, Flexibility, & Innovation: Pathways for Deep Decarbonization in California” (Energy Futures Initiative, 2019), https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58ec123cb3db2bd94e057628/t/5cadebd04cd61c00017a563b/1554901977873/EFI+California+Summary+DE+PM.pdf.

4 Kenderdine et al.

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