Contributing to environment is a matter of mindset
31. May 2019

Estonian Woodhouse Association, an organization that unites Estonian timber building producers, became 20 years old on May 22. To celebrate the jubilee year, woodhouse producers together with good friends planted nearly 30 000 trees.

Estonian woodhouse producers are stable partners of forest and timber industry sector. Wooden houses act also as “carbon banks” that keep climate warming caused carbon dioxide tied by trees inside them for hundreds of years, while at the same time creating high quality, cozy homes or work spaces for us all. Every production and consumption has an influence on environment and climate. In order to keep our ecological footprint in balance, consumed resources have to be used effectively and if possible help recreate the resources.  

Chairman of the Board of Harmet - Toomas Kalev. Photo: Harmet/Kristi Kamenik

Chairman of the Board of Harmet, Toomas Kalev notes that making wooden houses is in itself an environment-contributing activity compared to other ways of construction, but he sees that it’s necessary to take this a step further. “It is important to acknowledge that our actions, in one way or another, influence the surrounding natural environment. Ecological footprint should be kept as small as possible and we should give back to nature what we take away.” According to Kalev, tree planting action is a way how Harmet keeps their footpint in balance and also added that on planting day no goals or boundaries were set to employees and friends from Woodhouse Association. “Everyone planted as much as they wished or could and in their own pace. I believe that we spent a great day together!”  

Managing director of EWA - Lauri Kivil. Photo: Harmet/Kristi Kamenik

Lauri Kivil, Managing Director of Estonian Woodhouse Association, says that wood as construction material is the only material that can be reproduced without industrial intervention. “Construction sector is one of the biggest polluters and in that context we should understand that wood is the only environmentally friendly building material. The biggest act of kindness to nature from a private person´s perspective is to replace as many non-reproducable building materials with wood when building their homes.“ According to Kivil the sector´s goal is that Estonian forest would offer social and emotional values but would also enable enough raw material for production sectors. „If nearly 30 million new trees are planted in Estonia annually then woodhouse sector´s contribution is modest but we hope to  set an example to our sector companies as well as to others and hope that such mindset will spread powerfully.“ 

As there are many socially responsible producers in the sector, there were many forest planting days celebrating the Woodhouse Association´s jubilee year across Estonia. The biggest took place on Harmet´s initiative in Maidla, Raplamaa, on May 25. Several companies participated at RMK´s "Climate Hero Day" and Open Air Museum´s tree planting event. All events were meant for co-workers as well as for their families and friends to participate. Mainly spruce and pine trees were planted - a total of 30 000 young trees! 

Harmet/Kristi Kamenik

We hope that young trees will grow into a strong, beautiful and healthy forest! Thank you Harmet for initiating the sector´s tree planting event and all enterprises who with the help of RMK or independently helped to create new forest! Several companies will definitely continue this nice tradition also in coming years and hopefully we gave a bug to continue also to those who participated for the first time.  

Companies that contributed to planting new forest: Harmet, Palmako, Hobbiton, EstNor, Q-haus, Puumarket, Finnlog, Nordic Houses, Inseneribüroo Pluss, Estonian Woodhouse Association team, Lasita maja, Kodumaja.