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In November 2022, the Time for Timber team headed to Manchester Piccadilly train station to raise awareness and promote the use of timber as a low-carbon building material by handing out trees to passers-by. The giveaway was an enormous success, capturing the interest of the general public who were quick to support the message and campaign.

Capitalising on COP27

The timing of the campaign could not have been more appropriate, coinciding a mere week before the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, where countries from around the world came together once again to try and form a plan to tackle climate change.

The UK has already set itself some pretty ambitious targets of reaching net zero by 2050, and if this goal is to be realised, the carbon output of the construction industry must be addressed now. The increased use of structural timber represents the best opportunity for making that important transition to a much more carbon efficient and sustainable method of construction, and the giveaway focused attention on this fact.

Public reaction

The Time for Timber team noted that the general public were incredibly eager to discuss the campaign and hear how building with timber offers the best opportunity to reduce the carbon output of the UK construction industry. It was also refreshing to hear that so many people were already very aware of the climate change issue that the world faces and how important it is that we address the negative impacts immediately.  Manchester Piccadilly had a footfall in excess of 20million in 2021, so there were plenty of people who took notice of the tree giveaway.

The campaign was covered by many media outlets which helped to further spread the message that Time for Timber sends. Additionally, Time for Timber’s social media channels and website enjoyed heavy traffic on the days surrounding the campaign, further increasing the reach of the campaign and showing how it sparked interest.

Time for Timber’s cause

Time for Timber’s overarching foundation, is to educate and promote the use of timber as a construction material as it presents itself as a truly vital solution to the ongoing climate crises. If the UK is to build more homes, schools and offices in a way that supports the UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050, timber construction must be increased.

There is a real risk that if immediate change isn’t implemented, the net zero goal for 2050 will not be met, and the adverse effects of climate change will continue to worsen.

To find out more about Time for Timber, visit https://timefortimber.org/take-home-the-future-of-construction/

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