The Built by Nature Challenge

How to strengthen consensus on the climate impacts of the bio-based construction value chain

The Need: A value chain approach to climate impact

Built by Nature, our frontrunners and network recognise that the adoption of bio-based construction materials from sustainably managed forests represents a powerful climate-mitigation solution.

We also recognise, however, that a clear and robust acknowledgement of additional climate-mitigating impacts is also needed, ranging from the carbon storage effect of bio-based materials and the carbon sequestration of the ecosystem from which they are sourced, to the impact of other ecosystem benefits provided by forests such as biodiversity preservation and resilience to climate change. 

Models to calculate these carbon storage and sequestration effects are beginning to gain traction in practice and policy (for example, the 3S Framework attempts to calculate the full carbon benefit across the value chain); but very little information on climate impact or the impact of forest management practices is made visible throughout the bio-based material value chain.

This lack of visibility slows down the optimisation of the forest-to-frame value chain and its climate mitigation potential.

The Challenge

The Built by Nature Challenge aims to address this by encouraging the field to convene and focus on the carbon impact theme of this unique initiative: how to make carbon and wider ecosystem benefits of forests more visible, understandable and integrated throughout bio-based construction value chains.

We invite organisations working in or with the forest-to-construction value chain in Europe to respond to the Built by Nature Challenge as we seek to connect initiatives to each other, encourage cross-learning and maximise collaboration between applicants.

The Challenge will run between the 15th of November2022 and 5th of April 2023, and is budgeted at €350,000 to fund three to five grants ranging €70,000 to €120,000 each. Implementation of the winning grants will begin earliest in Q2 2023 and last up to 12 months.

The Goals

The Built by Nature Challenge aims to strengthen consensus along the bio-based construction value chain around how climate impacts are considered, measured, and communicated – with supporting data and assumptions widely embraced by the industry. This also leads to increased transparency around the impact of different decisions made across the value chain and enhanced understanding of the collective benefits that forests provide.

The net results include better decision making within the construction industry; policymakers better equipped to shape the demand for bio-based materials, and better connections between forestry and construction industries — all leading to a stronger case for bio-based materials in construction.

The Solutions

We believe that greater transparency around the climate impact of timber construction products can be achieved through strengthening the traceability of timber products, while enabling decision-makers in the construction industry to better visualise and understand the impact of different forestry management practices on carbon sequestration, biodiversity preservation and climate resilience.

We see potential solutions fitting into categories which demonstrate a human, data-driven communications and storytelling approach; legally-sound certification and verification methodologies,  and/or an integration of technologies and systems to facilitate the flow of data between members of the forest-to-frame value chain.

The Call to Action

Built by Nature is encouraging interested parties to find out more. Comprehensive details are found in this Call for Proposals, including more information on the application process, submission requirements, along with helpful tips.

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