Sustainable Timber Products Across Victoria

PY Timber Warehouse

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Overview

PY Timber Warehouse’s innovation consists of supplying environmentally sourced and sustainable timber products across the whole state. Given the ongoing damage done by deforestation around the world, sustainable timber products are necessary to help slow this process. Scholars have examined and researched the importance of supporting the forest ecosystem, with an emphasis on sustainable timber production and use (Darby, Elmualim, & Kelly, 2013; Sheppard, Chamberlain, Agúndez, Bhattacharya, Chirwa, Gontcharov, Sagona, Shen, Tadesse, & Mutke, 2020). PY Timber Warehouse’s efforts help reduce these negative effects, through supplying eco-friendly timber goods.

Author

Tate Bosmans

Tate Bosmans

School

Monash University

Monash University

Professor

Gitanjali Bedi

Gitanjali Bedi

Innovation

These products include Ecowood Sleepers, Trex Decking, and Wesbeam e-beam, among others. To my surprise, most sleepers produced contain arsenic, an incredibly harmful chemical. However, Ecowood Sleepers are arsenic free, mitigating the risk of harm coming from this dangerous substance. Trex composite decking is made up of reclaimed timber and recycled plastic, removing the need for increased deforestation. Furthermore, the Wesbeam e-beam is also sustainably sourced, and boasts higher strength-to-weight ratios than other timber or steel beams. The substantial benefits of these environmentally friendly options, and their ability to outperform less sustainable options, helps incentivize consumers to support eco-friendly products. Supplying and using these products is both scalable and replicable; various companies could follow suit, both within this industry and in others.

Sustainable Timber Products Across Victoria

Inspiration

The manufacturers of these products would approach PY Timber Warehouse, requiring a platform to sell their goods from. PY Timber Warehouse recognized the growing market searching for sustainable timber goods, and the business potential; opening up their platform for sustainable manufacturers to provide their products.

This process has helped PY Timber Warehouse to accommodate all customers, allowing them to “[have] that option” (Fulton, 2021) when creating sustainable infrastructure. The manufacturers themselves are still learning how to increase sustainability among their products; therefore, as they learn, they spread their knowledge with the team at PY Timber Warehouse, causing as many people as possible to increase their sustainability knowledge. On top of this, Clint (2021) described PY Timber Warehouse as “always looking to improve”, so, when a timber manufacturer approaches with a sustainable new idea, PY Timber welcomes them with open arms.

Overall impact

This innovation significantly impacted the operations of the PY Timber Warehouse, they went from “stocking none… to 30 to 40 packs” (Fulton, 2021) of individual sustainable products. As a result of this, PY Timber have tapped into a new market, allowing them to focus on consumers who want or need eco-friendly timber goods.

Clint (2021) described the importance of certain products in schoolyards, which require the safest products possible for the children, with arsenic free sleepers meeting these needs perfectly. Not only does this ensure the safety of our children, but it also acts as an opportunity for learning; allowing the schools to teach the importance of sustainability to future generations.

Clint (2021) also outlined the importance of ensuring arsenic is not present around vegetables, highlighting the environmental impacts of sustainable timber. Furthermore, while increasing the amount of sustainable stock, the demand for less environmentally friendly products will decrease, increasing the benefits for the environment.

Business benefit

This innovation has provided many benefits for PY Timber Warehouse. The emerging market of those in search of sustainable timber has had very slim pickings so far, as “not everyone… can supply [these products]” (Fulton, 2021). However, PY Timber Warehouse has become a large supplier for this market; significantly increasing their customer base, reputation, and revenue. Furthermore, many of these products are “starting to take right off” (Fulton, 2021) in terms of popularity, guaranteeing the future profitability of this market venture. With many companies taking a ‘green’ approach, given the importance of sustainability, this trend is likely to further increase PY Timber Warehouse’s revenue and market share.

Social and environmental benefit

An important aspect of Sustainable Development Goal 9, Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure, is to promote new technologies, focusing on sustainable development. The sustainable timber products supplied by PY Timber Warehouse allow manufacturers to refine their processes, ensuring the most environmentally friendly methods and products are utilised. Moreover, this SDG also focuses on sustainable infrastructure, which goes hand in hand with the products supplied by PY Timber Warehouse. When using composite decking, such as the Trex Decking, consumers “don’t have to worry about maintenance” (Fulton, 2021), which ensures that these products will last longer than their less sustainable counterparts. As a result, fewer natural resources are required from the environment, helping preserve forests and other resources.

Although Sustainable Development Goal 9 places an emphasis on developing countries, I feel the sentiment is also applicable to developing areas without much scientific or technological progress. PY Timber Warehouse help cater to this need, by developing all across the state, including rural, underdeveloped areas. This helps ensure that sustainable practices and products are employed from the beginning, setting a good example for the future.


Reference List:

Darby, H. J., Elmualim, A. A., & Kelly, F. (2013, April). A case study to investigate the life cycle carbon emissions and carbon storage capacity of a cross laminated timber, multi-storey residential building. In Proceedings of the Sustainable Building Conference, Munich, Germany (pp. 10-12).

Fulton, C. (2021, January 30). Personal communication.

Sheppard, J. P., Chamberlain, J., Agúndez, D., Bhattacharya, P., Chirwa, P. W., Gontcharov, A.,Sagona, W. C. J., Shen, H. L., Tadesse, W. & Mutke, S. (2020). Sustainable forest management beyond the timber-oriented status quo: transitioning to co-production of timber and non-wood forest products—a global perspective. Current Forestry Reports, 6(1), 26-40.

Interview

Clint Fulton, Operations Manager

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PY Timber Warehouse

PY Timber Warehouse

Seaford, Victoria, AU

Business Website: https://pytimberwarehouse.com.au/

Year Founded: 2003

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

PY Timber Warehouse is a timber retailer and delivery service, providing high quality timber products to consumers across the state. At the inception of this company, it was initially called PY Fencing, focusing solely on fencing goods. However, PY Timber Warehouse expanded their product range, and rebranded themselves, becoming a large supplier of timber goods to the state of Victoria. Through this expansion, they have begun supplying sustainable and environmentally friendly timber goods, attempting to mitigate the harmful effects of deforestation.