Copper, Chromium and Arsenic (CCA) treated wood is the industry standard in NZ, however, this is not the case in a number of overseas jurisdictions where CCA treated wood has been banned or restricted, these include France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States and Canada. These companies adopted their restrictions following reports that CCA could pose a risk to children. This risk has been dismissed by the NZ Environmental Risk Management Agency in a 2003 report on Copper, Chromium and Arsenic Treated Timber (click here to see the report).
Despite this process being cleared, one New Zealand company has sought to do things differently and is producing eco-friendly timber using a low-toxicity plant based preservative. Abodo Wood Limited has recently won a Green Ribbon Award from the Ministry for the Environment for ‘Green economy’ (see a stuff article on Abodo Wood here). This award recognised the innovative technology which created a product that is highly durable, yet biodegradable at the end of its life. Abodo has an annual turnover of $31million with the large majority of that coming from Europe and Australia.
Abodo products were used on New Zealand’s first ‘living building’ the Tuhoe Iwi Headquarters, Te Uru Taumatua (see previous post on this here).
This company is part of a renewed interest in timber products, one which New Zealand is at the forefront of and one which will no doubt see further innovation in future (see a previous post on NZ’s timber renaissance here).