Lendlease and Stora Enso launch global sustainable timber partnership

Photo: Stora Enso

A new partnership between international real estate group Lendlease, and international supplier of sustainable timber Stora Enso is set to supercharge the use of environmentally friendly construction products in some cities.

Launched on 1 Oct 2021 in Milan, Italy, where Lendlease has AUS$7.9 billion in urbanisation projects underway, the new partnership will focus on three key areas: Research & Development into sustainable timber products including cross-laminated timber (CLT); new ways these products can be used in construction; and their accessibility in the global market.

Lendlease also announced the establishment of a dedicated studio in Milan to facilitate the creation of new sustainable timber products and increased use of sustainable timber across its $52 billion portfolio of European development projects. Named Podium MX, the new Milan studio will be based at the company’s $3.6 billion Milan Innovation District (MIND), the former 2015 World Expo site, and will complement a similar facility established in Silicon Valley earlier in September 2021.

In addition, Stora Enso’s product catalogue will be fully digitised through Lendlease’s end-to-end digital platform, Podium, making it easier for the company to design and build with sustainable timber in the future.

The announcement further cements the already strong relationship between Lendlease and Stora Enso. In the past decade, the two companies have worked together to deliver eight sustainable timber buildings in cities including London, Sydney and Brisbane. For example, the use of sustainable timber instead of conventional reinforced concrete at Lendlease’s 25 King office project in Brisbane, Australia reduced carbon emissions by 74%, or 5,000 tonnes of carbon.

Given the built environment currently contributes about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, sustainable timber products represent a compelling opportunity for the construction industry to lighten its environmental footprint. Strong, lightweight and resilient to fire and shocks, sustainable timber contains much less embodied carbon than traditional building materials such as steel and cement.

“This global partnership between Lendlease and Stora Enso represents a natural evolution of a relationship stretching back more than a decade between our two companies,” said Tony Lombardo, global CEO and managing director of Lendlease. “Stora Enso is an undisputed world leader in the development of products that have a lighter environmental footprint. This is particularly relevant for Lendlease, given we’ve set ourselves the challenge of achieving the most aggressive emissions reduction targets for the real estate sector globally – net zero carbon emissions by 2025 and absolute zero by 2040.”

Lars Völkel, executive vice president of Stora Enso Wood Products division, also commented: “We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Lendlease, a true frontrunner in sustainable building solutions. Together we will lead the transition towards more circular, innovative and digitalised solutions to help speed up the construction industry’s transformation.”