Expert for Wood-based panels

Simon Woods

European Sales, Marketing & Logistics Director


Simon Woods

Simon joins the BMBI Expert panel with almost 24 years’ experience of working in the construction products sector and with builders’ merchants. His previous roles include 10 years with the leading adhesives brand Bostik, five years in the bathroom sector working with Twyford & Methan, and five years with roofing manufacturer Icopal.

West Fraser (formerly known as Norbord)

West Fraser the UK’s number one engineered wood panel manufacturer serving DIY, housebuilding and construction markets. Its extensive panel range, which has now been certified as net carbon negative, includes FSC certified flooring, panelling and roofing products, with well known brands such as SterlingOSB Zero, CaberFloor and CaberWood MDF commonly specified by architects, national housebuilders and specifiers. West Fraser’s European manufacturing operations span three UK plants: Cowie and Inverness in Scotland; and South Molton in Devon as well as Genk, in Belgium

In February 2021 Norbord joined the West Fraser organisation – an international organisation specialising in diversified wood products with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States and Europe. From responsibly-sourced and sustainably-managed forest resources, West Fraser produces lumber, engineered wood (OSB, LVL, MDF, plywood, particleboard), and other products including pulp, newsprint, wood chips and renewable energy. Its products are used in construction, repair and remodelling, industrial applications, papers, tissue and box materials.



Twitter: @WestFraserUK

West Fraser Comment: Q3 2021

While it’s been another quarter of unprecedented growth for timber, don’t expect demand to tail off anytime soon as this sustainable material can make a positive contribution to reducing the climate crisis.

With the COP26 discussions fresh in people’s minds, it’s a good time to reopen discussions on the UK construction industry’s impact on the planet. Net zero is the target we are all striving for, but should we strive to go further?

Over time, construction moved away from timber as a primary construction material, but a return to wood would be very beneficial for the planet. There is a strong movement from many architects to increase their use of wood, something we would welcome.

Carbon is sequestered within wood as it grows and this stays locked up for the lifetime of a timber product. Wood can be recycled too, which keeps the sequestered carbon locked up for even longer. Our particleboard products, for example, contain high ratios of post-consumer recycled wood.

As the main component of our products, a majority of our wood is homegrown to minimise carbon emissions from transportation, as well as protecting our supply chain.

Wood can be a carbon neutral building material, but why stop there? Norbords’ wood panelboards are carbon negative, which means that we lock up more carbon in our products than we emit in the end-to-end production and distribution of them.

Attaining net carbon negativity is a significant step and demonstrates our determination to be a market leader in sustainable, climate-friendly products. This approach also helps us save 1.18 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Net carbon negative status benefits specifiers and users of our engineered wood panel products. When used in construction, these products can move a project’s carbon count in the right direction, helping companies meet their net zero targets, which is good for reputation, compliance and the planet.

For builders merchants looking to do their bit, encouraging the use of wood-based products contributes to the movement towards sustainable building and to reducing the impact of the construction process on our increasingly fragile climate.