Background: The Kyoto Protocol allows carbon in forests to contribute to emission-reduction targets. This has been extended to include carbon in harvested wood products (HWP). A projected baseline approach is proposed to identify business as usual and incentivize activities that reduce emissions or increase removals relative to reference level. In this article, we describe methods to calculate the projected reference level. Results: Wood product categories were derived using a top-down approach based on timber harvest data and sawmill statistics. The average of the overall projected forest management reference level for 2013-2020 was -206.81 Gg CO2-e including HWP and -72.72 Gg CO2-e excluding carbon stock change in HWP. Conclusion: These results highlight the potential of HWP to contribute to GHG mitigation strategies. © 2013 Future Science Ltd.