At West Fraser, excellence in performance also means consciously managing our energy use, reducing our consumption and developing sustainable energy solutions to meet our needs today and for the future. We are implementing environmental technologies to improve the manufacturing processes at our operations and our ability to be competitive in a global market.
We currently generate 65% of our energy requirements from carbon-neutral biomass fuels sourced from our wood processing operations.
We have invested in projects to increase our energy efficiency and to generate electricity from the co-products of our manufacturing process, such as wood waste and pulp mill effluent. Since 2000, our energy initiatives have resulted in a decrease in the intensity of purchased energy of approximately 40% for our sawmill and panel operations and approximately 20% for our pulp and newsprint operations.
Why are we developing the capacity to harness and generate bioenergy?
Bioenergy from sustainable, well-managed forestlands is a renewable source of energy. It provides a clean and reliable source of energy to power our operations and the electricity grid today and for the future.
One of the most important benefits of bioenergy is that it takes advantage of woody materials that were previously considered wood waste. We use a variety of sources of biomass such as:
- Wood chips, sawdust and mill shavings sources from our mills
- “Hog fuel” which is unprocessed mill wood fibre and bark pieces
- Branches and other woody material resulting from harvesting, thinning or other forest management activities
This is a significant advantage because it means that nothing goes to waste and we use every part of the natural, renewable resources that enter our operations.
It Reduces our Carbon Footprint
Using bioenergy offsets energy from other fuel and power sources. In particular, wood biomass (sourced from sustainably managed forests) when used in bioenergy systems is essentially carbon neutral. Growing forests absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Because West Fraser reforests the land we harvest, planting young saplings will draw more carbon out of the atmosphere.
Learn more about the investments we are making in innovative sustainable energy systems that cost-effectively and efficiently convert renewable biomass into energy to supply our operations.