GHGs and Air Emissions

2020 Highlights:

  • Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions reduced 14.9% in 2020 (v. baseline 2005)
  • GHG emission intensity in lumber operations reduced 6.8% since 2005 over a time that lumber production grew 42%1

Approach to Emissions

The use of carbon-based fossil fuels is the most significant contributing factor to greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. West Fraser’s approach to addressing GHG emissions has focused on energy efficiency, finding opportunities for fuel switching and optimizing the use of carbon-neutral biomass energy (utilizing residuals from manufacturing processes). These efforts have produced an absolute reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions of 15% since 2005.

Capital upgrades to mill operations for more efficient manufacturing technology have also helped to reduce emissions. We continue to explore economic options to displace fossil fuel and coal-derived electricity. We do this by generating more sustainable alternatives, including projects like our waste-to-energy plant that creates power from mill wastewater (biogas) and power purchase agreements for solar energy.

All of the products manufactured at West Fraser are sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels and other non-renewable materials. They offer the potential to help the world at large reduce reliance on high-intensity fossil fuel products. Our Climate Change page consolidates more information and TCFD recommended disclosures about our approach to climate change-related governance, strategy, risk management and opportunities.

We are committed to forest renewal where we manage forest lands, supporting the vital role working forests play as carbon sinks. Our manufacturing operations are optimized for the responsible production of the longest use, highest value-added wood products for efficient material use, fibre and energy recovery. The resilience, health and growth of the forests we harvest play a beneficial role in recapturing carbon from the atmosphere, positively contributing to the carbon cycle. The absorption of CO2 by forests is fundamental to the environmental promise and sustainable life-cycle of wood products.

Wood products, pulp, and sustainable forestry are some of the best opportunities to fight climate change. Within the carbon cycle and for climate change mitigation, wood products have three beneficial roles: as a store of carbon, as an alternative to fossil fuel-based materials, and for generating carbon-neutral energy. Sustaining healthy, vibrant biodiversity, West Fraser’s ecosystem-based approach to certified, sustainable forest management is a high-impact contributor to mitigating climate change by absorbing and storing carbon.

As a member of the Forest Product’s Association of Canada, West Fraser is a part of the Canadian industry’s pledge to remove 30 megatonnes (MT) of CO2 per year by 2030 — more than 13% of the Canadian government’s emissions target. We continue to invest in new technologies to lower our carbon footprint. We make extensive use of carbon-neutral bioenergy systems that more effectively capture the heat and steam generated during the production of wood products.

GHG Emissions Objectives

Strategic Intent

Highlights on Progress

Work towards the definition of a GHG emissions target, using a scientific, evidence-based process

Over the last year, an internal team has focused on improving the data collection accuracy, comprehensiveness and timeliness of capturing enterprise GHG emissions to ensure robust inventory for the organization. This is vital, ongoing work evaluating the composition of emission sources and investigating opportunities to set goals and targets. We have a detailed inventory of Scope 1 & 2 emissions and have recently expanded our efforts to screen, assess and quantify scope 3 emissions and forest carbon flows. With this work, we are evaluating the impact of different target scenarios on our operations. We continue to actively tackle site-specific energy and emissions management programs with leading energy utilities, prioritizing our more emission-intensive operations.

[1] Lumber production growth of 42% calculated: lumber production has grown 41.5%, from 4,212 MMfbm in 2005 to 5,958 MMfbm in 2019