Environmental Management Systems

  • Environmental management systems (“EMS”) are based on the ISO 14001 framework
  • Woodlands EMS is audited internally and our forestry management and fibre sourcing is audited by independent auditors

Environmental Performance & Compliance

Our operations are subject to environmental protection laws and regulations in the United States and Canada. We have developed and apply internal programs (such as our environmental monitoring systems) and policies to help ensure that our operations are in compliance with applicable laws and standards and to address any instances of non-compliance. We are committed to responsible stewardship of the environment and to the continual improvement of our forest practices and manufacturing procedures so we can optimize the use of resources and minimize the impact of our operations on the environment.

Our environmental management systems (“EMS”) are based on the ISO 14001 framework. Our EMS provides a systematic approach to meeting our Environmental Policy commitments, complying with environmental legislation, reducing the potential impact of our activities on the environment and striving for continual improvement. The core elements of the EMS are common to all divisions, while each mill or woodlands division customizes the operational elements.

One of the most effective methods to achieve continual improvement is to investigate environmental incidents, including near misses. The West Fraser EMS requires the identification of the root cause(s) of an incident and development of an action plan that includes corrective measures, preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of a reoccurrence, and follow-up at a later date to evaluate effectiveness of the action plan.

Within our EMS framework, West Fraser expects our operations to:

  • Maintain a list of key environmental aspects as part of the facility profile
  • Have at least one person with overall responsibility for maintenance and implementation of the EMS who is provided with the training required to understand the associated regulatory requirements
  • Develop and maintain a ‘Maintaining Environmental Compliance’ calendar accessible to all personnel with assigned responsibilities in the calendar
  • To establish and maintain procedures to control environmental audit reports, action plans and updates and that they are periodically reviewed, revised and transitioned if there is a key personnel change.

Our Woodlands EMS (relevant to our forestry management activities that take place in Canada) forms the foundation of our approach to achieve the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) third-party certification, PEFC Chain of Custody (CoC) requirements and for certain facilities, the FSC Controlled Wood Chain of Custody Certification. Our Woodlands EMS is audited internally and our forestry management and fibre sourcing is audited by independent auditors (audited certifications are published online, accessed through the Certification Programs page). Our Woodlands EMS incorporates similar elements to our manufacturing framework, such as environmental compliance calendar, training, and identified individual coordinating the facility environmental program, hazard and risk identification, goal and metric tracking, documentation, evaluation, and records keeping.

See our Environmental Policy about our approach and commitment to operating responsibly.

Supplier Environmental Assessment

Beyond meeting federal, provincial and state regulations, we maintain rigorous external certifications from a number of accredited standard-setting certification bodies which offer independent verification of the measures that we take to mitigate the effects of our activities on the environment. These certification standards include assessments of our fibre supply chain.

In 2016, all of West Fraser operations were SFI certified for Fiber Sourcing. In 2017, we acquired the Gilman mills, which were not certified through SFI for Fiber Sourcing. We will be pursuing Fiber Sourcing certification for these operations. Fiber Sourcing certification provides assurance that the logs we purchase through suppliers come from sources that comply with applicable laws, regulations and sustainable resource standards, including avoidance of sourcing fibre from controversial sources.