GHG's and Air Emissions

  • Carbon stored in products: 9.4 million tonnes of CO2e in 2019
  • Natural forests in Canada managed for timber production are a carbon sink
  • GHG emissions reduced 13% in 2019
    • GHG emission intensity reduced 9% since 2005 in solid wood manufacturing over a time that lumber production grew 63%

Approach to Emissions

The resilience, health and growth of the forests we harvest plays a beneficial role in recapturing carbon from the atmosphere, positively contributing to the carbon cycle. It’s the process that 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.

All of the products West Fraser makes are alternatives to fossil fuels and other non-renewable materials, with the potential to help the world at large reduce reliance on high-intensity fossil fuel products. We are committed to forest renewal where we manage forest lands, supporting the vital role forest ecosystems play as carbon sinks. Our manufacturing operations are optimized for the responsible production of the longest use, highest value-added wood products, efficient material use, fibre and energy recovery.

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 finding opportunities for fuel switching and increasing the use of carbon-neutral biomass energy (utilizing residuals from manufacturing processes). We have also invested in capital upgrades to mill operations and more efficient manufacturing technology. The Company continues to explore economical options to displace fossil fuel and coal-derived electricity by generating more sustainable alternatives, including projects like our waste-to-energy plant that creates power from mill wastewater (biogas). Learn more about our biomass energy projects. 

GHG Emissions 2019

Concerns over climate change have led to changes in governmental GHG emission standards, measurement and taxation.  Carbon pricing and regulations that require reductions in GHG emissions have been introduced in both Canadian provinces where we operate, such as Alberta's Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation and B.C.'s Climate Change Accountability Act (CCAA). 

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 bioenergy systems that more effectively capture the heat and steam generated during the production of wood products and other future relevant technology as it continues to improve.

Emission intensities are based on cubic metres for all solid wood operations and ADMT for pulp and paper production. For all our GHG data, facilities not wholly-owned by West Fraser are calculated based on an equity share of the energy inputs to the facility. To date, all partnerships are 50%. Gasses included in GHG calculations: CO2, CH4, and NO2.