Product Quality & Life Cycle

 

Approach

Buildings and the energy services required to maintain them are estimated to be responsible for as much as 20% - 30% of global GHG emissions. To reach the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, buildings and design practices globally must shift towards carbon-neutral or carbon-negative construction. The wood products West Fraser sustainably manufactures can play a role in helping the world meet climate objectives through improved building construction.

 

Wood is a 100% renewable building product

As a building material, wood is renewable, strong and versatile; and a lower carbon footprint choice. It is the only major building material that stores carbon for its useful lifetime, being 50% carbon by weight.

The wood products West Fraser manufactured in 2019 stored 9.4 million tonnes CO2e.

 

When considered over a building’s lifetime – from harvest of raw materials through manufacturing, transportation, installation, use, maintenance and disposal or recycling – wood performs better than concrete and steel in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, carbon footprint and global warming potential. Further, it is a natural insulator and can contribute to better air quality by minimizing the accumulation of dust and microbes. 

West Fraser is committed to producing and delivering quality wood products and, as such, takes steps to ensure requirements are consistently met. West Fraser maintains many additional product quality standards and certifications specific to each of the products we produce.

You can find additional detail about product-specific quality, certification and standards information for every product we make in the Products section or in the life cycle assessment (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) links below. 

Product Life Cycle and Environmental Assessment

Life Cycle assessments, environmental product declarations (EPDs) and transparency briefs have been developed to support more holistic consideration and evaluation of the environmental performance of wood products. These technical resources support those making these health, environmental and climate-considered choices, providing independent, quality information supported by rigorous data to inform their choices for building materials and wood products.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a performance-based approach to assessing the impacts building material choices have on the environment.  Through the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute (supported by FPInnovations, of which West Fraser is a member), cradle-to-grave life cycle analysis is available for our Canadian-produced solid wood products: 

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are concise, standardized, independently verified reports on environmental performance. Data reported in an EPD is collected using life cycle assessment (LCA), an internationally standardized scientific methodology in compliance with ISO 14025 and ISO 21930 standards, in compliance with ISO 14025 and ISO 21930, and verified by Underwriters Laboratories Environment (ULE), an independent certification body.

The American Wood Council (AWC)  and the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) have developed the following North American wood product EPDs to provide industry average data for the following environmental metrics:

  • Global warming potential;
  • Acidification potential;
  • Eutrophication potential;
  • Ozone depletion potential;
  • Smog potential;
  • Primary energy consumption;
  • Material resources consumption; and
  • Non-hazardous waste generation.

Environmental Product Declarations and transparency reports are available for all of West Fraser’s solid wood products:

Marketing and Labeling

We manufacture sustainable, renewable and recyclable wood products that can be used in a wide variety of applications, often as a more environmental alternative to other construction and fossil-fuel based materials. We comply with, and regularly monitor, developments in the United States and Canada to ensure our product labeling meets and reflects regulatory requirements, where needed.

Customer Privacy

We respect and uphold individual rights to privacy and the protection of personal information.