- We have invested to reduce our GHG emissions by more than 181,000 tonnes annually
- We measure and work to reduce the emissions of Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX), and other significant air emissions at all of our operations
The use of carbon-based fossil fuels is one of the largest contributing factors to greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Concerns over climate change have led to changes in governmental GHG emission standards, measurement and taxation. Carbon pricing has been introduced in both Canadian provinces where we operate, including regulation such as Alberta's Specified Gas Emitters Regulation and B.C.'s GHG Reduction Act require reductions in GHG emissions.
Young, growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, and in this way carbon is captured in wood. In addition to wood being an excellent building material because of its carbon-retaining properties, regrowing the forests we harvest plays a beneficial role in recapturing carbon from the atmosphere and helps to rebalance the carbon cycle. We are addressing emission reductions through the investment of capital to upgrade technology in our operations to reduce GHG emissions, such as using more carbon-neutral biomass energy (such as residuals from our manufacturing processes) to displace coal power and our waste-to-energy facility that creates power from mill waste water. Our U.S. sawmill operations primarily use biomass energy to generate steam for the lumber kiln drying process. As a result, our U.S. mills are relatively low emitters of GHGs.
Our Alberta-based manufacturing facilities participate in their regional air shed management organizations. These are multi-stakeholder groups that provide public information on and monitor air quality, as well as develop recommendations regarding air quality monitoring and management. Our B.C.-based facilities in Smithers, Fraser Lake, Quesnel and Williams Lake B.C., also participate in local air shed management groups.
In May 2016 we further committed to the Canadian forest products 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 the native production units (MFBM for lumber, Msf (3/8”) for plywood, Msf (3/4”) for MDF, Mcf for LVL and ADMT for pulp and paper production). For all of our GHG data, facilities not wholly owned by West Fraser are calculated based on equity share of the
energy inputs to the facility. To date, all partnerships are 50%. Gasses included in GHG calculations: CO2, CH4, and NO2.