Waste and Material Efficiency


  • 95% of waste materials are purposefully reused
    • 54% of material (residuals) recovered to manufacture value-added wood products pulp, MDF and innovative bioproducts
    • 16% diverted from disposal for beneficial uses such as agriculture, industrial and landscaping purposes
    • 25% of waste materials used to generate carbon-neutral, biomass energy (89% of our mills generate energy from wood residuals)

Approach to Material Efficiency

  • We utilize 99 per cent of every log
    • Innovative technology enables the recovery of 20% more of a log for lumber than was possible 20 years ago.
    • We recover the woody byproducts of wood processing to make other high-value wood products: pulp, MDF, biomaterials and bioenergy

2019 Material Efficiency - 11.3 million tonnes

The most significant material input to our company is wood fibre. We manufacture long-life, renewable, sustainable wood products that at the end of life, may be reused, recycled or consumed for energy generation.

Our objective is to attain the best value logs entering one of our operations. To achieve the maximum recovery from every log entering our mills, we use scanning technology to determine what the ideal mix of wood products that can be made from each log. The use of technology to make better milling decisions helps to recover 20% more of a log for lumber than was possible 20 years ago.


Waste not, want not: on average, 99 per cent of each log will be utilized whether it is turned into a wood product, panel, pulp, other beneficial products or used in a bioenergy system.


Virtually every part of a log will find a use within our operations. Our Canadian operations are integrated to make the best use of wood fibre. Sawdust and shavings from our lumber mills supply our medium density fibreboard (MDF) plants, are sold for agricultural purposes or transformed into fuel and energy to run the mill. Wood chips and the wood cores from our lumber, plywood and veneer operations are used to make pulp. Even the heat, steam and gases that develop during our manufacturing processes can be captured to provide energy to our mills.

Full log utilization

Efficient fibre utilization and recovery has several benefits. It is the greatest value-producing approach, achieving the most efficient use of renewable natural resources, reducing waste and improving the recovery and circularity of our manufacturing processes. By innovating our production process, we have continued to improve our recovery and use of the wood residuals, greatly reducing the volume of material previously sent to landfills.

If it is not used in a West Fraser operation, residual fibre is also converted into agricultural and landscaping products for local sale or further industrial processing. These products range from bark mulch, animal bedding, and soil amendment and enhancers (fertilizer), to absorbents, road base and other unique uses – like soil stabilization for recreational parks and industrial site reclamation.

Wood biomass generates the majority (69%) of the energy for West Fraser’s operations, with 89% of our mill facilities generating energy from biomass. Some of our facilities also supply residual material to wood pellet producers.

See the Environmental Policy about our approach and commitment to operating responsibly. Waste water reporting can be found in the Water Use section.