To reinforce our commitment to sustainability leadership, we have made some significant strategic advancements to integrate and align our business. Building on our existing values and performance, we have enhanced our strategy by incorporating the results of our materiality assessment, benchmarking and stakeholder feedback.
In 2021, this included improvements to the:
- rigor and capitalization of our carbon management portfolio and data to support our SBTi commitment
- organizational robustness, further broadening our sustainability governance and stewardship of risks and opportunities
- progression of organizational engagement on diversity, equity and inclusion with policy and operating model enhancements
- business integration and identification of shared best practices while building on our culture of sustainable practices
- commitment to meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples through the PAR certification program
Our sustainability strategy is fundamentally linked to our growth strategy. In everything we do, we seek to embed sustainability considerations in our business practices and processes, making it a central principle by which our people operate. The renewable building materials we provide globally naturally sequester carbon and can make a valuable contribution toward a global climate change solution.
In recent years, we have also strengthened our approach to governance, sharpening how we manage and perform on critical sustainability issues. This ensures that we can move our commitment to sustainability leadership forward to align with the circular economy, decarbonization and social performance.
The linear economy model of production, consumption and disposal is not sustainable. West Fraser supports the circular economy, which is designed to eliminate waste and pollution through upstream interventions; to keep products and materials in use at the highest value possible throughout their lifetimes; and to regenerate natural systems. The trees we harvest and the products we make are balanced by protecting and regenerating the ecosystems where we work. This approach benefits the environment, society and the larger economy while addressing critical issues such as climate change, biodiversity, waste and pollution.
Commitment to decarbonization
Throughout 2021, developing our integrated carbon management and reduction portfolio was a priority. Thoughtful analysis coupled with broad engagement provided the foundation to better understand our GHG emission profile and opportunities for reductions across all three emission scope pathways. Science-based targets give us a practical and well-defined path for reducing GHG emissions related to our operations and activities. In early 2022, West Fraser became the first forestry company in Canada to commit to science-based emission reduction targets, aligning with a 1.5°C scenario for Scope 1 and 2, and well below 2°C for Scope 3.
Over the course of 2021, a cross-functional team worked to develop a credible plan for making material GHG reductions across our operations by 2030. This marks an important step in our sustainability leadership journey and the evolution of our ESG performance. It highlights our commitment to global climate action and our alignment with the Paris Agreement goals.
In early 2022, to align our performance with our SBTi commitment, we established an internal price for carbon. Today, we are incorporating it into our capital allocation and business decision-making processes.
Managing climate risks and opportunities
In 2021, climate-related events, including wildfires, heavy rain and extreme flooding, hit parts of our business including significant production areas in Canada and the U.S., notably British Columbia and Texas. These severe weather events affected our employees, partners and customers, and had a significant impact on our business.
In late 2020, we concluded scenario analysis to better understand climate risks and opportunities across Norbord operations in Canada, the United States and Europe. This work was informed by the TCFD recommendations. In 2022, we broadened this initiative to include the entire West Fraser business and in our 2022 Sustainability Report, we will expand on our analysis findings.
As part of our climate change response, we aim to:
- Reduce Scope 1 GHG emissions – direct emissions that are under West Fraser’s operational control – and Scope 2 GHG emissions – indirect emissions from purchased energy – by 46.2% by 2030, using 2019 as our baseline year. These reductions are in line with a scenario that limits global temperature increases to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.
- Reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions – all other indirect emissions within West Fraser’s value chain – by 25% by 2030, using 2020 as our baseline year. Scope 3 GHG reductions align with a scenario that limits global temperature increases to well below 2°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.