Our Approach to Forestry
As they grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and in this way, biogenic carbon is captured in wood. Forests and the forest sector have a significant role in climate change adaptation and mitigation through the capture of CO2 in forests and wood products, building with wood and energy substitution.
West Fraser’s ecosystem-based, sustainable forest management approach aims to increase the climate benefits from forests, create economic opportunity and manage forest lands in a way that supports multiple other values, such as biodiversity, cultural use, conservation, and recreation. We plant more trees than we harvest, renewing thriving, diverse forests for future generations.
Forestry activity that mimics natural disturbance patterns is climate-smart forestry. The sustainable forest management practices we employ can approximate the natural disturbance regimes of fires and pests when followed by the re-establishment of young forest cover.
“Sustainable forest management can prevent and reduce land degradation, maintain land productivity, and sometimes reverse the adverse impacts of climate change on land degradation. It can also contribute to mitigation and adaptation, reducing and reversing land degradation.”
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report on Climate Change and Land (Summary for Policy Makers, section B5, 2019)
An ecosystem-based approach to sustainable forest management means West Fraser:
- Participates in climate change adaptation and mitigation by supporting the regeneration of resilient, climate-adapted, diverse forest ecosystems
- Grows forests by replacing more trees than we harvest. Planting about two trees for every harvested one, 63.4 million native seedlings in 2019, 1.8 billion since 1955
- Considers and integrates climate change risk in planning forests and forest operations,
- Manages for forest biodiversity and health, supporting forest landscape resiliency to climate change and disturbance
- Works to maintain or improve forests’ productivity. Increasing growth and yield improves forests’ ability to absorb carbon and long-term economic sustainability in the forest sector
West Fraser responsibly manages and sources the timber processed in our facilities. We know the source and supply chain for all of the Company’s timber supply. Where we manage natural forest lands, we practice sustainable forest management that is globally recognized, audited and independently certified.