West Fraser’s products: Achieving net carbon negative is not the end

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Steve Roebuck, European health & safety director at West Fraser says achieving net carbon negative status for its products is not the end of the company’s environmental journey

West Fraser – formerly Norbord has always been committed to reducing the impact of our operation on the environment. All West Fraser’s products are produced in the UK using Woodland Assurance Scheme wood from sustainably managed forests.

Aside from the raw material supply side of its operation, West Fraser has been focused on the energy it uses. Our industry is in the energy-intensive category, so West Fraser is one of a number of big energy users.

Wood is 50% water and requires a good deal of heat to dry it out. West Fraser has taken steps to counter the impact of this high energy consumption by focusing on fossil fuel energy.

West Fraser’s UK sites are part of the government renewable heat incentive scheme

The company now derive 1455 GWhr (2021) of heat from renewable sources, principally process residues, with anything left over from the manufacturing process being used to generate heat, making West Fraser the largest of industrial generator of renewable heat in the UK.

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All three of its UK sites participate in the government renewable heat incentive scheme. To be able to participate in that the material that’s used to generate heat must be from renewable sources. This has been verified through annual independent audit and certification.

The company has installed low-energy LED lighting with motion sensors across its sites!

The other high energy demand of our industry is on electricity – West Fraser has just entered into contracts with its electricity providers to ensure all our electricity comes from renewable sources. This means they only buy renewable electricity, covered by REGO guarantees (renewable energy of guaranteed origins).

West Fraser has globally committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This means its targets are aligned with the less than 1.5˚C temperature rise. The Company has committed publicly to these targets and is committing $50million a year to achieving them.

Our impact on the environment matters

As well as a global commitment by the company, West Fraser is always looking for ways we can reduce its carbon footprint closer to home, and this often means financial investment.

Its OSB is manufactured in Inverness and all of its wood comes from within an approximate 70-mile radius of the factory. At the moment, virtually all of the OSB manufactured in the Inverness plant goes out by road, but right now West Fraser is in a capital process with Network Rail.

They have run trials and are in the process of building the capital infrastructure to be able to switch to rail and that will have a massive impact on transport emissions. By switching from road to rail they estimate that they will make a saving of around 9,000 tonnes of Co2 a year.

Although West Fraser is proud of the net carbon negative status of its products there is always more that can be done, and it is committed to doing what it can to ensure it doesn’t detrimentally impact the planet we all live on.

To find out more about West Fraser’s carbon negative status visit https://uk.westfraser.com/carbon-negative/

For further information on West Fraser’s products, call 01786 812 921 or visit https://uk.westfraser.com/

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