Wood pellet maker Enviva now follows origins of wood sourcing


BETHESDA, MD. – Enviva Holdings, which claims to be the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, has released the first data from its Track & Trace program that documents the origin of the wood it uses to make pellets.

Enviva says its proprietary system tracks every load of timber the company purchases, from the forest to its source, providing a detailed record of the characteristics of the timber used by the company. Enviva is now making this information available to the public.

“Enviva maintains unprecedented data on our wood supply chain, which leads to sustainable sourcing activities and helps us demonstrate and verify our commitment to forest sustainability while creating jobs and supporting the economic growth in the American Southeast. Said John Keppler, CEO. “Enviva’s sustainably produced wood pellets offer a cleaner energy alternative to fossil fuels, allowing electric utilities to replace coal and reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of power generation. while providing uninterrupted, distributable renewable energy that’s there when customers need it ”

Enviva makes pellets from inferior lumber from harvested southern forests and says it does not use premium lumber that would otherwise be turned into furniture or building materials. The company claims to only source low-quality materials such as pulpwood and ‘leftovers’, including undersized or crooked trees, branches, crowns, wood chips and sawdust. .

As an additional component of its sustainable sourcing, Enviva does not source wood from independently identified lowland forest ecosystems that exhibit high conservation value attributes, or from any forest where the landowner is considering. to convert to non-forestry use.

While Enviva has always implemented a rigorous system to ensure that suppliers provide the company with timber that meets their sustainability requirements, Enviva has now developed Track & Trace, a unique monitoring program. which tracks all the wood received from the forest to its origin of harvest. Today’s public launch of Enviva’s Track & Trace program comes after years of planning and investment and thousands of hours of effort by Enviva’s professional foresters and timber suppliers. the company. Enviva makes T&T information available to the public through a set of interactive maps on http://www.envivabiomass.com/sustainability/track-and-trace.

Enviva says that before purchasing, a timber supplier should provide detailed data on the specific forest plot being considered for harvesting, including the precise geographic location of each individual plot, area, forest type, mixture. of species, age and proportion of wood from each harvest that goes to Enviva compared to other consumers. Enviva says it does not accept timber from a harvest without this information, and it records data and verifies the accuracy of its procedures through third-party audits.

T&T data is presented in two ways. First, the forest trend map is based on time series data from the US Forest Service and displays changes in overall forest conditions in the Southeastern United States and in each of Enviva’s forest supply areas. Second, Enviva’s timber supply map provides detailed information on the actual timber harvest around each of Enviva’s facilities during the first half of 2016. Data includes harvest site, type of owner. land tenure, forest type, harvest type, years since last harvest, number of acres harvested. and the percentage of the crop volume supplied to Enviva for the production of wood pellets.

The first public release of Track & Trace includes purchases of Enviva lumber from January to June 2016.

T&T early results include:

Since Enviva opened its first plant in the United States in 2011, the total amount of forested land in its primary supply area has increased by over 320,000 acres, with the volume of forest inventory on these lands increasing by 10%.

  • During the first half of 2016, Enviva sourced timber from more than 750 individual plots in 98 counties in seven southern states.
  • During the first half of 2016, the wood for Enviva came from these sources:
    • About 72% came from mixed pine and deciduous forests (43%), southern yellow pine forests (25%) and upland deciduous forests (4%). This timber is made up of undersized or “understory” timber that was removed as part of a larger harvest; summits and members; brush; and “thinnings” which have been removed to leave more room for planted pines to grow.
    • About 25% was sawdust, shavings or residues from the manufacture of wood products.
    • About 3% came from working lowland deciduous forests, consisting of undersized timber or “undergrowth” that was removed as part of a larger harvest; summits and members; brush; and “thinnings”.
    • Less than 1% came from landscaping or urban tree maintenance projects.
    • On average, the forests in these plots were 37 years old at the time of final harvest.

“Research shows that sustainably sourced and produced wood pellets can dramatically reduce life cycle-based greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal,” said Jennifer C. Jenkins, Ph.D. , Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Enviva. “Enviva ensures transparency in our procurement process so that policymakers and other stakeholders can investigate for themselves the responsible wood sourcing approach Enviva takes to ensure the positive environmental impact of our products. Pellets. “

“By implementing such a robust tracking program for timber from the forest and providing the public with real insight into its sourcing practices, Enviva has taken the lead in supply chain transparency for the forest products industry, ”said Scott Poynton, Founder of The Forest Trust (TFT), a global non-profit organization that partners with companies to transform raw material supply chains to protect forests and the communities. “They have made a tangible commitment here, and we think more will follow.”

As the T&T system matures, Enviva expects to learn more and incorporate the results into its operations and procedures. Enviva plans to update T&T data online several times a year in the future.

Enviva Holdings, LP is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. Through its subsidiaries, Enviva Holdings, LP owns and operates plants in the Southeastern United States that produce nearly 3 million metric tonnes of wood pellets per year. We export our pellets primarily to power plants in the UK and Europe that were previously powered by coal, which allows them to reduce their lifetime carbon footprint by around 80%. We manufacture our pellets using sustainable practices that protect the forests of the South. It employs around 600 people and supports many other businesses in the rural South. www.envivabiomass.com.

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