Our carbon footprint

Young Araucaria Plantation Forest Imbil plantation forest
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We're growing the answer to climate change

Growing trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere via photosynthesis and store carbon as biomass, purifying the air we breathe and directly tackling climate change.

Our forest management activities have the capacity to maintain and enhance the carbon stored in plantations. Our plantations forests store more than 54 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e), which accounts for carbon dioxide and all the other gas emissions as well including methane and nitrous oxide.

This is achieved by improving plantation productivity, planting long rotation crops (25 to 50 years), maintaining or improving soil carbon through retention of harvesting residues and limiting the use of residue burning.

The combination of carbon stored in our growing trees and in timber products sourced from our plantation forests represents a significant carbon sink for Australia.

Up to 50% of the dry weight of wood is carbon and is only released back to the atmosphere when the wood product is burnt or decays. In 2020 alone, almost 574,000 tonnes of CO2 was stored in the timber we harvested.

More than 25,000 houses a year are built from timber from our plantations and with a typical Australian home made up of around 12 m3 of sawn timber, each one stores more than 2.7 tonnes of carbon for up to 100 years.

While there is a limit to how much carbon our plantation forests can absorb, every time we harvest and replant we create the opportunity for new trees to grow and absorb more carbon, while the harvested products continue to store carbon for decades.

Wood The Ultimate Renewable Carbon Storage Poster
Did you know trees capture carbon at their highest rate when they are in their early to mid-growth phase?

What I love about working in this industry is that it’s a truly renewable resource. We’re creating commodity products that can be used in all manner of different ways, and at the same time we’re capturing carbon and looking after our environment. I’m really excited about the future of this industry, as we start to realise that forestry offers a lot of the answers to the issues we’re facing on this planet.

Michelle McAndrew, Stewardship Systems Manager

Reducing our emissions

We're also committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our business. We adopt measures to account for and minimise our emissions, including: 

  • annually accounting for carbon stocks (using Hancock Timber Resource Group carbon accounting protocols) 
  • adopting silviculture practices that enhance the amount of carbon stored in trees and soil 
  • implementing responsible, well-planned fire protection programs to reduce the risk of wildfires occurring and emitting large quantities of CO2 while minimising adverse social and environmental impacts 
  • installing solar panels at our nursery to generate renewable energy 
  • minimising fuel use through the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and chemical use through targeted silviculture approaches 
  • participating in research and development projects to determine the life cycle inventory of timber products, including inputs and emissions from the forest production process.