Climate change

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

our climate change commitment

As a plantation forest grower, our business success is linked to the long-term health of the planet so we’ve developed a Carbon Climate Commitment Statement, signifying our role as an active contributor in the transition to a low carbon emission future.

In addition to the natural climate solution our carbon-sequestering forests offer, this commitment demonstrates that we are also taking steps to reduce our environmental footprint and invest in climate change mitigation and resilience.

The core principles of our approach to climate change are to actively manage our assets to limit our exposure to climate change risk and to align our business models with the lower carbon future envisaged in the Paris Agreement (to limit global warming to 1.5°C by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050).

These core principles are supported by four objectives:

  • Mitigate direct and indirect emissions from management of our estate, and manage changes in the net amount of carbon sequestered in our estate.
  • Actively manage our estate to adapt to a future climate variability that may impact on growing conditions and increase risk of damage from fire, drought, heatwaves, storm events, pests and diseases.
  • Increase awareness of the role played by plantations in capturing and sequestering carbon in standing trees, in providing the sustainable raw material for a wide range of products with low embodied energy, and in generating a wide range of environmental services.
  • Review and where appropriate progress commercial opportunities to facilitate development of renewable energy projects associated with our estate.

Meeting these objectives requires commitment and participation from everyone who works for and with us at every level of our business and we have identified a series of actions and a comprehensive plan to do so.

To find out more, read our full Climate Change Commitment Statement.