A Renewable Resource

Wood is the ultimate renewable resource

It is abundant, renewable, and usable from bark to treetop for everything from homes and buildings to paper and energy production.

Private forest owners are making significant investments to keep forests abundant and strong – in replanting and reforestation, and forest health treatments and regular maintenance that reduce the risk of natural disturbance like wildfire. And it shows: today, private forest owners are growing 40% more wood than they remove.

 

The untold story about forestry is one of notable efficiency

We can and do use every piece of a tree, from the solid wood core, to the limbs, branches, bark, and even the sawdust that is left over from the manufacturing process.  See how.


A renewable resource for renewable energy

Biomass is carbon-neutral electricity generated from renewable organic material – including tree limbs, treetops, and small trees, as well as wood waste like sawdust and bark. Biomass power uses these natural materials to generate renewable electricity.

Because the energy is produced using organic, renewable, regenerating material that follows a natural carbon cycle, the use of wood biomass for energy production does not increase greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere over time if done sustainably.

If low-value residuals were left on the forest floor, sent to a landfill, or burned onsite – as they would be without a market or on-site use for the material – these wood residues would naturally release their stored carbon as they decompose.

Rather than relying solely on energy from the grid, the forest products industry uses its own wood waste – by-products of the manufacturing processes happening on-site – to meet two-thirds of its power needs.

Innovation is expanding and improving the ways we use wood   

As architects, engineers, and developers focus on how to build greener buildings, they’re turning back to wood.  Recent innovations in wood technology and manufacturing have made tall wood buildings safe, cost effective, and energy efficient.

Increased Demand Is Associated with More, Not Less, Productive Forests

Data shows that strong markets for lumber and wood products, like biomass, actually increase tree populations.

A recent analysis from Forest2Market shows that increased demand for forest products – lumber, paper, packaging, and biomass – has led to greater forest productivity and a significant increase in the amount of forest inventory storing carbon.

According to the USDA, from 1953 to 2011, in a time of expanding population and increasing demand for homes, paper products, and energy, the total volume of trees grown in the U.S. increased by 50%.


More from NAFO

Working Forests: The economic engine of rural communities

Clean Air: Trees are nature’s own solution to carbon

Clean Water: Trees are nature’s water filters

Study: Strong markets for wood products mitigate forest loss

What Others are Saying

Biomass Power Association on the biomass basics

U.S. Industrial Pellet Association on carbon benefits

AF&PA on using renewable biomass on-site