Enviva, the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, released data from the company’s Track & Trace forestry system. Track & Trace is a proprietary system that enables Enviva to monitor every truckload of wood the company procures from the forest throughout the entire supply chain process. It provides detailed insights into the wood’s characteristics enabling the company to refine its sustainable sourcing policies.
Before selling wood to Enviva, a supplier must provide detailed data on the specific forest tract being considered for harvest, including each individual tract’s precise geographic location, acreage, forest type, species mix, age and the share of wood from each harvest that goes to Enviva versus other consumers. Enviva does not accept any wood from a harvest without this information, and Enviva records the data and verifies the accuracy of its procedures through third-party audits.
According to the announcement, the disclosed information indicated the following:
- Approximately 38% of Enviva’s wood came from pine and hardwood mixed forests, 29% from Southern yellow pine forests and 5% from upland hardwood forests. The wood sourced by Enviva consists of undersized or “understory” wood that was removed as part of a larger harvest; tops and limbs; brush; and “thinnings” that were removed to make additional room for planted pines to grow.
- Approximately 23% was sawdust, shavings or residuals from wood product manufacturing.
- 4% percent came from working bottomland hardwood forests, also consisting of undersized or “understory” wood; and tops and limbs.
- Less than one percent came from arboricultural sources, such as landscaping and urban tree maintenance.
- Overal, the wood was sourced from nearly 1200 working forest harvests in 83 counties in 5 Southern states over a six-month period ending in March 2017. The forests in the Southeast continue to grow and thrive, with the total amount of forested land in Enviva’s primary supply area increasing by 320,842 acres since 2011, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Inventory on that land has grown by 10% during that time period, and continues to increase as forests grow at a faster rate than they are harvested.
John Keppler, Chairman and CEO of Enviva, commented:
“We are committed to keeping forests healthy and growing, while producing a cleaner energy alternative to fossil fuels. Track & Trace is fundamental to that commitment, and the latest data clearly demonstrates how our forestry practices continue to have a positive effect on Southeastern forests.”
The company produces pellets using low-grade wood from Southern working forests. Enviva does not use high-quality wood that would otherwise be milled into furniture or construction materials, but procures only low-quality materials such as pulpwood and “leftovers,” including undersized or crooked trees, limbs, tops, wood chips and sawdust. Additionally, Enviva does not source wood from independently identified bottomland forest ecosystems that demonstrate high conservation value attributes, or from any forest where the landowner plans to convert to a non-forest use.
Earlier Enviva Partners extends contracts at Port Panama City through 2023.
About Enviva Partners:
The company is a publicly traded master limited partnership that aggregates a natural resource, wood fiber, and processes it into a transportable form, wood pellets. It sells a significant majority of its wood pellets through long-term, take-or-pay agreements with creditworthy customers in the U.K. and Europe. Enviva Partners owns and operates six plants in Southampton County, Virginia; Northampton County and Ahoskie, North Carolina; Amory and Wiggins, Mississippi; and Cottondale, Florida having a combined production capacity of approximately 2.3 Mt of wood pellets per year. In addition, the partnership owns a deep-water marine terminal at the Port of Chesapeake, Virginia, which is used to export wood pellets. Enviva Partners also exports pellets through the ports of Mobile, Alabama and Panama City, Florida.