Using the Whole Tree

Pulp, paper, and lumber might be the best-known forest products, but they’re not the only ones. As part of our commitment to sustainability, Alberta’s forest industry uses “leftovers” from producing more traditional products in a variety of innovative ways.

Many of those uses involve producing renewable, carbon-neutral energy. Materials left over from creating other products, like sawdust and smaller pieces of wood, can be used to generate electricity that powers forest industry facilities and is sold back into the grid for general use. We can also use these “extras” to create things like agricultural fertilizer, mulch for gardens and playgrounds, and chemical compounds that can substitute for non-renewable substances in other kinds of manufacturing. For example, biomethanol (derived from leftover parts of hardwood trees) can be used instead of oil to make plastics, glues, dyes and other goods with lower environmental impact.

We’re not harvesting additional trees to make these products – we’re making sure every part of the harvest goes to good use. This industry respects the value of every tree, and we don’t want anything to go to waste.