Pellet producer implements wood supply tracking

November 2, 2017

By: The Working Forest Staff

BETHESDA, Md. –Enviva, the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets, released its latest Track & Trace sourcing data, demonstrating the company’s ongoing commitment to a transparent supply chain. These data are a key tool used to measure, maintain and validate the company’s sustainability practices throughout the Southeastern United States.

Track & Trace is a proprietary data system that enables Enviva to monitor every truckload of wood the company procures from the forest throughout the entire supply chain process. This innovative technology provides detailed insights into the wood’s unique characteristics – including origination.

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 earmarked for 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.

“These data provide direct transparency about how we make purchasing decisions and demonstrate our commitment to sustainable sourcing policies,” said Jennifer Jenkins, Enviva’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

“With 18 months of Track & Trace data now available to the public, we continue to demonstrate to our customers, partners, investors and local communities that we’re sourcing the lowest-grade wood possible, while ensuring that the working forests in our supply area in the Southeastern U.S. continue to thrive,” said John Keppler, Chairman and CEO of Enviva.

This latest data set shows that Enviva sourced wood from 1,181 working forest harvests in five Southeastern states over a six-month period ending in June 2017.

Other findings include:

  • Approximately 38 percent of Enviva’s wood came from pine and hardwood mixed forests, 31 percent from Southern yellow pine forests and 6 percent 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 21 percent was sawdust, shavings or residuals from wood product manufacturing.
  • Three percent came from working bottomland hardwood forests, also consisting of undersized or “understory” wood; and tops and limbs.
  • Less than 1 percent came from arboricultural sources, such as landscaping and urban tree maintenance.
  • Wood fiber harvested on these tracts came from forests that were an average of 37 years old.

Enviva states that it does not use high-quality wood that would otherwise be milled into furniture or construction materials. In addition, Enviva has a policy of not sourcing 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.

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