These days, it seems that everyone says they’re green. Sometimes, it can be hard to know what it really means. We at Ainsworth would like to be clear: for us, it means a lot.
Green products, green practices
At a time when we are all concerned with the future of our forests, it’s important to remember that wood—especially engineered wood—is a renewable building material and a good choice for green construction.
Sustainable building practices begin in the forest. In a world where thousands of acres of overseas forests are illegally harvested every year and deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, Ainsworth is at the forefront of sustainable forest management.
All our products are sourced from North American forests. We control 100% of our fiber supplies. As you can read below, our forest and mill operations are compliant with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards for sustainability. Our operation in Barwick, Ontario is also FSC certified for both Chain-of-Custody and controlled wood. We comply with all Canadian forest laws. These stringent laws are one reason why Canada retains 91 percent of its original forests, and our deforestation rate is virtually zero. We welcome public scrutiny of our operations, and we are proud of the international, third-party certifications that our operations have earned.
Green building materials
Our OSB is among the “greenest” of wood products. Follow the links below for more information, but to summarize:
- Our OSB is made from northern aspen, a small, fast-growing tree that can be harvested regularly. The exception is our 100 Mile House operation, which sources a significant portion of its wood from low-quality pine timber that has been killed by the mountain pine beetle.
- All harvested lands are promptly regenerated.
- When we manufacture OSB, we use every shred of wood fiber, with virtually no waste.
- Our manufacturing plants are near our forestlands, for a reduced carbon footprint.
For builders, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards can be important in securing approval and funding based on a project’s overall sustainability. LEED credits can be an important factor when selecting building products. In the case of Ainsworth products, two factors may earn LEED credits:
- All our OSB products earn LEED credits for their contribution to a clean-air environment: they use non-toxic resins and adhesives, and are urea formaldehyde free.
- If the construction project is within 500 miles of our North American mill locations, it may earn LEED credits.
Information on sustainable products and practices
A Buyer’s Guide to Canada’s Sustainable Forest Products:
Environmental facts and green building practices
Our Environmental policy
Our company, and our business is based on forest management, and we at Ainsworth are committed to responsible stewardship of the forest, and to maintaining the integrity of our environment. Our commitment extends to:
- conserving the diversity and function of the forest environment by practicing responsible stewardship on the forestlands entrusted to its management.
- ensuring that our activities do not result in environmental damage that could compromise present and future generations.
- compliance with all relevant environmental legislation and regulation and striving to meet and surpass environmental standards.
- continual improvement of our environmental performance, through regular performance monitoring, and reviews of our targets and objectives
- developing and implementing policies and procedures that support sustainable environmental, social and economic values.
- employee training and performance reviews that systematically expand and improve our individual knowledge and practice of environmental management.
- input from employees, customers and stakeholders to ensure that environmental impact of our forest operations is consistent with our environmental policy.
- regular communication of our environmental performance to the public (the owners of the resource) and to our Board of Directors, shareholders, employees, customers and others, including First Nations and Métis Communities.
Standards and certifications
BC Woodlands maintains an Environmental Management System (EMS).
- 100 Mile House woodlands operations are Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) certified and holds SFI and PEFC Chain of Custody certification.
- Purchased timber in BC comes from a variety of sources, many of which are ISO 14001, CSA-SFM and SFI certified forests.
- In Grande Prairie, our Woodlands operations are registered. Grande Prairie is now SFI certified as well as SFI and PEFC Chain of Custody certified. Grande Prairie Woodlands maintains an Environmental Management System (EMS) however are no longer is ISO certified or carries CSA certification.
- Purchased timber comes from a variety of sources, some of which is CSA-SFM-Z809 certified.
- Our Barwick Woodlands operation is SFI Chain-of-Custody certified.
- Our Barwick operation is also FSC certified for both Chain-of-Custody (FSC-STD-40-004) and controlled wood (FSC-STD-40-005).
- Our controlled wood risk assessment is available through www.fsc.org.
- Purchased timber supplies are from a variety of sources including FSC and SFI certified sources.
- We have contractual arrangements with a Sustainable Forest License holder to provide timber.
- Ainsworth has a Timber Volume Supply Agreement with the Ontario Government.
Stewardship Initiatives: Alberta
Since we began harvesting on Crown land in 1995, the company has funded an Integrated Resource Management (IRM) program, and contributes $0.25/m3 from volume harvested from Crown lands, which amounts to an annual contribution of approximately $150,000. The IRM fund sponsors research in areas such as wildlife inventories, habitat, ecological management, silviculture and tree improvement. In 2005, the IRM program was recognized by the Emerald Award Foundation and Ainsworth was awarded an Emerald Award in the Large Business Category.
We also fund a Deciduous Tree Improvement program for the purpose of introducing hybrid poplar plantations on previously-cleared private lands.
Stewardship Initiatives: Ontario
Since it was purchased in 2005, our Barwick operation has promoted deciduous forest stewardship and Sustainable Forest Management in Northwestern Ontario.
First Nations Initiatives
For many years, the company has employed local First Nations people in its milling and forestry operations, and we seek to expand First Nations participation in the management and economic benefits of the forest industry. We have partnered with the Skeechest’n Band in Sk7ain Ventures Ltd. in Savona, and the Nak’azdli Band in Fort St. James, in Tugus Timber Ltd.
In Grande Prairie Alberta, we have jointly developed, with a number of parties, an Aboriginal Student Job Shadow program with the Aboriginal Workplace Participation Initiative. This program is committed to increasing the participation of aboriginal people in the labor market.