Sustainability

Company Approach

Carter Holt Harvey is one of Australasia's leading forest products companies with major trans-Tasman interests including in timber, plywood, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), particleboard, and a range of interior decorative products.

Renewable, Recyclable, Sustainable: A Natural Advantage

Carter Holt Harvey's product is sourced from plantation-grown forests managed to strict environmental standards and is converted into products destined for both domestic and global markets. Throughout the conversion processes, very little goes to waste.

Timber has been tried, tested and proven in New Zealand and Australia for over 150 years. Timber building material is part of the national heritage in those two countries. It also happens to be one of the most environmentally friendly building materials in the world. It is renewable, sustainable and grown locally with every tree absorbing carbon on a daily basis to help maintain a healthy future for generations to come.

Wood is energy efficient in several different ways. Not only does it require less energy to manufacture than any other building material, it is also more resistant to heat flow than other building and construction materials, making it easier to insulate.

Environmental life cycle analysis (from cradle to grave) is recognised as the preferred basis for comparing the environmental impact of products, including building materials. On a limited LCA basis, building using wood sourced from sustainably managed plantations represents a net store of carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere for at least the life of the structure. As such, building using wood sourced from sustainably managed plantations can therefore make a positive contribution to combating climate change.

Wood - The World's Most Renewable Raw Material

Environmentally conscious consumers increasingly recognise that sourcing products from responsibly managed plantation-grown forests makes good environmental sense as these forests are natural, renewable, biodegradable, recyclable and therefore sustainable.

Sustainably managed forests and the wood they provide have a major role to play in recent efforts to contain climate change. A practical response to the threat of global warming lies in the use of renewable and sustainable materials with a low carbon footprint. The planting, growth, harvesting and renewal of plantation forests and the use of the wood products they provide are all elements of a renewable cycle with low net emissions of greenhouse gases.

Carter Holt Harvey prefers wherever possible to use fibre across its businesses which comes from sustainably managed forests. That is why wherever possible the company sources fibre that has independent verification from recognisable agencies like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

Forest Products and the Carbon Cycle

The carbon cycle is a complex natural process through which carbon is exchanged between the atmosphere and soil, plants, animals and the oceans. Most of the important exchanges, both anthropogenic (due to human activity) and biogenic (naturally occurring), are in the form of CO2. These exchanges form a closed cycle.

Human activities over the last few centuries have been shifting this balance, with increased carbon dioxide emissions (especially through burning fossil fuels) and reduced overall absorption through excessive deforestation. The result is the increased concentration of CO2 now found in the atmosphere. Sustainable forestry and storage of carbon in forest products together with the use of wood residues as biofuels can all make an important contribution to slowing and reversing this trend which will in turn help limit global warming and climate change.

Our Approach

We believe that practices minimising environmental impacts, including recycling and reducing consumption of non-renewable natural resources, make good environmental sense, are good business and are fundamental to the forestry and wood products industry.