At Boise Cascade, we have the opportunity to respond to the effects of climate change through our environmental stewardship practices. We transform renewable resources, trees, into products that people depend on every day and also store carbon for years to come. Boise Cascade uses the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) for guidance in communicating our position and performance relative to climate.
Our Board of Directors sets high standards for the conduct of Boise Cascade’s associates, officers, and directors. The Company maintains business governance documents the Board and management use in fulfilling their duty to oversee the Company’s business, including issues like climate change.
Our executive leadership develops the strategic goals for Boise Cascade and then partners with management at the location levels to determine how we go about achieving them. Overall, our goal is to operate in ways that sustain natural resources and protect the environment today and for generations to come.
The sustainability and environmental leadership functions report to the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. This team has responsibility over the sustainability strategy, which includes the management of climate-related risks and opportunities.
The weight of scientific evidence indicates a changing climate associated with increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. Based on the best available science, current and predicted climate conditions will affect the forest products sector throughout the fiber supply chain, creating risks and opportunities to our Company.
Examples of physical risks we are assessing include changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, which may influence commercially important tree species through changes in forest productivity, species’ distributions, and forest health; proposals for carbon legislation; public policy choices concerning renewable energy and biomass.
Opportunities that we are assessing include increased demand or interest in wood-based building materials and their role in climate mitigation, as well monitoring carbon-offset programs. We participate in the American Wood Council’s program to develop lifecycle assessments and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for many of our products and are pursuing company specific EPDs for some of our products.
As we begin engaging with our stakeholders in assessing and managing climate change risks and opportunities in our operations, we will rely on the following guiding principles to guide our decision making and public policy engagement:
- Boise Cascade will evaluate energy efficiency improvements
- Boise Cascade will support development of construction practices that sequester additional carbon.
- Biomass energy is carbon neutral, and Boise Cascade will continue to rely extensively on biomass energy in its manufacturing operations.
- Any scheme to tax or regulate carbon emissions should be simple, market based and include border protections.
- Any scheme to tax or regulate carbon emissions must recognize biomass energy is carbon neutral and should not include biogenic CO2 emissions.
- Trees are renewable and the carbon benefits of forests should be recognized.
- Wood products store carbon and the benefits of carbon stored in wood products must be recognized.
- Climate regulations, mandates or taxes must recognize wood products companies face international competition and must not unduly affect the competitiveness of US forest products manufacturers.
- Climate regulations, mandates or taxes should be implemented on a national basis and should prohibit multiple and inconsistent state or local requirements.
Forestry practices and the use of wood-based building products play an important role in minimizing negative impacts on the environment. The cycle of using trees from well-managed forests to create products using biomass that store carbon encourages the renewing of forests and the reduction of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some ways we manage climate risk in the life cycle of our products are described below:
Sustainable Wood Procurement
We source wood from responsibly managed working forests, which contribute to clean air, clean water and protection of animal habitat. With a robust and healthy market for wood products, forest managers have an incentive to continue growing trees and providing a sustainable and renewable raw material into the global fiber supply chain that provides positive carbon benefits through sequestration and storage, as recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Our wood procurement practices are internally and third-party audited to meet the requirements of forest certification standards.
When wood arrives at Boise Cascade, it is processed into products that store carbon such as plywood, lumber and engineered wood products. Bark and manufacturing residuals are used for carbon-neutral biomass fuel. This allows us to generate over 70% of the energy needed to manufacture our products, keeping our emissions and reliance on fossil fuels low. All manufacturing energy not derived from biomass is sourced from low-carbon natural gas. No Boise Cascade manufacturing facility uses coal or fuel oil as primary energy sources used to manufacture products.
Boise Cascade is the second largest producer of engineered wood products (EWP) and plywood in North America and the only nationwide full-line wholesale distributor of building products for residential construction. Using wood products is an energy efficient building choice, and when used in place of fossil fuel-intensive materials avoids greenhouse gases that would have been emitted during manufacturing.
METRICS AND TARGETS
Boise Cascade maintains site-specific data on a variety of climate-related metrics including sustainable forestry, raw material use, volume of wood, energy use, air emissions, greenhouse gases, water use, residuals and waste, environmental compliance, and environmental remediation. A subset of environmental metrics is compiled at the corporate level on a biennial basis.
In addition to the TCFD recommendations, we continue to consider participation in more formal metric reporting frameworks, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards. We will share more about our actions to mitigate climate change as our program evolves.