Manufacturing our products sustainably is only one piece of the puzzle. In order to truly reduce our impact on the planet, we think beyond cost, efficiency or speed and ensure that the journey our products take, from the forests to our facilities and then ultimately to our customers, gives consideration to our goal of building a stronger and more sustainable future.
Our supply chain operations span the seas, roads and railways and we are consistently seeking opportunities to improve sustainability and reduce the environmental impact of transporting our products from the forests to our customers.
Our Goal: We are committed to embedding sustainability throughout our supply chain.
Like many other organizations, the reliability of our supply chain can be disrupted by global forces outside our control. We proactively work to manage these risks by working with our transportation partners to keep transportation services effective and efficient as well as ensuring inventory is held closer to our customers.
In 2022 we committed to setting a science-based reduction target for scope 3 emissions by 2024. We continue to refine our scope 3 data collection and calculations processes and work with supply chain partners on initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These initiatives include switching to electric-powered warehouse equipment, utilizing longer truck and trailer combinations and switching transport modes from trucks to rail wherever possible.
Canfor’s Purchasing Policy encourages supporting small local suppliers in our operating communities, including Indigenous partners where appropriate.
Our suppliers provide the goods and services we need for maintenance and repairs as well as raw materials and other essentials for our operations. We regularly engage with our suppliers to review and provide feedback and are looking to continue expanding our supplier engagement to identify opportunities to partner on sustainability matters.
In 2022, we continued to work with some of our major rail partners to identify opportunities where we could group rail shipments when they had the same origin and destination. Grouping shipments saves on extra switching and handling by the rail carrier at the interchange yards.
The outcome is fewer greenhouse gas emissions as the extra sorting is eliminated. We are also exploring opportunities to reduce transport truck emissions through better network planning. Trucks create four times the volume of emissions from rail. So, optimizing the network to use rail for long-distance shipping and road for closer destinations will mean lower scope 3 emissions overall.
New South Express (NSE) is Canfor’s trucking division that operates in our U.S. region, transporting lumber and residuals to sawmills and customers. Since 2006, NSE has grown from 55 drivers in two states to 195 drivers operating across seven states in the southeast.
The U.S. is currently facing a shortage of drivers, making it more difficult to get the logs from private landowners’ sites to our facilities in a timely manner. To meet the needs of our U.S. operations, NSE is entering the log hauling arena through a pilot program. The Estill plant in South Carolina was chosen as the first site due to the highest need for additional help. The program has already expanded to three more plants. Expanding the division into log hauling meant keeping our same high safety standards and top-of-the-line equipment.