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Canfor announces new sustainability goals and investment in new biofuel plant in B.C.

October 12, 2021  By P&PC Staff

Canfor Corporation has released its new sustainability goals that focus on sustainable forestry; safety, health, wellness, inclusion and diversity amongst its employees; and strengthening partnerships with Indigenous communities. The company has also announced that it is investing in Arbios Biotech’s (Arbios) biomass to low carbon biofuel plant in Prince George, B.C. The plant will use a specific technology to convert sawmill residues, primarily bark, into renewable biocrude which can be further processed in refineries to produce low-carbon transportation fuels. Arbios is a joint venture between Canfor and Licella Holdings.

“Today, we begin an ambitious sustainability journey that will change how we work and the impact we have on our communities and the planet. We imagine a future as sustainable as our forests,” said Don Kayne, president and CEO, Canfor. “This is an opportunity as much as it is our responsibility. Sustainable solutions are in demand around the world. Customers consider environmental and social impact a priority when making their buying decisions. Employees want to work for a company that’s protecting and nurturing their environment and communities. Together we will frame the future.”

“As part of our sustainability journey, Canfor is committed to growing our business to include bio-materials and bio-innovation to support a low carbon future. Our decision, as part of the Arbios joint venture, to support investment in a state-of-the-art biomass to low carbon biofuel plant in British Columbia is a demonstration of our commitment. We are also building a bio-innovation team that will unlock the full value of each log by developing and commercializing new opportunities,” added Kayne.


Canfor’s new strategy on sustainability is built on the three pillars of people, products and planet. It has five focus areas in which the business can make the most tangible impact.

The five focus areas and associated targets, include:

Safety, Health and Wellness: Canfor is committed to a zero-incident workplace and supporting the health and wellness of our people.

  • 10 percent improvement year-over-year on its Total Recordable Incident Frequency (TRIF)
  • Achieve 98 percent performance on return-to-work relative to medical recovery time standards by 2023

Inclusion and Diversity: Canfor will foster a more inclusive and equitable culture and increase the diversity in its workforce.

  • 30 percent under-represented groups in executive leadership positions by 2030
  • 30 percent under-represented groups in all other senior leadership positions by 2025
  • 33percent under-represented groups for new hires annually by 2025
  • 50 percent under-represented groups for new hires annually by 2030
  • 100 percent availability of gender-specific personal protective equipment (PPE) at all operations in North America by 2023
  • Achieve 100 percent completion of inclusion and diversity awareness training for all staff across North America by the end of 2021
  • Launch inclusive leadership training, tools and resources for supervisors and managers across North America by 2022

Indigenous Relations: Canfor aspires to be a partner of choice for Indigenous Peoples, a privilege afforded by fostering strong relationships and deeply respecting Indigenous histories, cultures, values and beliefs. It commits to co-creating lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships that advance social, economic and environmental priorities for Indigenous Peoples.

  • 100 percent of operating area covered by agreements with willing Indigenous Nations by 2030
  • Achieve 100 percent participation in Indigenous cultural awareness and understanding training for all Canadian staff by 2021
  • Five percent of total spend with Indigenous vendors for Canfor’s Wood Products Canada business by 2025

Sustainable Forestry: Canfor is committing to practicing sustainable forestry that will result in resilient, productive and biodiverse forests. The company is committing to building collaborative partnerships and developing innovative solutions to contribute positively to forest health and climate change mitigation.

  • Maintain 100 percent certification to SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) or FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) forest management standards for all Canfor managed forests
  • Enhance the climate change resilience and future productivity of our forests by implementing credible science-based sustainable forest management practices
  • Achieve 100 percent certification to the SFI Fibre Sourcing Standard for all sourced timber in the U.S.
  • Maintain biodiversity and habitat for wildlife by employing ecosystem-based management and collaborative partnerships, with special consideration for species at risk
  • Conserve water quality and fish habitat by implementing best management practices to minimize erosion and sedimentation

Climate Change: Canfor is committed to playing a leading role in the transition to a low-carbon economy by reducing emissions and producing products that contribute to the mitigation of climate change. In early 2022 Canfor plans on releasing its goal and targets.

Canfor also released its 2020 Sustainability Report, which includes its new goals and targets. The report also touches on the progress made to date on its sustainability efforts.

In 2020, Canfor started to build a bio-innovation team to develop new sustainable solutions. The company planted 64 million seedlings, maintained 100 percent SFI or FSC certification in its Canadian woodland operations, achieved 99 percent SFI Fibre Sourcing Standard in its U.S.-sourced timber, and generated enough electricity to power over 78,000 homes for one year, of which 76 percent of the fuel consumed was from renewable sources.

“Over the coming years we will further define our sustainability goals and targets and implement a comprehensive roadmap in our journey to become a sustainability leader,” added Kayne.

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