Report by Dan McCallum
Nelson Forests supply chain was analysed from cradle to market using a carbon calculator developed for Nelson Forests. The calculator follows life cycle analysis (LCA) principles and methodologies from leading international standards. Results obtained include carbon emission profiles for log and lumber products produced by Nelson Forests, forest operations and their Kaituna Sawmill, delivered to domestic and export customers.
The carbon footprint of the domestic log supply chain was 18.71 kg CO2e/m3, the export log supply chain was 65.11 kg CO2e/m3.
The carbon emissions of lumber products produced at the Kaituna sawmill range from 27 to 923 kg CO2e/m3. Emissions associated with onsite generation of thermal energy (steam) are the largest for kiln dried products (up to 85%). Under internationally recognised LCA and
carbon footprint methodologies, thermal energy generation derived from burning woody biomass is considered carbon neutral, and is therefore excluded from the assessment. This reduces the carbon footprint of lumber products to 27-148 kg CO2e/m3.
Depending on the product, transportation mode and location of the customer, distribution can account for up to 80% of the total embodied emissions of lumber from cradle to market.