Byline: Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
From communities across British Columbia’s vast interior to the Indigenous lands of the KitsumKalum, the “power of pellets” is masterfully demonstrated, through the eyes and ears of the people on the ground, in a series of five new videos produced by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) with support from Forestry Innovation Investment. The series showcases the people on the ground who make our industry so great through their commitment to their communities and the world-at-large by supplying the world with responsible and renewable clean energy.
From responsible fibre sourcing to far reaching innovation, the Power of Pellets follows the supply chain through sustainable production to markets around the globe. Each video illustrates the important role wood pellets play in reducing greenhouse gasses, underscoring the whole sector’s crucial contribution to the low carbon economy.
“Wood pellets play a critical role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” asserts Professor Gary Bull, Ph.D, Department of Forest Resource Management at the University of British Columbia. “They are a vital source of energy for a low carbon economy.”
Sourced from responsible producers in well-regulated countries like Canada, wood pellets are unquestionably sustainable and a part of the climate change solution. Wood pellets are at the heart of WPAC’s sustainability commitment and the circular bioeconomy, which relies on reducing fossil fuels.
Biomass makes possible the full utilization of trees. “It helps people create pride for the industry, knowing that we’re taking a resource out of the land and using every ounce of it. I think the wood pellet industry brings that added value to the perception of the industry. While doing that it creates new jobs,” says Melissa Barcellos, Manager of Economic Development for the city of Prince George.
According to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC’s Steve Kozuki, “With the wood pellet industry, we’re now capturing waste material, providing a value stream for something that previously had no value stream, and now we’re converting that product and capturing energy from it. To me, that just makes a lot of sense from a carbon stamp.”
By providing renewable and sustainable Canadian products to global markets that otherwise wouldn’t have access to them, the industry creates economic activity for small BC rural communities, jobs in areas that have historically low levels of employment and resulting social benefits for communities.
Developing ways of becoming self sustaining is important to Indigenous communities like the KitsumKalum.
Wood pellets create a “real opportunity to take the land that we live on and develop an economic resource,” concludes Diane Collins, General Manager for the KitsumKalum Economic Development Group of Companies. “We’re happy to be a part of the forestry industry, utilizing as much as 100% of every tree. We have a real strong belief in doing things that are good for the environment, good for the community, and good for the trees. I think because this is such a green and renewable energy product the community, in general, totally supports wood pellets.”
And as these videos demonstrate, across the globe demand for wood pellets is steadily increasing because this low carbon product is helping countries meet their climate change targets. Unleashed, the opportunities for using pellets at home and around the world are almost limitless.