Our use of fossil fuels is not environmentally sustainable. It contributes to global warming and climate change. Our government has committed to frameworks and timeframes to move away from fossil fuels and looking to renewable energy options that can improve the sustainability of our environment, boost economies and embrace corporate social responsibility.
There is a more sustainable solution that is good for the economy and the environment but furthermore, it is a renewable resource meaning we can always replenish what we consume.
That is biomass wood fuel.
Watch this short video to see why wood fuel is sustainable and could be the answer to reducing environmental damage.
Biomass wood fuel is carbon-neutral
Yes. when wood is burned it releases carbon back into the atmosphere, but the difference between burning wood vs. fossil fuels is that wood emits the same amount of carbon as it has absorbed over its life where as fossil fuels add ‘new’ carbon into the atmosphere.
Download our guide to find out if biomass wood fuel is right for your business.
To explain further
When a tree grows it takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it as wood. Burning that tree would only release the same amount of carbon stored while it was growing. When the tree is replanted, the process is repeated in a cycle that is carbon-neutral, sustainable and limits its impact on climate. This makes wood fuel sustainable and a great alternative for anyone wanting to convert their boiler from coal to wood.
Unfortunately, the same process does not apply for fossil fuels. There is not enough forest or enough land available for planting new forests to reabsorb the large amount of CO2 released from all the fossil fuels currently being used.
On a GJ basis, woody biomass from sustainable forests emits far less CO2 over its life cycle than other common fuels. See the Scion Research report for more information.
Biomass wood fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions and decreases reliance on fossil fuels, contributing to cleaner air and a healthier environment. However, sustainable forestry practices are crucial to maintain these benefits.
Forestry residue from sustainably managed forests
One of the biggest differences between our forestry operations in New Zealand compared to others is that we do not grow and harvest trees for fuel. Sustainably managed forests in New Zealand harvest high-value wood to be used for building and other products which keeps the absorbed carbon stored and locked into the wood.
Each hectare of pine forest In New Zealand absorbs, on average, around 13 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Azwood’s forestry operations come in post-harvest and clear away slash (wood residues) to be manufactured into different grades of sustainable wood fuel.
This process serves as an environmental clean up which is beneficial for the community, the forestry managers and for Azwood. By cleaning up slash that would otherwise be left as waste, Azwood is reducing the risk of forest fires, landslips, erosion and build-up in the waterways.
“Using these residues and other sources of woody biomass in place of coal, gas and fuel oil reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and New Zealand’s dependence on imported fuels.” - Scion
Learn more about the sustainability of wood fuel
- There is increasing concerns about carbon emissions and their financial repercussions. We explore how biomass wood fuel not only mitigates carbon tax expenses but also future-proofs your company's energy systems.Why is wood fuel economically sustainable?
- Boosting local economies and embracing corporate social responsibility. Learn how to achieve your ESG targets with renewable wood energy.Why is wood fuel socially sustainable?
- Case study
University of Otago switch from coal to a biomass boiler as a carbon neutral alternative
With a push on tertiary institutes to remove all coal boilers by 2025, the University of Otago were among the first to switch to biomass.
Choosing the correct wood fuel for your boiler
Wood fuel is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it must be carefully selected based on your specific boiler type and heat output requirements.