When asked what is element of quality around a sustainably managed forests, our CEO, Board Chairman and CFO had very different views. Just goes to show what we all consider quality to be.
Silvio Spiess, our CEO, said quality has a lot to do with utilisation.
The opposite of quality is waste. And that is what we currently see in the UK’s potential for renewable energy. The biggest waste currently comes from forests which are not being sustainably managed, they growing over to the point where they are not delivering the benefits they can.
What is a NOT sustainably managed forest you might ask?
This is the forest where the old wasted wood is not taken out, so you have just rotted wood. This is wasted forest material, that could be put to use to make heat and power instead! Additional to waste, there needs to be space. Every tree needs some room, needs some light, space to grow strong fine branches.
On the other side, what does a managed forest look like?
A sustainably managed forest is where if someone goes in and helps the forest to live and develop in an appropriate way, a way that actually makes it easier to grow and flourish. This makes the forest naturally more healthy, and therefore, in my opinion, that IS what quality is when we talk bout the source of fuels for heating.
Quality is about the best use of resources as they occur, to remove wood from rotting and putting it to use to heat a building, and also making sure the trees have enough light and access to minerals to be strong. There’s no down side. This is only good. There are only winners in this scenario.
In picture below, Scott Forbes top right, Silvio Spiess top left, and David Surtees, bottom left.
Scott Forbes, our Chairman of the Board, said quality in renewable energies have a lot to do with the technology that is being used to convert source fuel into actual heat.
Quality can be best leveraged from sustainably managed forests when the boiler technology runs extraordinarily efficiently. Quality signals I look for, is that everything I put into my heating system, are actually used. We have examples where you end up with maybe half a percent of the original materials as residue. This is extremely efficient. So, for most homes and buildings generally in the UK, using a biomass boiler which uses quality pellets from a sustainably managed forest is the best option for heating and is a carbon neutral option. That to me, is what quality looks like.
David Surtees said quality IS the existence of sustainably managed forests. In themselves ->
I think a sustainably managed forest is a sign of quality in the environment and the countryside. It is quite simple to view it this way, and in end effect, this is the proof point for the economics of using it as a fuel for renewable energy and effectively absorbing carbon.
What is your definition of quality? Especially when it comes to earth’s resources and the heating of your home or business?
The UK has their view on how land should best be used, and we are proud to see that a combination of the above views, is what the Woodfuel Guidance also says.
• Protection of soil, water and biodiversity;
• Good waste disposal
• Harvest levels that do not exceed the long-term production capacity of the forest based on adequate inventory and growth and yield data
• Maintain or increase the health and vitality of ecosystems
• Management of natural processes, fires, pests and diseases
• Implementation of safeguards to protect rare, threatened and endangered species
In the UK, you can be sure of these standards being met by fuel suppliers (like pellets for your biomass boiler) who have certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
This is part of our 6 part series exploring sustainable forestry management though the eyes of >
- leadership August 3, 2015.
- quality August 5, 2015.
- ideal partners August 7, 2015.
- new world thinking August 11, 2015.
- beyond fossil fuels August 13, 2015.
- savings makers August 15, 2015
If you would like to download the whole series as a PDF right now, and not have to wait, you can click here.
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If you would like to know about the criteria about sustainable forest management, please click here.
If you would like to see how we can set up a renewable heating system in your home or business, which supports sustainable forestry management, please click here.
If you would like to see how incentives for biomass, boilers, heater, green energy, alternative energy, biogas, and heat pods and pumps work with Renewable Heat Incentive from the RHI of the UK government, you can get some info here.