VANCOUVER, BC, June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) ("Western" or the "Company") announced today the release of our 2020 Sustainability Report detailing the progress and commitment to our key sustainability initiatives. This includes the completion of our first full lifecycle carbon accounting, which confirmed the positive role Western's sustainable forest management practices and wood products have in fighting against climate change.
"Sustainability is engrained in Western's vision and values and I am tremendously proud of the progress we have made to confirm the positive impact our business makes," said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our sustainable forest management practices and the wood products we manufacture play a key role in reducing global greenhouse gases. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of nurturing and building positive relationships with our people, First Nations, customers, communities and other stakeholders."
Key highlights of our 2020 Sustainability Report:
- 14.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent was removed from the atmosphere through Western's activities, including the sustainable management of forests in our care, during 2018 and 2019 – equal to removing 1.54 million cars from the road per year
- 1.4 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent is stored in the forests managed by Western
- 100% of our managed tenures are third party certified
- 100% of identified wildlife features were retained in 2020
- 27% increase in big trees conserved compared to 2019
- Over 3 trees were replanted for every 1 tree harvested in 2020
Health & Safety:
- 23% reduction in our Medical Incident Rate compared to 2019
- Zero work-related COVID-19 transmissions in our operations
- Additional employee support and flexible working arrangements for eligible employees during COVID-19
- 38% of our Board of Directors and Executive Officers are women, well above industry averages
- Advanced our mutually beneficially partnerships with First Nations, including furthering our relationship with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations in our TFL 44 Limited Partnership
- 29 active agreements with First Nations or First Nations associations
- Over $500,000 in community investments during 2020
- Donated properties to support the construction of the Community Unity Trail, a 25-kilometre multi-use trail between Tahsis and Zeballos on Vancouver Island
Sustainability is a key strategic priority for Western and is supported throughout the organization, from the Board, to executive management, to our employees. Our 2020 Sustainability Report continues to demonstrate Western's commitment to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement on our most material sustainability topics. Western plans to build on the progress made in 2020 and continue to enhance and evolve our sustainable practices and disclosure.
Our 2020 Sustainability Report is available on our website at www.westernforest.com/responsibility.
About Western Forest Products Inc.
Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.
This press release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements under the applicable securities laws. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, may be forward-looking statements and can be identified by references to future periods. Although such statements reflect management's current reasonable beliefs, expectations and assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements are accurate, and actual results or performance may materially vary. Many factors could cause our actual results or performance to be materially different, including factors referenced under the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of our MD&A in our 2020 Annual Report dated February 18, 2021.
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SOURCE Western Forest Products Inc.