In 2006, we committed to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent by 2020 using a 2000 baseline. We reaffirmed
our commitment in 2010 as part of our 2020 sustainability goals and incorporated a more holistic approach to our greenhouse
gas reduction efforts by including both direct and indirect emissions (initially, the goal focused solely on our direct
Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions has two benefits: shareholders benefit from lower energy costs and the environment
benefits from lower emissions of greenhouse gases. Our management strategies to drive greenhouse gas reductions include:
- Evaluating the GHG emissions from proposed energy-related investments
- Optimizing both the use of biomass fuels and co-generation systems to meet mill energy needs
- Improving energy efficiency in our manufacturing processes
We derive the majority of our energy from carbon-neutral biomass.
When biomass such as wood is combusted for energy, it releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere that the trees absorbed
during their growth – which would have been emitted if the plant materials were left to decay. Therefore, the combustion
of biomass for energy does not increase atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. And, by deriving the majority of our energy from
biomass rather than fossil fuel, we are displacing emissions of geologic carbon dioxide which fossil fuel combustion releases
into the atmosphere.
GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION
Our efforts are reducing Weyerhaeuser's greenhouse gas emissions footprint. Our emissions include the sum of our emissions
at all of our manufacturing facilities, purchased electrical power, and transportation fleets owned or operated by Weyerhaeuser.
Greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 were 31 percent less than our base year of 2000 and our greenhouse gas intensity (GHG emissions
per metric ton of production) decreased over 8 percent when compared to 2010. Recently, our greenhouse gas emissions reductions
are the result of the combined effect of operations consolidation in our higher efficiency mills, less fossil fuel use and
less waste to our landfills.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In million metric tons CO2e
|Direct GHG emissions
|Indirect GHG emissions
FOREST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY
Forests sequester and release carbon in unequal amounts over time. The rate of forest carbon sequestration is subject to
seasonal variation, annual variation due to climate and disturbance impacts, age-related variation due to the natural cycle
of tree growth, and effects from forest management practices such as fertilization and harvesting. The U.S. Department of
Energy 1605(b) guidelines affirm that sustainably managed forests balance harvest and growth cycles over time and landscape
and can be considered carbon neutral.
We take a conservative approach to estimating the standing stock carbon sequestered on our lands. Only afforestation is included in our GHG inventory as areas that sequester carbon. The estimates we
make for these sequestration activities are based on conservative assumptions of carbon growth on these lands and do not
reflect field measurements. During 2011, these lands accounted for 740,000 metric tons of sequestered carbon dioxide (CO2).
FOREST PRODUCTS SEQUESTER CARBON
Million metric tons of product-sequestered CO2 in 2011
Much of the carbon stored in trees harvested from sustainably managed forests is captured in our products, limiting the
amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Wood products store carbon during their useful life. We use a third-party 100-year-decay
method for quantifying this long-term forest-product carbon sequestration, which for 2011 indicates that we totaled 2.5
million metric tons of product-sequestered CO2.
OUR NET 2011 INVENTORY
We sequestered approximately 3.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in our forests and products in 2011. We reduced this
amount by our direct and indirect emissions and by 0.07 million metric tons of CO2 reflecting a GHG emissions
debit for the sale of 110,005 "Green Tags." In sum, during 2011 we sequestered more carbon dioxide than we emitted and accrued
by green tag trades.
These estimates of emissions and sequestration represent our corporate net carbon inventory. Our inventory does not include
upstream or downstream emissions not owned or controlled by Weyerhaeuser.
Our greenhouse gas inventory process adheres to the guidelines published by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative's Greenhouse
Gas Protocol, Revised Edition, and its associated calculation tools that are relevant to our operations. The initiative
is a multi-stakeholder partnership convened by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources
Institute. Following guidance in this protocol, adjustments to the baseline year and subsequent years’ data have been made
on a whole-year basis for divestments and acquisitions affecting our greenhouse gas inventory. The absolute value (reported
in metric tons CO2e) of our entire GHG emission inventory can change as a result of these adjustments. In accordance with
the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, emissions from divested facilities are removed from the base year and subsequent years.
We continue to make improvements to our internal greenhouse gas calculation tools and measurement of progress towards our
goal. In 2011, we completed the process of moving our greenhouse gas data into a more comprehensive web-based database,
which is a more robust and transparent data platform.