Niagara is committed to reducing its dependence on non-renewable resources. As a part of our strategy to reduce carbon emissions, Niagara has converted all coal-fired boilers to biomass - a byproduct of our timber remanufacturing process.
Timber is a renewable, low-energy resource of which there is a plentiful supply. New Zealand's rapidly growing plantation forests cover 2.1 million hectares and are estimated to sequester 25 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. Plantation forests are mostly grown in the wasteland and soon replanted after felling. About 90% of our plantation forests are radiata pine (Pinus radiata).
*Information sourced from www.nzfoa.org.nz | www.mpi.govt.nz
Niagara has a strong focus on whole tree utilisation meaning there is no waste. Everything from the bark on the outside of the tree to the sawdust from the centre of the log is processed into a range of value-added products.
through the manufacturing process.
It is well known that trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and release oxygen as they grow, reducing the harmful CO2 emissions that contribute to global warming. The carbon absorbed is stored in their biomass. As wood stores carbon, it has a considerably lower embodied energy than other building materials. Far less fossil fuel is used in solid wood extraction than steel, concrete or aluminium, so it is a highly cost-efficient renewable resource.
Importantly, when the trees are harvested and processed the carbon is sequestered in the wood. This means the more Niagara timber you use the more you are helping to produce a healthier, more energy-efficient, carbon-neutral living environment.
Producing 1kg of timber, a tree consumes 1.47kg of CO2 and returns just over a kilo of oxygen into the atmosphere. When trees are harvested and used to make wood products, the carbon remains stored in the wood for the life of the product. About 50% of the dry weight of wood is carbon. It is preferable to have the carbon stored in trees and wood products than in the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. Using wood to build long-lasting, efficient and durable homes and other buildings will help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Research at Lincoln University revealed wood has a superior thermal mass. Weight-for-weight solid timber has over 2.5 times concrete's thermal mass. The thermal retention properties of solid timber walls play a significant role in regulating the interior comfort of your home.
*Information sourced from https://makeitwood.org/benefits/carbon-harvest
Niagara uses timber exclusively produced in New Zealand's radiata pine plantation forests and was among the first sawmills in New Zealand to be certified as a supplier of FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) timber products. The timber from these forests meets the standards set by FSC for environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable forest management.
This means Niagara supplies a product that carries the internationally prized FSC® certification.
The human love for nature has been termed ‘biophilia’ and tries to explain our innate need to connect with nature. Nature-inspired design can enable human connection to nature in the built environment.
The use of wood in the interior of buildings has clear physiological and psychological benefits that mimic the effect of spending time outside in nature. We now know people are generally happier and calmer in spaces that contain natural elements like wood.
Niagara has been helping companies to move away from coal and switch to biomass which has a far less environmental impact than fossil fuels. It is a renewable source of energy and a by-product of the wood processing industry.