During growth, trees and plants store CO2 in their cells, which means that intact forests are a permanent CO2 sink. The sustainable management of tropical forests protects them from deforestation and thus preserves this sink on a permanent basis. Assuming, for example, an annual deforestation rate of 1% in non-sustainably managed forests, Precious Woods prevents emissions of about 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year in Brazil alone.
In total, our forests in Brazil and Gabon store around 330 million tonnes of CO2. Through sustainable management, we guarantee the long-term survival of these huge carbon sinks and thus make a significant contribution to climate protection.
When a tree is harvested, the CO2 stored in it leaves the forest along with the trunk. The regrowth of vegetation quickly absorbs the same amount of CO2 again, so that the total amount of stored CO2 remains the same. Moreover, the CO2 stored in the tree is retained in the wood and the products made from it. The wood products manufactured by Precious Woods thus also represent a CO2 sink which, depending on the application, can last for a long time.
A biomass power plant has operated on the site of Precious Woods Amazon since 2002, and Precious Woods has been a minority shareholder since 2005. The power plant provides the town of Itacoatiara and its 100 000 inhabitants with climate-friendly electricity and is fully integrated with the sawmill. Sawdust and wood residues are automatically transported by conveyer belts and shredders to the woodchip warehouse. This facility is unique in Northern Brazil and is recognised widely as a role model.
This woodchip power plant replaces 20 diesel generators which would burn about 10-15 million litres of diesel each year. Our plant thus prevents annual emissions of roughly 44 000 tonnes of CO2. The plant also prevents emissions of methane gas amounting to a further 113 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents each year. For this performance, the plant receives carbon emission certificates (Certified Emission Reductions, CERs), which are traded through the European Emissions Trading System. To achieve their climate targets, companies and governments can buy these CERs via the Swiss myclimate foundation, which has been our partner since 2011.