Why We Are Green
It might be hard to imagine a lumber company claiming to be “green.” But Biewer isn’t an ordinary lumber company. As a truly green company dedicated to sustainable practices for more than 20 years, we recognized early on that business and environmental stewardship can, and should, go hand-in-hand.
We process over 1.8 million trees per year in order to meet the high demand for our lumber products. How can that be “green”? The answer is that we make it green—by responsibly managing the entire lumber process, from tree farming to processing, to ensure a sustainable future.
Our approach, which we call “From Forest to Framework™” begins with the trees themselves. Biewer systematically selects the trees to be harvested, rather than clear-cutting. This process, called thinning, improves the growth rate, size and health of the remaining trees. Overcrowded trees are stressed trees, competing with each other for nutrients, water and sunlight. Thinned trees better withstand drought, insect infestation and extreme temperatures. This responsible harvesting allows the remaining trees to flourish.
Harvested trees arrive at one of Biewer’s state-of-the-art sawmills, where they are debarked. The bark is then either used as fuel for our on-site boilers, which supply heat to our kilns, or sold as landscape mulch. Each debarked log is scanned and an optimizing computer determines the best yield for each log. This efficient process results in very little waste or unsaleable boards.
All lumber processed in our sawmills is heat-treated to eliminate transferable fungus and pests, thus protecting living trees. After it is cut, each board is surfaced with a planer. All of our finished products are stamped with a heat-treated Association stamp.
Processing lumber produces many by-products. Paper mills use the wood chips in the paper-making process, farmers use the shavings as animal bedding, and the sawdust is sold as wood flour or used on-site at Biewer as fuel to heat the boilers. Nothing is wasted.
Full-time foresters at each sawmill oversee the processes, ensuring our high standards are upheld while administering Biewer’s Private Landowner Assistance Program, which applies practices outlined in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council programs. These two systems of principles, objectives and performance measures protect forests and insure their sustainability.
By maintaining healthy and thriving forests, minimizing or eliminating waste in our mills, and ensuring that every part of a harvested tree is used, Biewer is putting into practice our deep commitment to preserving and protecting the Midwest’s valuable forest resources.