The Canadian government has announced it will start a new program in the coming months that would encourage the creation of “forest carbon” that can be used to offset carbon dioxide emissions from the building industry.
The program, called the “forest planter box” initiative, is a joint venture between Walmart and the Canadian Association of Forest Products (CAFP), a trade association.
It’s a partnership with Walmart that will involve both retailers and producers to encourage the use of wood pellets and other biomass in building products.
The goal is to reduce carbon dioxide from the construction industry, and it’s also intended to support farmers in growing their own food, said Brian Murphy, vice-president of global agriculture and agri-food policy at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Walmart is the largest producer of lumber and construction materials in Canada, with approximately 1,600 locations across the country.
The CAFP is responsible for enforcing the Forestry Act, which makes it a federal offence to import timber and related products into Canada without a permit.
“The CFIA has worked closely with Walmart and its partners to ensure that the program is designed in a way that will facilitate the efficient and effective use of biomass to reduce emissions from building products,” said CFPIA spokesperson Emily Bower.
Walmart said it will offer up to 1 million boxes of wood and other wood products, which will be produced in Canada.
“This partnership with the CAFP will bring together the largest producers in Canada to support a collaborative effort to achieve a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s built environment,” Murphy said.
Walmart is also expected to sell its own wood pellets to the CAFIA for use in its products.
Wood pellets are made of wood that has been treated with chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, phosphoric acid and a number of other additives, to help prevent them from decomposing.
Walmart also has a plant that will make the pellets for its own products, and other suppliers in the world will be able to buy these pellets, Murphy said, adding that the company plans to sell these products to “certain other manufacturers, in a global marketplace.”