400 people attended the annual Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Project Learning Tree (SFI/PLT) conference in Madison, Wisconsin, which was sponsored by renewable energy company Drax Group.
Topics including managing wildfire risks, climate resiliency and advancing opportunities for diverse communities in the forest sector were discussed.
Diane Nicholls, Drax Vice President of Sustainability, said:
“Drax is focused on ensuring what we do achieves positive outcomes for people, nature and the climate, so we were very pleased to sponsor the SFI/PLT conference, where alongside our suppliers, consultants, and certification bodies we could learn together about new initiatives and opportunities to support communities where we operate.
“Drax is committed to supporting the sustainability of forests and it was invaluable to meet so many people and organizations who share our goals.”
Project Learning Tree aims to promote greater awareness and knowledge of the environment through hands-on experience and engaging activities that can be integrated into the school curriculum. The aim of events like these is to give those in the forest and wood product industries an opportunity to make connections and enhance their knowledge.
Stacy Blomquist, PLT Louisiana State Coordinator and SFI Public Affairs Specialist, said:
“The conference was an amazing opportunity – it brought people together to allow closer collaboration. It gave us state coordinators a chance to connect and reach a broader audience, educating them about nature and sustainability. More people from each state can now take back connections along with new materials to support people in their communities.”
The SFI is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing solutions for local and global sustainability challenges, advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaboration, and enabling a world that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests.
Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations and is this year drawing up plans for a more targeted community spend.
In 2021, Drax supported education and skills in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama and provided donations to help communities hit by natural disasters and Covid and work to support sustainable forestry.
Top image caption: Drax Community Manger Annmarie Sartor and PLT Louisiana State Coordinator Stacy Blomquist
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- Through its operations in Louisiana and Mississippi, Drax supports more than 1,200 jobs and contributes $175m to the region’s economy.
- This includes more than 1,200 jobs in Louisiana and Mississippi with 300 direct jobs across these two states in Drax’s three pellet mills and at the port of Greater Baton Rouge.
- Drax’s pellet mills also support the wider supply chain of loggers, truckers, railway workers, port workers and other logistics professionals.
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.
Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.
The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.
Pellet production and supply:
The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.
Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.
Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.
Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.
To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com