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Enviva reveals responsible sourcing policy goals for 2020

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Enviva has announced new goals and initiatives to meet its Responsible Sourcing Policy provisions throughout the year.

The company's 2020 Implementation Plans are a detailed proposal of Enviva's commitment to responsible and sustainable wood sourcing. All wood sourced by the firm must be done so under its Responsible Sourcing Policy - its standing environmental pledge to ensure wood is sourced according to strict environmental standards.

The 2020 plans define Enviva's measurable goals for the year in three areas: sustainable forestry standards, verification and transparency, and conservation leadership across the US southeast, where the company owns and operates multiple wood pellet production facilities.

This year, Enviva plans to publish its first Corporate Sustainability Report, describing how the company works to deliver on its mission to displace coal, grow more trees and tackle climate change, as well as its environmental impact and sustainability practices, and its goals for continuous improvement in sustainability in the long-term.

In 2020, the company plans to add 30,000 acres to the American Tree Farm System and/or Forest Stewardship Council-certified land base, supporting private landowners in its sourcing region and writing sustainable land management plans to keep forests healthy and productive.

Enviva will also strengthen its partnership with The Longleaf Alliance to actively seek longleaf restoration through its wood sourcing on land in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas. According to Enviva, longleaf forests are "one of the most important and biologically diverse" ecosystems in the US southeast, and as many of these forests need thinning, "appropriate biomass removals" are a vital step in the longleaf restoration process.

Under its responsible sourcing policy goals, Enviva will assist in the conservation of 3,500+ acres of bottomland hardwood (BLHW) forests to meet its 10-year goal of conserving 35,000 acres of BLHW forests by 2030. BLHWs are "critical" to supporting biodiversity, community resiliency, outdoor recreation and clean water, according to the company, as well as providing a buffer to infrastructure during storms.

"In today's challenging pandemic environment, we continue to focus on our mission to improve environmental outcomes for forests and people and to mitigate climate change," said Dr Jennifer Jenkins, vice-president and chief sustainability officer at Enviva. "Our 2020 goals provide a measurable and important step to hold us accountable for our commitment to improving forestry ecosystems through collaborative work, including conservation and restoration, as well as with our own sustainable sourcing practices."

Enviva exports wood pellets to power and heat generators mainly in the UK, Europe and Japan, enabling them to replace coal with renewable fuel. According to the company, switching to sustainably sourced wood pellets can reduce a plant's lifetime carbon footprint by around 85%.