Did you know?
Timber Accord, an alliance of the UK’s timber trade associations has just published a report calling for government support for the industry. In it they point out some of the benefits of using wood from sustainable forests for biomass – not just for carbon reduction but as a way of stimulating the local economy. That has always been something we at HWEnergy believe in strongly. With our headquarters in Fort William and working nationwide we know how important it is to help create local jobs and we believe biomass is an excellent way of doing this – by planting more trees, creating new income streams, creating jobs and ensuring a healthier environment.
Below are some of the points made in the report and how we at HWEnergy have found this works in practice.
” local use of wood for heat and good quality CHP is carbon efficient and can stimulate the responsible management of woodland and the sustainable production of more wood”
At HWEnergy we work with many landowners who have increased their planting of trees on the back of the demand for wood chip. The good parts of the tree are sold for furniture, house building and cladding and the top bits which nobody wants are turned into wood chip for biomass fuel. This has meant they have been able to create new income streams and often employ or retain staff to help manage the process. In rural areas that’s a significant acheivement. In turn more trees are planted.
“The industry provides significant employment opportunity across all regions and for all levels of skill and qualification – from forestry, land and habitat management to joinery and manufacturing, engineering and architectural design.”
We employ some 40 staff at HWEnergy and work with sub contractors when we need to, providing work for others as well as our own team. We have a regular internship scheme where young graduates or students about to complete their studies can gain work experience with us. Our apprenticeship scheme has seen a number of young people get their first step on the working ladder and go on to learn a trade.
“From forest management and the harvesting of trees, through a series of processing and manufacturing stages, to joinery and furniture production, the sector provides employment and career development in a wide range of disciplines. Jobs are being created across the skills spectrum and in a variety of business types and sizes – predominantly the SME sector. Importantly, a lot of investment and job creation takes place in rural areas increasing the strength and fabric of communities that are increasingly isolated from cities and larger urban areas.”
Well yes, we’d agree with that entirely.
Read the full report ‘Growing our Low-Carbon Economy’