The Greenest of the Green.
Building products manufacturer's have long been touting their green credentials; shooting off quick stats, reciting well-rehearsed sound bites and doing their best to generate buzz in the hope that their product will be elevated to that ideal state associated with hybrid cars and programmable thermostats.
Here at Bowers Forest Products, we approach environmental sustainability differently. If you have had the chance to get to know us, you will surely agree that our approach to the environment is just about as trendy as our office dress code. There are few sound bites used by our salespeople, fewer press-releases with green headlines, and virtually no opposition to the fact that our fleet vehicle is an extended-cab pickup truck.
Our approach to the environment stems, instead, from our love of the outdoors and our respect for all that is natural. As a number of our founders grew up in Portland in the 70's, jaunts down the Willamette River and treks into Forest Park were considered almost to be a birthright, an essential aspect of who we are. This appreciation of the natural world, combined with an independent spirit, is a guiding element in pretty much everything we do.
Lately, we have been asked by customers to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim our ‘green-cred' a bit. After a little apprehension, we capitulated to their requests. Here are a few areas in which Bowers Forest Products contributes to a healthier planet.
BioFuels: Bowers Forest Products has generated more than 20,000 tons (BDT) of biofuel from wood waste over the past ten years. The vast majority of our total wood waste is reused for heating, drying and as an alternative to fossil fuels in generating electricity.
Recycling: In addition to our company-wide recycling program, we have donated sawdust and chips for use as mulch in re-vegetation projects and in a single year we sold 137 tons of wood particles for use as compost and playground chips.
Better Blades: Our in-house filing shop critically manages saw kerfs to maximize wood recovery and minimize waste. We process an estimated 200 blades per week depending on the season. In addition, having the sharpest blades reduces power consumption and allows for smaller, more efficient motors to be used on our machines. By sharpening our blades in-house we prolong their life, keep them out of landfills and eliminate transportation needs.
Water Management: By installing the latest electronic controls for cooling our saw blades, we consume the least amount of water possible to get the job done.
Fewer VOC's: We use very few volatile organic compounds, which is good news for our nearby rivers and local water supply. Over 90% of our finishing treatments and the majority of our adhesives contain little or no VOC's.
Material Recovery: Our entire cutline operation serves to recover usable wood from material that is otherwise under-utilized. Many of our products incorporate material from this process.
Prop 65 Warning for WOOD DUST WARNING: Drilling, sawing, sanding or machining wood products can expose you to wood dust, a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer. Avoid inhaling wood dust or use a dust mask or other safeguards for personal protection. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/wood.
We hope this information is helpful in providing an inside look at what we at Bowers Forest Products are doing to serve the environment we love. If you have questions, including specific product information, feel free to contact us.