Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Enviva decide to sponsor the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund?

At Enviva, our work connects us directly to Southern forests every day. From Enviva’s beginnings, we have been determined to leave these forests better than we found them. And while the Enviva Forest Credo – our guiding sustainability policy – makes clear our commitment to protecting special places in the forest and not accepting wood from sensitive areas, our efforts at continuous improvement should lead us to do more. We are proud to establish the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, a $5 million, 10-year program designed to protect tens of thousands of acres of bottomland forests in northeast North Carolina and southeast Virginia. The $5 million, 10-year Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will help achieve these goals.

With the help of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Enviva is identifying and protecting sensitive areas and financially assisting private landowners in conserving and protecting forested land. The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will deliver tangible environmental and economic benefits to the Virginia and North Carolina communities Enviva serves.

Although Enviva is a young company, we have both the privilege of being a leader and the responsibility to do the right thing. Enviva’s core values include integrity and a commitment to sustainability, and the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a tangible demonstration of these values in action.

How much land will the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund conserve?

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will award matching-fund grants to nonprofit organizations, and in partnership with these groups the goal is to preserve about 35,000 acres of bottomland forests. The $5 million Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will focus on the coastal plain of North Carolina and Virginia, which is home to three wood pellet plants and a deep-water marine terminal operated by Enviva.

Enviva has never harvested nor accepted wood from old growth forests, but Enviva always strives to do more. The bottomland forest stewardship program builds on Enviva’s existing sustainability policies. The Endowment has identified four specific types of bottomland forest ecosystems, in consultation with leading independent academic and environmental organizations. These areas will be priority conservation target areas for the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund.

Although the vast majority of Enviva’s wood comes from areas other than bottomland forests, Enviva will work with the Endowment to catalog and protect these four sensitive habitats and to document the company and its suppliers do not cause them harm.

To our knowledge, this commitment is unique in the industry and Enviva is proud to lead on this issue.

Why did Enviva partner with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities?

The Endowment has enormous expertise in conservation and environmental issues; in particular, the Endowment’s leadership team has previously designed and administered conservation programs similar to the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. The Endowment also has deep relationships with stakeholders critical to the success of the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, including government agencies, leading independent non-profit conservation organizations, forestry officials and private landowners.

How did Enviva determine which forests it would no longer source from?

Enviva has always been clear that there are special places in the forests that should remain so. To do more and be even more specific about those special places, Enviva is working with the Endowment. In consultation with other leading independent academic and environmental organizations, the Endowment has identified four distinct ecosystems that are environmentally sensitive in the areas where Enviva works: cypress-tupelo swamps, Atlantic white cedar stands, pocosins and Carolina bays.

Enviva does not harvest nor accept wood from old growth forests, but the company always strives to do more. It has never been Enviva’s intended practice to accept wood from the areas identified by the Endowment and the company will not accept wood from them going forward. Most important, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will focus its conservation grants on these areas in an effort to permanently conserve them as forests.

Enviva’s bottomland forest stewardship program builds on the company’s existing sustainability policies. To our knowledge, this commitment is unique in the industry and Enviva is proud to lead on this issue.

How will you track whether Enviva is living up to its sourcing commitments?

Enviva’s staff of foresters has clearly spelled out the details of its sustainability policy for the company’s suppliers. Enviva will provide its suppliers with information about the four types of sensitive areas identified by the Endowment on an ongoing basis. Enviva will not work with any supplier that violates the company’s policy against accepting wood from these areas.

Just as important, Enviva has developed and instituted a proprietary “track and trace” system that will enable the company to identify the source of each truckload of wood it uses. This system, which should be fully implemented in early 2016, will provide Enviva with a comprehensive description of the raw material, including its geographic origin, age, size, species and forest characteristics.

How will the grants lead to more sustainable forests?

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund’s $5 million in matching grants will give private forest landowners significant incentives to keep their land in forest cover permanently. The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will be particularly appealing to landowners because it provides them a financially attractive alternative to selling their land for development or converting it to other uses. Many have owned their land for generations and want to keep it in forest cover. The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will help make this possible.

Who is participating in the conservation grant process?

The Endowment will accept applications from nonprofit organizations, and the first grant or grants from its $5 million fund will be awarded in 2016. The Endowment has already had informal conversations about the program with several organizations that have expressed interest in participating.

Commitment from Enviva
over the next 10 years
Acres of bottomland forests
protected in NC and VA
Protected bottomland
ecosystems

Matching-Fund Grants

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, supports nonprofit organizations to protect ecologically sensitive areas and conserve working forests.

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