International Log and Lumber Goes Green

High oil prices remain faithful. Reportedly at a six week peak, OPEC is pumping close to maximum output to meet the biggest surge in global demand in 24 years, limiting surpluses available to cover supply disruptions, the International Energy Agency said this week, Bloomberg cites. With names like Green-e certified fast becoming buzz words amidst the swirl of our current oil and gas cost crises, the lime light is quickly shifting from fuel conservation and alternative transport methods, to alternative energy solutions.

This week has marked yet another landmark on the Green-e front, with the Center for Resource Solutions announcing on July 19th that the 2004 Democratic National Convention is to be green powered by Green-e certified renewable energy.

Just what is Green-e energy you might ask? Its one of the top emerging U.S. verification programs, striving to establish a third party certification initiative, to make sure renewable energy products actually make the grade in this, our rapidly changing consumer world of course. The U.S. Center for Resource Solutions reports that Green-e initiatives involve strict environmental and consumer protection standards set through a collaborative process with environmentalists, consumer advocates and energy experts.

But beyond what is happening in the U.S. a statement issued by research portal has noted that, Europe s emerging energy market is headed for nearly 100% growth through 2010, driven by regulatory incentives, steadily growing demand, and the proliferation of competitors gaining competitive advantage through renewables.

Enter New York International Log and Lumber (NYILL), who have announced they have established a firm footing in this emerging market. The company, founded in 1997, has come to call itself the first and only company in the United States exporting wood fibre fuel (biomasse) that is 100% environmentally certified, Kyoto compliant and specifically aimed at preserving global forests.

If your ears havent perked up yet, news that export sales in 2003 were nearly $2.8 million dollars, along with recent legislation passed in Germany to help increase the share of energy from renewable sources to 12.5 percent by 2010 from 6.5 percent now-and to at least 20 percent by 2020, (according to the International Herald Tribune) might do it.

So just who are their main customers we might ask? Company Chief Executive Officer and President Joseph Murray reports, Our major European buyer is Italy, with the UK, Spain and France currently awaiting logistical obstacles to be finalized, Murray himself has been involved in the Forestry Products Industry for over 24 years.

According to the same article appearing in the Herald Tribune, Italy s government agreed to deficit-reduction measures worth E5.5 billion or $6.8 billion, to help ensure that its budget complies with European Union rules. News like this turns up the temperature just that much more, amongst industry aficionados.

New York Log and Lumber bases one of the founding principles of its fuel development on the simple fact that, suburban sprawl timber, is the largest and fastest growing source of available timber, log and wood supplies in America. With the recent jump in the U.S. housing sector and expected long term projections showing a solid continuation, the base appears to be there and is ready to be built on.

At the moment, NYILL reports it has, several east coast (U.S.) port facilities and a woodchip carrier under long term contract. NYILLs current contracts and international delivery capacity is about 400,000 - 500,000 tons annually. NYILLs goal is 5 million tons of wood fibre fuel within five years.

Riding on the alternative energy and environmental solutions wave, Joseph Murray carefully reminds that, wood fibre fuel is not made, it is sourced from urban and suburban wood waste streams, highway and road projects, landfills, storm damages, tree and excavating companies, parks maintenance projects, to name a few.

However, at the root of the industry lies the fact that, as the company says, In America, projections to radically increase the number of wood powered plants is underway. Many states are under Executive Orders to purchase at least 10% of their power needs from Alternative or Green sources by 2010. NYILL is prepared to meet the increased demand and ensure long term reliable supplies and green certificate compliance.

Both in the U.S. and Europe, the impetus for companies to put their best foot forward with a green plan in hand is becoming stronger. However, though they are staking out a specific ground in the renewable energy sector, company President Joseph Murray reminds us that one important aspect of the industry that, the renewable energy sector is wide open to any and to all. Jennifer Lee

Jennifer Lee has a degree in English Literature from the University of British Columbia . She holds a publishing certificate from Simon Fraser University and has worked at both Vancouver and Western Living magazines, where she began her career as an editorial intern. She has worked as an editor in countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa , producing books, newsletters and editing various quarterly magazines on a variety of international development related topics. In South Africa , she worked to help produce a bi-weekly newsletter for the Institute for Security Studies on crime and corruption headlines which appeared in all national and provincial papers. Prior to working in southern Africa , she wrote articles for DMR Consulting, on mergers and acquisitions taking place in the market during 2001. She now produces a quarterly publication at the University of British Columbia and works on the side as a freelance writer.