As an operating company of sawmills, protection of the environment is of foremost significance for us. Sawmills generally suffer from a paradox: Their solid wood products are highly superior to other raw and building materials in terms of their ecological balance, yet sawmills are not perceived by society to be environmentally friendly companies. We are very concerned to counteract that by an exemplary attitude.
Using wood from sustainable forestry, which is mandatory according to German Federal Forest Law (Bundeswaldgesetz), is storing the greenhouse gas CO2 in wooden products, while new trees can grow back on the same forest area. In addition, the production of our wood products only requires a fraction of the energy that is needed in the production of steel, aluminium, concrete or plastics and thus, considerably less CO2 is discharged in the process. In addition to its property as an “active” storage of CO2, wood is therefore also a “passive climate protector”. Even the best product will eventually reach the end of its lifespan, and even then, wooden products are especially environment-friendly. Whereas products made from fossil commodities end up as an ecological problem when time comes for their disposal, wooden products can be used in a CO2-balanced way. Wood is natural and organic and is a CO2-neutral source of energy when burnt as fuel.
At Pollmeier, we are buying our logs exclusively from sustainably and environment-friendly managed German forests and we are certified by PEFC third party certification for Chain of Custody. PEFC certification is a transparent and independent control system for safeguarding sustainable and thus exemplary forest cultivation. The most important standards are: promoting mixed species forestry in accordance with local conditions, banning of clear-cutting and avoiding herbicides.
You will hardly find an industrial process being more clean and environment-friendly than our modern way of timber production. We do not add anything to our sustainable raw material, but water, air and heat from bio-energy. The water comes from close-by rivers so that no drinking water is wasted. And the thermal energy needed for running our kilns is completely gained from using side products from production, like bark and sanding dust for example – CO2 balanced and climate friendly. In fact, the whole production process does not produce any kind of waste, because our “waste” is still a valuable raw material for other industries such as pallet, particleboard and paper manufacturers. Other leftovers are used as a source of clean bio-energy. Even our sanding dust is turned into valuable hardwood briquettes.
For our headquarters in Creuzburg, we made a point of designing a modern low-energy-building - heated by sawmill side products in winter and cooled by natural air circulation in summer without requiring an energy intensive air conditioning system. We hardly have any filing cabinets in our offices. Why? Because there are very few documents to be put on file. We use electronic documents in more than 98% of all written communication. Incoming faxes are not printed automatically but converted into electronic data and distributed via email. Incoming letters and papers are scanned and distributed electronically to avoid unnecessary photocopying. There are still a few printouts made when absolutely necessary. But we are as close to a paper-free office as one can be.