Minister Visits first Woodland in Wales to Crack the Carbon Code
The Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, John Griffiths, today (3 November) visited the first woodland in Wales that allows companies to measure how much harmful carbon dioxide they are capturing from the atmosphere.
The Minister planted a tree at Cwm Fagor, a new woodland near Devauden in Monmouthshire which will shortly to be recognised by the recently-launched Woodland Carbon Code.
Companies who create woodlands which meet the Code’s requirements will be able to carry the Woodland Carbon Code label of approval as a selling point to potential customers. The Code, launched in July, is an independent standard devised by a group led by the Forestry Commission to certify woodland creation projects that can measure how much carbon is captured and stored.
Mr Griffiths met Mike Allcock, the Managing Director of Thorlux Lighting, which acquired Cwm Fagor to minimise the environmental impact of its factory and the effects of the lighting equipment it designs, makes and supplies.
In addition to compensating for these emissions, Cwm Fagor will help to tackle the effects of climate change as the timber it produces can be used to replace more carbon-intensive materials such as concrete and steel.
Mr Griffiths said, “I applaud this initiative by Thorlux Lighting in creating this new woodland at Cwm Fagor and encourage other companies to follow their example and attempt to do something positive to reduce their carbon footprint by creating new woodlands that will remove and lock up carbon from the environment.
“The Code will help to attract new investment in tree planting projects designed to tackle climate change and give people a clear idea of the carbon savings they may realistically achieve when they see the ‘Carbon Code’ label.
“This project clearly illustrates the multipurpose nature of woodlands and trees and their ability to contribute a wide range of benefits to society, all at the same time. In addition to locking up carbon, this woodland will also provide a haven for wildlife, recreational opportunities and the ultimate renewable resource – timber.”
Initially, some four hectares of woodland will be created at Cwm Fagor but, when it is completed, more than 80 hectares of new woodland will have been planted. It’s hoped that Cwm Fagor will be the first of many applications in Wales to seek Carbon Code status.
Mike Allcock said he was delighted that Thorlux Lighting’s new woodland at Cwm Fagor will shortly be the first to be accredited to the Woodland Carbon Code in Wales.
“It’s particularly pleasing that this woodland will be contributing towards a number of targets to address climate change,” he said. “The scheme is a demonstration that we recognise the emissions from Thorlux Lighting and the FW Thorpe Lighting Group and will also help the Welsh Government’s target to increase the area of woodland.
“By investing in our woodland, we offer our customers the chance to do business with a company committed to the environment, and the added credibility of Government support will further encourage customers to join our environmental initiative.”
Left: Jon Owen Jones - (Forestry commission's Commissioner for Wales), Middle: John Griffiths (Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development), Right: Mike Allcock - (Managing Director of Thorlux Lighting).