Nelson-based Azwood Energy are ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability.
While businesses today are changing to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, Westpac customer Azwood, which produces fuels for industrial and residential heating, already did this in the 90s.
“About 20 years ago, this business decided to move away from coal and into something that was a bit more environmentally friendly and a bit more future thinking,” says Operations Manager Ben Crawford.
When the 40-year-old family owned business began, the fuels they were producing were less environmentally friendly. But now they are all about carbon neutral wood fuels, which according to the EECA, are “a form of bioenergy. The carbon released by burning wood is equal to the carbon absorbed by trees during growth.”
“At Azwood we believe strongly in being resourceful making the most of what we’ve been given,” says Ben.
“Wood fuels are renewable, easily accessible, and the environmentally responsible thing to do,” says Ben.
And being in Nelson, there’s no shortage of very high quality wood to go around. Working closely with the local forestry industry, Azwood are able to take the waste created in the felling process and put it to good use.
“You’re taking something that would typically be a waste and turning it into something of value,” Ben says.
Azwood Energy’s wood energy is used for both industrial and residential customers, and New Zealand as a whole is catching on. They have been recognised by the bioenergy association as national leaders in range of product and extent of business, moving more than 1.2million cubic meters of residues each year.
“We’re taking away people’s reliance on fossil fuels, particularly coal,” Ben says.
“We’re having a positive impact on the environment, keeping the waterways clean, and also stopping residues from entering the general environment. That’s choice.”