ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE – It’s in our DNA
Where it started; Back in 2011 we noticed a stockpile of waste wood while on holidays in Cordoba, Spain. It turned out to be waste wood from the pruning and replanting from local olive farms. We enquired locally and found out that the local community used a little of it for firewood & cooking as it was a fantastic firewood, and the bigger pieces were used for wood turning enthusiasts. However the majority of the wood just sat there to rot as there was more than they could use. It dawned on us that to utilise this waste wood for fuel in a country where the fuel is needed made sense. The carbon released from the waste wood is the same if burned for heating or cooking making it carbon neutral, or even carbon positive if saving the use of other fossil fuels. The Green Olive Firewood Company was born, and we started bringing the waste wood into the UK as firewood.
Wood Sustainability: Today we work from Ridge Farm in West Sussex. We offer many wood products for cooking & heating but from the beginning of the company we have kept the same ethics throughout. We process local logs from Surrey & West Sussex from managed woodlands and estates with clear woodland management programmes for replanting and felling. Any woods or wood products we import, such as the olive wood, come from authorised and managed farms or woodlands, and we undertake full due diligence in ensuring all wood is from managed and sustainable sources.
BSL, RHI & Ready to Burn; Our fuels are BSL (Biomass Supplier List) authorised since 2016 for use in appliances that qualify for the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive). Our firewood and heat logs are also certified under the ‘Ready to Burn’ scheme administered by Woodsure. We also have kiln drying facilities at our farm in West Sussex that are powered by an industrial wood burning boiler that also qualifies for the RHI and we use our own waste woods to power our kiln dryers.
Packaging ; How and what we pack our goods in is important for our future. In 2013 we sold our firewood in wood crates we made that could be burned as firewood also. Unfortunately the extra cost incurred meant we couldn’t be competitive and sales were not as we had hoped. Since then we have made sure any net bags we use are fully recyclable and are made with a percentage of recycled material. We only use paper or cardboard for all our charcoal & firelighter products and are launching a cardboard wood box this coming season. All our bags can be sent back to us for recycling or we will reuse them for packing if possible. Alternatively you can bring our bags to your local recycling centre to be recycled.
Firestarters & Firelighters; All our products are designed and prepared with the environment in mind. The firelighters we offer do not use chemicals and only use vegetable oil or wax mixed with wood biomass.
Charcoal; We now offer a West Sussex Charcoal which is made at our premises at Ridge Farm West Sussex. We use the same local woods we use for our firewood. It is heated & starved of oxygen in a charcoal retort that gives zero omissions and again is powered by our waste wood at the farm. The charcoal that we import is from managed woodlands. Our professional and restaurant quality charcoal is from the she-oak tree (official name casuarinas tree). The She-oak tree is one of the fastest growing dense hardwoods that grows in many harsh environments making it perfectly renewable and sustainable for the firewood and charcoal industry. This tree has been identified for active climate protection in Europe and a project has begun in Egypt see https://www.sekem.com/en/egyptian-trees-for-active-climate-protection-in-europe/
Future; We are in the process of working with a number of companies in assessing the feasibility of using our charcoal waste as a source for carbon storage in the agricultural world. A project we are involved with concerns utilising the British agricultural lands for storing carbon with a mix of charcoal waste, We are always looking for ways to continue to improve our carbon footprint in supplying sustainable & renewable fuels and we will strive to promote sustainable ethical renewables. We only have one liveable planet lets keep it that way.