The world’s largest producer of wood pellets has launched a $5 million (£3.4m) fund for forest conservation.
Enviva Holdings expects its 10-year programme to protect thousands of acres of bottomland forests, found along rivers and streams, in North Carolina and southeast Virginia.
The company owns and operates six plants in the US that produce around 2.2 million metric tons of wood pellets annually.
It exports primarily to power plants in the UK and Europe that were previously fuelled by coal, claiming to help them cut their carbon footprint by around 80%.
The Enviva Forest Conservation Forest, administered by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, will award grants to non-profit organisations.
The new funding will focus on the Virgina-North Carolina coastal plain, an area which is home to three wood pellet production facilities and a deep-water marine terminal owned by Enviva.
Last week the European Commission launched a new in-depth investigation into the UK’s plans to support the conversion of the Drax coal-fired power plant into biomass.