Can Supply Meet Demand In The World of Bamboo Forests?

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If you could build a house using beautiful products made from plants that regenerate and help mitigate climate change, would you?

About 15 billion trees — which would cover an area the size of Portugal — are cut down annually, and half of those trees are used for lumber by the construction industry. 

Using bamboo instead of wood is one way to reduce deforestation while benefiting the environment, according to Bradenton, Florida-based Rizome, which transforms bamboo fiber into decorative and structural building materials. While more and more architects are incorporating bamboo into their building designs, the problem until now, the company says, is that there hasn’t been a reliable supply chain for timber-grade versions of the grass, which grows naturally in sub-tropical areas such as South America and Asia.

Rizome wants to change that. The company says it is focusing on building a reliable engineered bamboo lumber supply chain to provide a viable wood alternative to keep up with industry demands in North America. Further, the company says bamboo’s environmental benefits augment the efforts of  major lumber companies such as West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. WFG which recently completed planting its two billionth tree as part of its reforestation efforts.

The company is initially using its manufacturing facility in the Philippines to supply bamboo building materials to wholesalers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM), but it is also partnering with citrus farmers in southern Florida who are looking for alternative crops to grow the grass; the first crop is expected to be harvested in 2026.

According to Rizome, partnering with landowners allows the company to plant millions of bamboo plants without owning any land. 

How to Make Money and Save the Planet?

Rizome says the company also generates additional revenue by selling carbon credits to companies that use nature-based offsets to help lower their carbon footprints. It can pre-sell the credits through partnering with landowners.

More established companies such as electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. TSLA have made significant money from selling carbon credits.

On those two fronts — the building materials and carbon credit sales — Rizome is aiming to make enough money to sustain itself and provide a boost to the supply chain for a building industry that knows bamboo is a viable alternative to cutting down trees.

Building regulations, governmental policies, and growing public awareness are also driving demand for green building materials, according to the company.

The benefits to the planet are hard to ignore. Bamboo regenerates for up to 100 years, it matures faster than trees generally do, and it swallows up a whole lot more carbon than trees can, effectively 10 times as much, according to company estimates.

“We can’t grow trees fast enough to meet the construction industry’s demand for engineered lumber,” the company says on its crowdfunding page. “Rizome bamboo is the perfect wood alternative; it’s beautiful, sustainable, strong like steel, and its regenerative properties and ability to draw down carbon is good for the planet.”

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. Benzinga may receive monetary compensation from the issuer, or its agency, for publicizing the offering of the issuer’s securities. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. This is a paid ad. Please see 17b disclosure linked in the campaign page for more information. 

Picture credit: kazuend on Unsplash

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