Between the price of wood rising partially due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, continuous supply chain headaches and the rising climate threat from deforestation, it’s hard to be in the lumber business these days. Lumber prices hit an all-time high of $1,711 per thousand board last May and rebounded 14 percent to 1,452 since Russian troops entered Ukraine. High gas prices have also made it expensive to ship timber overseas, causing many companies to look elsewhere for alternatives, especially ones that don’t contribute to deforestation.
One of those alternative sources is Cambium Carbon, a lumber supply chain solutions company that recently raised $3 million in seed funding. Cambium Carbon’s SaaS platform, Traece, connects salvageable trees that have fallen in U.S. cities with local sawyer and millers. From there, that wood can be turned into building supplies, furniture and other products. Since timber salvaged from city-grown trees has less distance to travel, it has a lower carbon footprint and is cheaper than traditional timber sources.
“We're on a mission to transform wood products manufacturing. This can be a huge climate solution by dramatically reducing transportation emissions, as well as facilitating reuse of materials in our cities,” Cambium Carbon CEO Ben Christensen said in a statement.
According to Cambium Carbon, approximately 36 million trees fall in the cities annually, more so than trees in U.S. national forests. Those trees are often sent to landfills, which is not only bad for the environment, but costs municipalities a lot of money in landfill fees. It’s also costly for cities to replace fallen trees, something Cambium Carbon is also solving by funneling profits into planting new trees.
Since its launch in 2020, Cambium Carbon has moved $3.7 million of wood, diverted 47.5 tons of wood waste to local millers and sawyers, stored 98 tons of CO2e and used its profits to plant 220 trees. In the future, the company hopes to divert 2,500 tons of wood waster and plant 10,000 trees in partnership with cities across the country.
The new funding led by MaC Venture Capital will allow Cambium Carbon to grow its team and expand its two-sided marketplace for locally sourced and salvaged lumber. Currently, the company is hiring for nine positions based either remotely or out of its Washington, D.C. office. The company expects to continue hiring in the coming months as its seed funding is put to use.