Canadian Biomass Magazine

‘Unlock new markets’: Ontario’s Renfrew County issued ‘AA’ rating by BDO Zone Initiative

April 17, 2024
By Canadian Biomass Staff

The BDO Zone Initiative has issued a BDO Zone ‘AA’ rating for Renfrew County, Ontario for 485,000 green metric tons per year of woody biomass.

Ontario’s Renfrew County, located near Ottawa, has been issued a BDO Zone ‘AA’ rating — the first such distinction for pulpwood in the province and an indication of a robust outlook for its woody biomass sector.

It’s also the second highest rating available under the initiative, which ranges from “AAA” (highest quality) to “CC” and “NR” (High risk and no rating).

Located in Pembroke, Ont., the newly rated zone can handle up to 485,000 green metric tons of woody biomass annually. According to the BDO Zone Initiative, such ratings are given based on the projected capacity of a region to support biobased plant operations without significant risk of default.

David Wybou, business development officer for the County of Renfrew, emphasized the historical importance of forestry to the region and expressed eagerness to collaborate with biobased companies to explore new markets.


“Forestry has always been a foundational pillar within Renfrew County and we are eager to engage with biobased companies to expand and diversify our biomass into new markets. We take great pride in the sustainable management of our forests and the BDO Zone rating underscores our commitment to advancing biobased economic development and fostering job creation,” said Wybou.

Jordan Solomon, chairman of the BDO Zone Initiative, pointed out that Renfrew County’s longstanding tradition of sustainable forestry positions it well within the sector.

“Building on their rich history of sustainable forestry through generations, Renfrew County’s ‘AA’ rating position them as a frontrunner in the province,” he said. “The rating will serve to unlock new markets and opportunities for woody biomass utilization, and spur biobased economic growth for the region.”

Renfrew County, Ontario’s largest county covering 7,645 square kilometers, is home to 108,000 residents with Pembroke as its central hub. It is strategically connected by Trans-Canada Highway 17 and Highway 41.

The county is also known for its diverse economy which includes sectors such as forestry, agriculture, aerospace, defense, manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism. Significant establishments in Renfrew include Garrison Petawawa and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

For more details about the BDO Zone Initiative and to view the full BDO Zone Rating for Renfrew County, visit

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