Lowe’s and CM Tucker Lumber form a sustainable partnership

by | Apr 26, 2024

Lowe’s was recently recognized by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) as a Supplier Engagement Leader for its outstanding work in 2023. 

To achieve its net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target, Lowe’s will need to reduce its indirect emissions. This is a challenging task as these emissions are often outside of Lowe’s control, such as how a gas-powered lawnmower is used after a customer purchases it and takes it home. 

Lowe’s has taken a step towards solving this challenge of reducing its carbon footprint by working with its suppliers to quantify their emissions. In 2023, the company worked closely with its suppliers to help them understand the significance of reporting their emissions to CDP, encouraging suppliers to measure, report and reduce their own carbon footprint.

CM Tucker Lumber, a family-owned company in Pageland, South Carolina, was one of those vendors. CM Tucker Lumber has remained loyal to its origins as a small-town lumber yard since its establishment in the 1920s, across four generations. In the 1970s, the company underwent a significant transformation and started manufacturing pressure-treated lumber.

According to family lore, they then formed a partnership with Lowe’s, which was a single-store establishment in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, at the time. This partnership marked a significant milestone in the history of the family-owned business.

Now, under the guidance of the four Tucker brothers – David, Paul, Mark and Andrew – their collaboration with Lowe’s has evolved into a shared commitment to sustainability. Paul emphasized the importance of continuous improvement and the alignment of their values with Lowe’s, a testament to their shared dedication to measuring and enhancing sustainability practices. 

“The Lowe’s sustainability team has been great because they provided means to help quantify our sustainability. They have sent us links to EPA calculators. They have sent us links to South Carolina DEG, which provides incentive grants that encourage the use of battery technology. So, they have helped hold our hand and guide us through this process as we are learning how to document our sustainability,” said David Tucker, Family Co-Owner, CM Tucker Lumber.

At the core of their sustainability journey is using resources efficiently. Modern sawmills are designed to operate with zero waste, with all the byproducts produced during the sawmilling process are utilized in different ways. For instance, the bark is sold to companies to be reused as mulch, the sawdust is converted into material for fire boilers, woodchips are sold to paper mills, and shavings are remanufactured for poultry operations. This approach contributes to a circular economy and helps reduce the environmental impact of the sawmilling process.

By sourcing locally and limiting inbound freight to nearby sawmills, they reduce their carbon footprint while preserving wood through innovative chemical treatments. The company’s dedication to sustainable transportation is also evident in its gradual shift to electric forklifts.

David Tucker emphasized that sustainability is not just a trend for them but an inherent part of their fourth-generation family business.

“With a generational company, we are harvesting trees that my grandfather planted, that my father planted. I am planting trees I may never even see harvested that we are always planning for the next generation. So, at our very core is sustainability,” David said.

With Lowe’s as a valued ally, they continue to make strides towards a greener future, embodying the ethos of sustainability in every aspect of their business.