Carbon emissions program brings benefits to East Texas

Deep in the Cherokee County woods a Swiss based semi conductor manufacturer is recognized on a sign for 'Partnering To Support The Environment' . The other half of that equation is Stephen F Austin State University.

CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - SFA is hosting STMicroelectronics. A delegation coped with red East Texas mud and fire ants to check on 1400 acres in pine trees. The stands are offsetting the company's carbon emissions. Company vice president, Bob Banks explained,  " We're committed to the environment and in fact our objective is to be neutral to the environment relative to green house gasses by 2010." The company purchases trees to absorb carbon dioxide, making up for the times when fossil fuels do reach the air.

In 1991 the company bought five East Texas forests. They were given to SFA for management and study. SFA research forester Jason Grogan pointed a tag on a young tree,  " This is a tag that was installed as part of our monitoring process where we periodically see how much carbon they are sequestering and how much the trees have grown."

The properties are also producing scholarships for SFA students. Revenue from hunting leases awarded $3,000 in recent scholarships. As the forests mature and timber revenue is produced the awards will be more substantial.

Two and a half years ago STMicroelectronics was named one of the top ten green companies of the decade. So what do they think of all the others jumping on the go green band wagon? Company mechanical engineer, Michael Hunt answered,    " They do a lot of things that are purely symbolic, I think. But maybe the worm is turning, I don't know, where people are becoming more educated about what they can do that's positive and only time will tell. " For now East Texas pine trees will continue playing a role in global environmental achievements.