Environmental & Economic Impact

An Environmental Leader

As an agricultural byproduct, rice straw is annually renewable, and through its use as a fiber source, CalPlant is transforming an environmental burden into something of value and utility.

Currently, the most common practice of straw disposal is to initiate a decomposition process by flooding the fields after harvest. This practice uses a large volume of incremental water resources. CalPlant’s reclamation of approximately 20 percent of the Sacramento Valley’s rice straw waste will significantly reduce the levels of water that would have been diverted from regional waterways to flood rice fields after harvest.

CalPlant converts this post-harvest rice straw into a high-performance and environmentally preferable building material, a panel product that can be used just like traditional wood-based MDF, providing designers and architects with a new bio-based panel option for interior finishes.


CalPlant Environmental Impact at a Glance

  • Decreased volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from plant operations – CalPlant feedstock significantly reduces typical plant emissions and positions the plant to be a minor source under EPA rules.
  • Eliminates the wasteful practice of flooding rice fields, leading to significant annual water savings.
  • Reduces fall water diversions from nearby rivers, protecting river flows for wildlife, native fish and California fisheries.
  • Eliminates negative air quality impact with no-added-formaldehyde MDF construction.


Environmental Certifications, Standards & Labels

CalPlant is committed to the people, planet and performance of our products. The spirit of this commitment demands transparency and authenticity. In support of this, CalPlant will pursue several certifications, material ingredient labeling and third-party verification of our environmentally advanced MDF.

Much of this work will commence upon start-up and as progress is made, updates will be posted. CalPlant anticipates completion and achievement of the following in 2020:

An Economic Driver

Encompassing 276 acres, CalPlant’s manufacturing facility is located in Willows, California. The heart of the Sacramento Valley, this area of the United States produces 20% of the nation’s rice, amounting to 1.5 million tons of rice straw every year.

Using this post-harvest rice straw as its raw material, CalPlant sources it all within a 25-mile radius, ensuring that this revolutionary product benefits its immediate community.

Calplant Economic Benefits at a Glance

full-time positions at the plant
part-time jobs created during straw harvest
0 +
construction jobs created while building the plant
ancillary jobs created in Glenn County
0 -41
truckloads of MDF to be shipped per day
0 %
of California’s current MDF demand could be supplied by annual plant output
$ 0 M
in estimated annual savings for rice growers supplying straw
1 K
tons of post-harvest rice straw waste recovered annually