Cambium Carbon: Transforming Wood Waste for a Sustainable Future

Saving fallen trees from landfills and decomposition

Published on


3 min

Cambium Carbon’s circular economy model works with cities and other partners to save fallen trees from landfills and decomposition by diverting waste into Carbon Smart Wood™.

Wood waste from naturally fallen trees, preemptive tree removal, and property development surpass the annual harvest of any major lumber producer in the U.S. Further, only 33% of wood waste in the U.S. is recycled or used for biomass fuel, with the rest ending up in a landfill. Unfortunately, the fragmented state of tree removal and milling industries hinders material salvaging, resulting in cities spending millions on timber removal and disposal.

Alumni Ventures portfolio company Cambium Carbon is a marketplace for salvaged wood, connecting wood waste streams with local businesses (e.g., mills, furniture manufacturers, and more). Through its operating system, Traece, and consulting services, the company seeks to create billions of dollars of value for these businesses while simultaneously improving the environmental impact of wood waste. Their innovative technology, Traece, has led to the development of a remarkable wood product known as Carbon Smart Wood™.

Carbon Smart Wood – Leveraging Fallen and Wasted Lumber

Every year more than 46 million tons of wood go to waste in U.S. cities, resulting in soil degradation, water and air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and loss of potentially billions of dollars in revenue. Cambium Carbon’s circular economy model works with cities and other partners to save fallen trees from landfills and decomposition by diverting waste into Carbon Smart Wood™.

Once the lumber is located, the order is fulfilled by local millers, removing the need to manufacture in one place and ship across the country, which is hugely wasteful. The material, Carbon Smart Wood™, is then delivered to Cambium’s clients, like Room & Board — a popular retail company — that uses the Carbon Smart Wood™ to build unique tables, shelves, and more sustainable product offerings. As a result, mill shops benefit from higher demand coming right to their door via the Cambium platform, and companies like Room & Board benefit from a more environmentally friendly wood source, plus local manufacturing and delivery. Communities benefit with at least 15% of all sales profits generated from Carbon Smart Wood™ supporting crucial tree canopy restoration efforts.

Triple Revenue Stream

In addition to the marketplace it facilitates, Cambium provides consulting and support to cities eager to decrease their spending on wood disposal and brands eager to implement a circular economy model in their wood supply chains. This is all done through their Carbon Smart Wood Challenge, a campaign for commitment to Carbon Smart Wood™ use. This facet of Cambium’s business allows for evaluating different cities and, if desirable, securing partnerships with the local government and workforce development partners to acquire fallen trees, which in turn are milled into Carbon Smart Wood™ and marketed with mission-aligned brands.

As mentioned, the operating system is a software product called Traece, which provides Cambium’s local manufacturing clientele with larger-scale orders and inventory tracking and management, an e-commerce platform, and business analytics. This software allows unequivocally good wood through traceable products from fallen trees to finished goods.

How We Are Involved

Blue Ivy Ventures (for the Yale community) sponsored Alumni Ventures’ investment in Cambium Carbon’s $3 million seed round led by MaC Venture Capital.

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Contact [email protected] for additional information. To see additional risk factors and investment considerations, visit