Forest industry builds a sustainable bioeconomy

The benefits of wood and fibre as renewable and recyclable materials come to the fore in the bioeconomy of the future where materials and natural resources are used efficiently and in ways that maximise added value.

Finland has a fantastic opportunity to be a frontrunner in a forest industry-led bioeconomy. The bioeconomy refers to production activities that produce, use, process and market renewable natural resources as well as to consumption of products made from renewable natural resources.

Reusable and recyclable wood and fibre products can, at the end of their life cycle, be used for renewable energy together with biomass that is unsuited for further processing.

New products in existing and new sectors

Forest industry bioeconomy growth areas include construction and interior decoration, packaging and tissue, and bio-based energy. New bioeconomy products come in the form of bioenergy, biofuels, and biochemicals as well as biocomposites, which combine wood and fibres with other materials.

Information technology innovations allow us to develop smart paper and packaging products as well as construction materials. Nanotechnologies open the way for products with new kinds of features. Existing products are joined by new applications, for example, in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Added value for customers and wellbeing for consumers

The future of the forest cluster is dependent on the sector meeting its customers’ and consumers’ demands as well as on it developing competitive and customer-driven products, solutions, and services. A challenge related to future bio-based customer solutions is to control the entire product life cycle, from sustainable raw material procurement to product use, associated services, and recycling.

Wood is Finland’s strategic resource

Wood is Finland’s strategic resource, now and in the future. Its sustainable use creates wellbeing and saves the environment.

Wood is also Finland’s most significant renewable natural resource that is being processed on an industrial scale.

Products made from wood, wood fibre, and other components of wood, replace non-renewable materials and fossil fuels as we move towards a low-carbon bioeconomy.

Wood structures and wood construction are already gaining ground around the world as the main building material in large buildings such as multi-storey housing buildings and office buildings. In future, more attention will be paid not only to buildings’ energy efficiency but also to the carbon and energy balance of construction and construction materials.

The forest industry, which is based on the sustainable use of renewable timber, provides significant cash flow not only to the national economy but also to regional economies. One in ten Finns earns their income from the forest industry or a sector that serves the industry. The forest industry plays a significant role in the future of over 50 localities in Finland. The forest sector is the primary source of income and vitality for many provinces in Finland.