Bioproducts to form the core of the EU’s next growth surge

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These measuresincluded the setting of targets for the share of overall consumption covered by bioproducts in new sectors of the economy on top of energy and transports. Member States should also be given the opportunity to cut taxes on bioproducts.

The EU wants to reduce its oil dependence through increased utilisation of bioproducts. Growth potential and a good opportunity to reduce waste problems and emissions of greenhouse gases have been identified in association with  bioproducts.

A 10% target for the share of renewable energy by 2020 has already been set for the transport sector. Similar targets could also be set for other products, in construction, for example.

Legislation and public procurements can spur this process

The experts thought that legislation on construction products should support the utilisation of bioproducts. Legislation should also promote the utilisation of bioproducts in packaging.

Criteria, which favour bioproducts, should be adopted for public procurements. Definitions of renewability, biodegrability, recyclability and sustainability should be harmonised through the introduction of European and international standards. Pilot and demonstration projects will also be needed in order to develop bioproducts and their manufacture.

The availability of a high-quality and competitively priced renewable raw material is also considered important. Investments into infrastructure and the development and optimisation of transports need to be increased.

The forest industry is already in the bioeconomy

The forest industry is a leading user of wood and forest biomass. Alongside its regular products, the industry produces bioenergy and biofuels, in addition to which its next-generation biorefineries will be making a wide range of different biochemicals.

Several opportunities can also be identified in other industries, for example with chemicals products because renewable sources now account only for an estimated 8-10% of their raw materials.

The team of experts was formed as part of the European Commission’s effort to promote bio-based lead markets in Europe. The significance of these markets was initially pointed out to the EU in the Creating an Innovative Europe report, which was drafted by a working group headed by former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho.

For additional information, please contact:
Päivi Luoma,
Director, Communications, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, firstname.surname@forestindustries.fi