Forest industry enters bio-age

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) recently released a study that shows how the Canadian forest sector can become a pivotal player in the new bio-age.

Montreal – The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) recently released a study that shows how the Canadian forest sector can become a pivotal player in the new bio-age.

The study, called The New Face of the Canadian Forest Industry: the Emerging Bio-Revolution, demonstrates how the forest products industry of Canada is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the new bio-economy and exploit a potential global market of around $200 billion for bio-energy, bio-chemicals and bio-materials that can be extracted from trees. These products include everything from renewable fuels to lightweight plastics to non-toxic chemicals and food additives.

The project was guided by FPAC with essential partners including FPInnovations and the Canadian Forest Service with help from experts in fields such as biotechnology and carbon analysis.

“This study, which Natural Resources Canada is pleased to have supported, is helping to guide the exciting transformation that is underway in Canada’s forest sector,” said Christian Paradis, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

“This study produced a roadmap for a new business model that consolidates the economics of wood and pulp and paper production by extracting additional economic value from each tree harvested. This will have a huge economic, environmental and social impact for Canada,” says Avrim Lazar, the president and CEO of FPAC.

The report is the second phase of an exhaustive research study on how to best position the next generation forest products industry by extracting maximum value from every tree. The first phase broke new ground by showing the economic and job benefits of adding on new high- value products into existing lumber and pulp and paper mills. These integrated operations could increase the job potential by up to five times that of stand-alone bio-energy plants.

For more information, go to www.fpac.ca/bio-pathways.