Possibilities in the Forest Industry

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Wood is a versatile resource. Trees can become building materials, chemicals, energy, feed and nutrients. The saying is Anything that can be made from oil can be made of trees“, but tree fibres can actually be used in even more ways than oil. With 37 per cent of the land covered with forest, Norway possesses renewable resources that can supply an industry for the future.

Wood-based building materials (e.g. insulation), skyscrapers made of cross-laminated timber and/or glued laminated timber, wood-based feed for fish and animals and advanced biofuels are some of the innovations that are under development or starting to hit the markets. We are also seeing a growing demand for both industry and consumer packaging that can replace the current oil-based packaging alternatives. 

Old paper plants – new nesting grounds

Historically, the Norwegian pulp and paper industry has been specialised on print paper and has used rest-materials from timber-processing, but this industry has been in decline for years. The use of print paper has been decreasing and has resulted in the closing of several large production facilities in Norway and Europe. Now some of these industry sites are in transition, and aim to function as a nesting ground for business development.

Success factors for the development of new business

In SusValueWaste we have done a case study of Treklyngen which was compared with Borregaard and the collaboration between Norske Skog Skogn and Biokraft. The study is particularly focusing on the utilisation of side-streams and rest-materials in wood-processing industries and shows that collaboration in and across the value chains, as well as co-localisation, are important success factors for the development of new business opportunities. The market for new processes and products is in radical change and requires long-term perspectives for industry development and policy framework conditions.

Gathering the industry

On 20th of September 2018, Oslo Renewable Energy and Environment Cluster (OREEC) and SusValueWaste invited to a breakfast seminar to talk about the possibilities for value creation in the forest-based industry. Various industry actors, researchers, and policy makers attended, and a range of topics were discussed. Some of the main learning points were the importance of pilots and demonstration projects, long term policies and patient policy makers supporting the industry. 

The SusValueWaste study of the forest industry is in the final stage and will be published in “From Waste to Value: Valorisation Pathways for Organic Waste Streams in Circular Bioeconomies”, a forthcoming book (2019) that will include various studies part of the SusValueWaste project.

Speakers at OREEC and SusValueWaste’s breakfast seminar 20th of September 2018 and links to their presentations (most in Norwegian):

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