In a world increasingly focused on reducing its carbon footprint, a new bio-economy has emerged, one in which forest-based materials have a significant advantage over materials that are non-renewable and/or require large amounts of fossil fuel energy to manufacture.
With its vast forest resource and proven track record in sustainable forest management, British Columbia is positioned to be a world leader in the production of both traditional and new bio-products – while creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
COFI and FPInnovations, with financial assistance from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and the Canadian Forestry Service, have partnered to accelerate investment in the BC interior forest bioeconomy.
The work has three key themes:
- Maximizing the Economically Available Fibre
- Enabling Investment in the Bio Economy
- Emerging Bio-Products Markets and Economics
By transforming operations to also produce new products from wood, forest products companies can capture new markets, support rural communities and government services as well as ensuring well-paying, family supporting jobs.
Whether it is supplying the dynamic green building market, the green energy market or manufacturing next generation biofuels and biomaterials, BC has the right ingredients.
The Forest Products Association of Canada working with FPInnovations and others studied the potential for the Canadian industry in the Biopathways Project:
Key findings of the project were:
- There are numerous viable options to convert forest biomass into bioenergy, biochemical and biomaterials
- To maximize jobs and financial returns, the best way to pursue these options is to integrate them with the existing forest products industry
- The forest products sector is already producing bioproducts but there is potential to increase their contribution to the bottom line.