Global trends influence the approaches and mindset for using natural resources and technological capacities. Participatory scenario methods have proven useful in long-term foresight. However, country-level foresight studies often ignore the broader trends affecting international markets and setting frames for economic development. This study envisions which global trends could occur and how the resulting European policies might affect the Finnish forest sector’s development in 2040. We applied a Futures Wheel approach, where stakeholder groups consisting of policy-, economic- and social sustainability-, technology-, and climate sustainability -experts in the field of forestry and interlinking industries created three future scenarios in a workshop: (1) biodiversity and regulated economy, (2) circular economy, and (3) era of social connection. The scenarios assumed growing resource scarcity as a result of climate change, as well as over-consumption and increasing inequality problems globally. Thus, European-level policies focused on the circular economy and resource-use restrictions. Finnish industries should invest in wood-based side stream and waste utilization to increase added value and decrease virgin wood uses to succeed in these scenarios. However, this would require investments in non-wood energy sources to release these secondary wood flows from energy uses.
Kunttu, J.; Wallius, V.; Kulvik, M.; Leskinen, P.; Lintunen, J.; Orfanidou, T.; Tuomasjukka, D. Exploring 2040: Global Trends and International Policies Setting Frames for the Finnish Wood-Based Economy. Sustainability 2022, 14, 9999. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14169999