Preferable utilisation patterns of wood product industries' by-products in Finland

Published on

We explored varying preferable utilisation patterns of wood product industries' by-products, and which actions are needed to implement them. We: (i) concluded scenarios with varying justifications in Finland towards 2030; (ii) analysed the key drivers and barriers, and (iii) evaluated the likelihood of these scenarios, and their advantages and disadvantages. The study adopted a scenario analysis approach using qualitative and quantitative data, where the industry, research, interest groups, and policy experts formed and reviewed the scenarios. The scenarios were compiled by grouping similar opinions by using cluster analysis, and the qualitative content was synthesised by using a futures table, yielding three scenarios: (I) Pulp and Bioenergy; (II) Versatile uses; and (III) Long-lifetime products. In scenario I, closest to the current industry structure in Finland, the aim was to respond to existing needs. Scenario II suggested material circulation and economic risk diversification, and fossil-to-bio substitution potential, but experts considered it less probable to implement by 2030. Scenario III highlighted the long-term carbon storage in wood products, but was perceived as the most unlikely, due to significant technical and market requirements related to a massive shift from energy to long-lifetime products. The main drivers across all scenarios relate to international policy, investment in R&D, and cross-sectoral cooperation to boost material- and energy efficiency. Policies need to set more explicitly the targets behind the utilisation of by-products, but consider the industry structure dynamics too. The study points to a need for industrial transformations towards ambitious circulation, and smart regulation encouraging markets towards the targets.

Reference: Janni Kunttu; Elias Hurmekoski; Henrik Heräjärvi; Teppo Hujala; Pekka Leskinen (2020). Preferable utilisation patterns of wood product industries' by-products in Finland. Forest Policy and Economics, ISSN: 1389-9341, Vol: 110, Page: 101946