MONTREAL, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) today released a breakthrough study that shows how the Canadian
forest sector can become a pivotal player in tomorrow's marketplace by
thriving in the new bio-age.
The bio-economy is an exploding global market worth trillions of dollars
that reflects a growing environmental sensibility and a paradigm shift
towards products that come from natural renewable sources.
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
The project was guided by FPAC with essential partners including
FPInnovations and the Canadian Forest Service with help from experts in
fields such as bio-technology 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 the Honourable Christian
Paradis, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "Our government is
partnering with Canada's forest industry to build a more sustainable
and prosperous future for our forest sector. We are proud to be part of
"This has extraordinary implications for Canada's future prosperity,"
says Avrim Lazar, the President and CEO of FPAC. "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," he says.
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. The second phase shows that there are markets for these add-on products and
it documents the path forward.
Led by FPAC, the Canadian forest industry is already rapidly approaching
the highest environmental standards for forest management. Lazar says
taking full advantage of all wood fibre will further Canada's market
edge as a green supplier. "Many of these new products such as
bio-chemicals and bio-plastics will replace materials now made from
fossil fuels. In contrast, trees are renewable and part of nature's
cycle. It also means more value from fewer trees and virtually zero
waste. All in all, extracting numerous bio-materials from our vast
forest resources will be a tremendous competitive advantage for
Canada." he says.
"We've done our homework. Beyond the R&D, we now have the technologies
to convert wood fibre into innovative and high value bio-products,
including composite materials, specialty chemicals and bio-energy",
says Pierre Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of
FPInnovations. "As part of the forest industry's transformation
strategy, we are committed to maintaining our leadership role in
implementing and commercializing these new bio-products. This is a big
step forward in leading Canada into the new bio-age", concludes
FPAC is calling on government and the private sector to help build on
the momentum. "This study's roadmap shows that if we get it right,
there is immense economic potential," says Avrim Lazar. "It's now time
to invest and embrace these prospects so that one of Canada's oldest
industries can become a vital player in one of the newest sectors, the
For more information, you can go to www.fpac.ca/bio-pathways.
SOURCE FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
For further information:
Executive Director, Public Relations
Forest Products Association of Canada