10.09.2020 -

Finland creates a better future with wood processing innovations.

The forest is an integral part of Finnish national identity. This has always been the case and it certainly will always be the case. And there is enough forest in Finland, as up to 75% of Finland’s surface area is covered by forest. 2,500 million cubic meters of trunk trees grow in Finnish forests, and more than 150 million new trees are planted in the forests every year. Many people do not know that there are more than half as many trees again growing in Finland now than there were 50 years ago.

Finnish forests are well taken care of and this is just as well, as the forest directly or indirectly provides livelihood for tens of thousands of Finns. An extensive business ecosystem has emerged around bioforestry, built alongside the traditional forest industry. Traditionally, this business area has focused on the production and development of low-processed raw materials such as paper and board, but recently several highly developed wood processing innovations have also entered both the local and international market from Finland. Examples are Spinnova, which makes softwood cellulose fiber yarn, Woodly, which makes carbon-neutral, recyclable wood-based plastic, Woodio, which makes washbasins made of waterproof solid wood composite, and Sulapac, which makes wood-based biodegradable packaging. Large and long-established forestry companies such as UPM have also introduced new wood-based innovations to the market. Among other things, UPM recently launched the FibDex wound dressing, which is made from a wood-based raw material and is especially suitable for the treatment of large wound areas.

Raw materials from the forest are often used even in surprising places, for example  to improve the binding characteristics of ingredients in ketchup, toothpaste, bakery products and laundry powders. (The above are examples of  around 800 products that use carboxymethylcellulose, also known as CMC or cellulose rubber. Read more here.)

Finland has a really long history in wood processing. Personally, I see that the future of our economy lies in these new innovations. ” says Markus Heinonen, Marketing Manager of the Forest Finland project. This multi-year project aims to highlight the solutions offered by the use of forests and to illustrate how our forests form an integral part of our daily lives.

The Forest Finland project is led by the Finnish Forest Association and is backed by several forest industry parties, such as the Finnish Forest Foundation, Forest Industry Association, Metsähallitus, MTK, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Finnish Forest Center, Wood Processing Engineers and the Foresters’ Foundation.

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