Good News from Mon, 20 July, 2009:

Finland has the opportunity to become a forerunner in bioeconomy

Finland has the opportunity to become a forerunner in bioeconomy by taking advantage of the full potential of renewable wood, if we so wish, says Stefan Sundman, Senior Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

A speaker at the Saimaa Summit 2009 Technology and Environment forum, Sundman demanded that the decision-makers apply a long-term approach to tax, energy and climate policies, which would provide a substantial boost for Finland's development into a leading bioeconomy.

- The forest industry has the competence as well as the functioning infrastructure and logistics solutions needed for the cost-effective utilisation of biomass. In addition to wood and paper products, sophisticated next-generation biofuels, bioplastics and biochemicals can promote sustainable production and consumption in the future, said Sundman.

Sundman also pointed out that forest industry is the biggest producer of renewable energy in Finland and it primarily consumes low-emission electricity, emitting little carbon dioxide relative to its production volumes. The Finnish forest industry supplies 150 million people with wood and paper products, in addition to which it generates 70 per cent of Finland's renewable energy as part of its manufacturing processes.

Approximately 80 per cent of the electricity used by the forest industry is free of carbon dioxide emissions. The industry satisfies about 40 per cent of its electricity need with its own factory power plants. The majority of purchased electricity is produced at low-emission hydropower or nuclear plants.