|| Written by Kevin H. Touchette
Forest diversity is a wealth of first instance for Canada. Forest industry is resulting in a multitude of economic, social and environmental benefits. Canada is the second largest country in the holder of forests worldwide, representing 40% of its 9 million hectares. It is the first as wood producer products, generating $58 billion in economic activities. Several other countries, such as Sweden, Finland and Brazil can be productive, but none can receive as many economic benefits as Canada. Although the forest industry represents a significant part of the economy in the country, did you know that the commercial forest land exploited each year do not surpass 1%?
This is why the country can produce sustainably and export a lot of quality products, such as softwood lumber, newsprint, printing and writing paper, structural wood panels, pulp, and many other value-added products, from this natural resource. United States, China and Japan form the main buyer’s market trio of more than 180 countries where Canada exports and it is not surprising to count that nearly 235 000 direct jobs dependent on the industry.
MAJOR SUB-SECTORS OF FORESTRY
- Production of solid wood products (lumber, structural panels, carpentry/engineering wood products) represents approximately 45% of the Canadian economy.
- Manufacture of pulp and paper (newsprint, printing/writing paper, toilet paper, rayon) represents approximately 35% of the Canadian economy.
- Forestry and logging (field operations, timber harvesting, slaughter, and transport to the mills) represents approximately 20% of the Canadian economy.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Canada is no longer the forest industry in recent decades. Of course, we always produce lumber and pulp and paper, but innovation is now the practice of growth, with companies that transform revenue residue and extract more value from every tree harvested. Bio-economy, nanotechnology and 3D printing are some of the incredible possibilities of the sector. Now we can find the wood fiber in an HDTV, in rayon blouses and dresses, in the console of a Ford Lincoln, in pharmaceuticals products, in ice cream and many other products. On timber side, technological advances now allow to build tallest wooden buildings that are increasingly safe, strong and sophisticated.
A RESPONSIBLE CHOICE
Because it is accommodating to work with wood and this material is durable, safe, pleasant and beautiful; it has always been popular in construction. In this age where there is concern about increasing climate changes, wood is a more attractive choice because it is a renewable resource. Given the increasing world population and demand for resources, renewable and recyclable resources such as wood represent a responsible choice for buyers and consumers. Various Canadian wood products can meet all the needs for construction or renovation.
The Canadian forest products industry is known as a leader in the sustainable management of vast renewable forest resources of Canada. A survey conducted in 2014 by Léger Marketing with international clients concluded that the Canadian industry had the best reputation in the world regarding environment.
Here are some of our environmental assets
- The Canadian industry grows as many trees that they cut.
- The Canadian industry of pulp and paper has reduced its emissions of greenhouse gas by 70% since 1990.
- Many forest companies are now self-sufficient in energy, which reverse their need for fossil fuels. The factories produce enough green energy to power every home in Calgary.
- Canada has 43% of certified forests in the world; an independent third party has verified that it applies advanced social and environmental practices.
- Canadian forestry companies are working with the environmental community partners to find ways to protect the environment while maintaining jobs, especially in the framework of the Agreement on the Canadian boreal forest, an historic agreement.
- Use of wood products helps make the environment more “green” because it replaces materials with higher carbon footprint. The wood is also a carbon sink and helps to mitigate climate change.
- Canada recycles about 70% of its paper and board, a rate among the highest in the world.
- Despite this impressive record, we can do more. The industry is committed to further reduce its environmental footprint, by an additional 35% by 2020.
Obviously, sustainable forest management is a priority and central element of government policy in Canada. If the concept of sustainable forest transform itself to the changing situation, the same is true in forest policies and other initiatives to achieve it.