Vision2020

Vision2020


 

Canada's Natural Advantage

Read Vision2020 Report Card 2010 - 2012: Pathways to Prosperity

By 2020, the Canadian forest products industry will power Canada’s new economy by being green, innovative and open to the world. It is a place to grow and prosper. Our goals are:


 

Products

In 2012, FPAC launched the Vision2020 challenge and we committed to reporting publicly on the collective progress of the industry every two years. Below you will find our first progress report looking back to the years 2010 to 2012 on the Products goal of generating an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new innovations and growing markets.

CONTEXT

The products goal reflects the optimism of the forest product industry about its ability to create new economic activity through innovation. 
The forest products industry has a long history of adopting new innovative processes and technologies.  Through the challenges of recent years, the sector’s need to innovate has deepened as it sought new ways to maximize value from Canada’s forests. Industry and government players realized that innovation in knowledge, products, policy and processes is necessary for the industry’s future success.

PROGRESS TO DATE

As one might expect, adopting new products and entering new markets does not happen overnight.  The results thus far are modest and do not yet capture the full extent of the effort being made by the industry and its partners.  In the two years between 2010 and 2012 when the industry was still recovering from the recession, it was also making strategic investments for future growth.  The figures for 2013 and 2014 are expected to show a further pick up.  For example, initial figures show wood exports went up 27% in 2013 and Statistics Canada reports that the GDP of Canada’s forest products industry grew by 3.4% in 2013, faster than the overall economy (2%).

 

As the industry moves into new products and new customers, the way it accounts for our economic activity will also need to evolve.  In developing this first report card for Vision2020, FPAC realized that the Statistics Canada measurement of economic activity in the forest sector doesn’t include a separate category to measure bio-energy and other bio-products created by our companies.

Further improvements in economic activity are expected as the global recovery takes hold, as a more diversified portfolio of new innovative products comes on stream and as Canada takes advantage of expanding markets.  The signing of new free trade agreements such as those with the European Union and Korea will also be helpful.  At the same time exports to the United States are rebounding with housing starts recovering to around the one million mark. The recent weakening of the Canadian dollar will also generate a competitive advantage in the international marketplace for years to come.

As the forest products sector attempts to increase exports, it continues to be challenged by a stressed transportation system especially as trade flows move beyond north-south to east-west. Right-sizing the transportation system will be necessary to ensure the sector retains its reputation as a reliable global supplier.

BUILDING THE MOMENTUM

The opportunity to extract increased value from every tree harvested is dependent on ingenuity, continuous innovation and aggressive pursuit of new products and new markets.  The activities of individual companies will continue to propel this growth.  But no one company can do it alone.  In the first two years of Vision2020, FPAC has already identified many ways that government policy, ongoing research and effective partnerships can assist in reaching the ambitious goal of generating an additional $20 billion in new products and markets. Collaborative effort towards forest sector innovation through unique partnerships between governments, academics, technology developers and the industry is necessary to drive progress forward. Read the proposals that would help the industry reach the Vision2020 goal on page 10: Vision2020 Report Card: 2010 - 2012

Performance

In 2012, FPAC launched the Vision2020 challenge and we committed to reporting publicly on the collective progress of the industry every two years. Below you will find our first progress report looking back to the years 2010 to 2012 on the Environmental Performance goal of delivering a further 35% improvement in the sectors environmental footprint.

CONTEXT

The Canadian forest products industry has been very aggressive in reducing its environmental footprint.  As custodian of 10% of the world’s forests, the sector has emerged as a global environmental leader.
The pulp and paper segment of the industry has made dramatic progress in reducing air and water pollutants, for example by eliminating the use and release of toxic chemicals such as PCBs and dioxins and furans. The sector has eliminated the use of coal and reduced the use of oil to generate electricity by more than 90%. Thirty facilities now generate green electricity on site using residual materials from their operations.  Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased around 70% since 1990.
Despite this substantial progress, the sector has committed to further green its operations by an additional 35% by 2020 to maintain the Canadian industry position as a global leader in environmental credentials.



 

PROGRESS TO DATE

In 2010-2012, the reduction in waste to landfill was 31%, a most significant decrease. Canada has bolstered its position as a global leader in this area with 98% of wood residue now being used for either energy generation or composting.  More than 66% of mills’ waste water sediment is being used for either energy generation, composting or land application. 
The recycling rate also improved by another 4%. Canada has one of the highest recovery rates of waste paper and packaging in the world at 73%, significantly better than the international average of 56% and higher than Europe, Japan, China and the United States.


Energy use decreased by 8%. For example, the sector continued to invest in energy reduction projects including the installation of energy-efficient equipment to improve mills’ competitiveness and increase the production of green energy.  This has also served to improve the quality of air emissions with a reduction in particulate matter (PM) (11%), sulphur oxide (SOx) (6%) and nitrous oxide (NOx) (11%).

The sector’s water use and water quality, or biological oxygen demand (BOD), have decreased slightly since 2010 down by 3% respectively.  Companies are currently implementing projects that will improve water quality emissions and further reduce water use but more could be done if regulatory regimes were improved.

BUILDING THE MOMENTUM

By working with governments, the environmental community and the scientific community, the forest sector has made great strides in its environmental performance.  This doesn’t happen by accident, but is the result of deliberate actions by many players.  There is already a strong foundation.  The industry will continue to reach the Vision2020 goal of a further 35% reduction in the sector’s environmental footprint.Read the proposals that would help the industry reach the Vision2020 goal on page 17: Vision2020 Report Card: 2010 - 2012

People

In 2012, FPAC launched the Vision2020 challenge and we committed to reporting publicly on the collective progress of the industry every two years. Below you will find our first progress report looking back to the years 2010 to 2012 on the People goal of renewing the workforce with at least 60,000 new recruits, including women, Aboriginals and immigrants.

CONTEXT

Throughout Canada’s history, the forest products industry has been one of the most significant contributors to employment.  The job numbers have dropped from the peak of nearly 380,000 in the 1970s and in recent years the workforce has stabilized at a level of about 235,000 employees.  When indirect jobs are included the number soars to nearly 600,000 across Canada, mainly in rural areas.
Those job numbers are expected to grow as the rebounding industry hires news employees to replace its aging workforce and fills new positions as the sector expands and innovates. 
For Vision2020, FPAC set the goal of refreshing the workforce with at least 60,000 new workers by the end of the decade. This includes the need to replace roughly 40,000 retiring baby boomers because of the older demographic in the sector plus an additional 20,000 net new positions.



 

PROGRESS TO DATE

Forest product companies in Canada are now starting to hire again and the sector recruited 8,000 workers in the period 2010 to 2012, mainly to replace retiring baby-boomers. The pace of hiring is set to further increase as the industry transforms. Forest products companies, similar to those in other sectors, are reporting difficulties in replacing skilled workers. The sector is currently in need of all types of workers such as millwrights, pipefitters, engineers, forest technicians, truck drivers and management personnel.

FPAC launched TheGreenestWorkforce.ca to help rebrand the industry and attract a new generation of employees to the sector.  The industry is also looking to adopt best practices for hiring and retaining workers, and work co-operatively with other sectors and governments on policies and programs that would increase the pools of skilled workers in Canada.

BUILDING THE MOMENTUM

The forest products industry has always been one of the largest employers in Canada.  After a period of retrenchment, the sector is hiring again.  However there are many challenges ahead: convincing Canadians there is a bright future in the industry; competing with other sectors for workers; and attracting the right skills for a sector that is transforming.  With cooperation from industry, governments, communities, labour unions and the academic communities and, FPAC feels confident in reaching the goal of refreshing the workforce with at least 60,000 new recruits by the end of the decade. Read the proposals that would help the industry reach the Vision2020 goal on page 22: Vision2020 Report Card: 2010 - 2012

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