By Linda Eriksson, Advisor – Forest Policy, Swedish Forest Industries Federation
In late September we left Sweden with a delegation from the Swedish Forest Industries Federation (SFIF) and some of our member companies to visit Canada. Sweden is a very small country in comparison to Canada and we need to be aware of what is influencing other countries in order for Sweden to stay among the world leaders in forestry and the forest industry. We had an extremely interesting and inspiring day in Ottawa with our sister organization FPAC, the Forest Products Association of Canada.
Canada and Sweden are both uniquely positioned to take the lead in the changeover to a new bioeconomy, using renewable biomass from forests to replace fossil based energy and materials. Forest resources are of great value: growing forests bind carbon dioxide and wood-based products continue to store carbon for the whole of their lifespan. The transition from fossil to renewable resources makes a major contribution towards reducing climate change thanks to the avoided emissions.
We also have a new vision in the Swedish Forest Industry: The forest business will drive growth in the world´s bioeconomy. By managing the potential of the forest, we enable the global bioeconomy to grow, not just in Sweden. By offering products from renewable materials that everyone needs in their daily life, we can help to create a sustainable future.
There are many similarities in both the challenges as well as the opportunities in both our countries and we noticed some strategies that are well in line. FPAC had a Bio-Pathways program for Canada while we have our BioInnovation program in Sweden. Both aim at transforming our industry well into the future.
Something that we definitely will take with us back over the Atlantic is FPACs very impressive work with recruiting a new generation of employees under the brand of “Canada´s greenest workforce”. It is very important for the future of our industry whether in Canada or Sweden to be able to hire and retain talent as we both work hard to change the picture of our industry.
Before heading home we also travelled west to Vancouver and Prince George to see more of your BIG country.
Next time we hope to see you in Sweden!