The Forest

- a part of the bio-economy

Since the late 1800’s, the forestry industry has been an extremely important part of the Swedish economy. The traditional products, sawn timber, pulp, paper and packaging are responsible at present for just over 10% (SEK 125 billion) of Sweden’s total commodity export earnings.

These products will continue to play a central role in the forestry industry while we see significant opportunities for new product areas.

The bio-economy refers to an economy based on renewable raw materials, unlike the national economy we live in which is presently based to a large extent on fossil raw materials. The forest, because of the diversity of its raw material, forms the basis of the bio-economy.

For every tree that is harvested, at least two new trees are planted which means that forest volumes grow with each passing year. Activities within the forestry industry involve the further processing of its raw materials. Through the introduction of new ideas, it is possible to produce a variety of materials and products previously manufactured using fossil raw materials as well as entirely new products that fill important needs in society. The products can be recycled several times, and when the wood fibre has served its purpose, it can, together with residues from the forestry industry, become bio-energy for heating, electricity and fuel.

New materials and products
Major investments are being made to develop and find new uses for forest raw materials which are important for the future of the forestry industry and for society’s environmental objectives in general. “Anything that is possible to produce with oil as a base can be produced with cellulose.”

Plastics, fuels, textiles, sanitary items, electronics, glass, computer/TV screens, bio-based carbon fibre, nanocellulose, nanofilm and cellulose composites are some of the materials and products that contribute to the making of a bio-economy.