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Forest Products Industry

Net zero roadmap for UK timber industry

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 48 Minuten
A new timber industry net zero roadmap for the UK aims to accelerate the productivity, sustainability, and innovation of the sector to better meet the needs of a low-carbon world. Source: Timberbiz Commissioned by Timber Development UK (TDUK) in collaboration with 11 UK timber trade associations, the Timber Industry Net Zero Roadmap was developed following a comprehensive effort to map admeasure carbon emissions across the whole supply chain. The first step of the roadmap has been to outline the size of the challenge, with 12 months of expert analysis showing the timber supply chain is responsible for 1,575,356 tonnes COe territorial emissions, which is about 0.35% of the UK total. While this is very low compared with other manufacturing industries such as UK steel production, which is responsible for 12 million tonnes COe (2.7% of UK emissions), and concrete, which is responsible for 7.3 milliontonnes COe (1.5% of UK emissions), the Roadmap starts from the position that no emissions are acceptable. The Roadmap also seeks to influence the 3,655,715 tonnes COe of imported embodied emissions which comes from the processing of wood products in the country of origin. This figure, taken together with territorial emissions, would make the timber industry responsible for about 0.68% of the UK’s total emissions. Of the total consumption emissions, 49% of these emissions are from the transport of timber products, and 34% are embodied in imported materials. The remaining 17% are from the UK production processes withinthe industry, and waste. One of the key aims of the Roadmap says Timber Development UK sustainability director Charlie Law, is to challenge the misconception that as the timber supply chain comes from a low-carbon base, there are few opportunities for the timber supply chain to influence their emissions. “There are some really quick wins in there for businesses wherever you are in the supply chain, which can be put into practice now. And if you reduce your carbon, you reduce your costs. “If you change the energy source for heat for your factory processes, reduce the waste from your product manufacture, or reduce your energy use by using better lightbulbs – there are literally thousands of ways both big and small you can start reducing your emissions. “This includes for the single biggest contributor to the timber industries carbon profile – transport. While there aren’t yet many fully electric HGV options, to remove these emissions, there are ways to be more efficient. And if you’re using less diesel, you reduce your emissions and your fuel costs. “ The most important first step he says, is making sure you can accurately count your carbon emissions. This is why the Roadmap is being rolled out with both free, and recommended, tools to help businesses better understand their emissions profile. “Once you have an emissions profile for your business, you see not just your environmental impact, but also your operational inefficiencies. From here you can start your business on a pathway to be more competitive in a low-carbon market.” With a range of pathways now set out in the Roadmap for the industry to achieve Net Zero by 2050 – at the very latest – this document has been made freely available for all businesses in the timber supply chain to adopt, alongside a set of 10 high-level policy recommendations. These policy recommendations include the alignment of industry to better measure carbon, as well as set dates and actions to reduce road transport emission intensity, manufacturing emissions intensity, and more along with tools to help businesses make the change happen.  

IKEA rejects Russia and turns to Poland, Lithuania and Sweden for wood

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 49 Minuten
IKEA is using more wood from Sweden and the Baltics to make up for not sourcing it from Russia and Belarus which the company has shunned due to Moscow’s war in Ukraine, its wood supply boss said in an interview. Source: Reuters The world’s biggest furniture brand and one of the world’s top wood users used 20 million cubic metres of wood in its products, packaging and communication material in the 12 months through August 2022. “We have managed to replace those (Russia and Belarus) volumes in other countries on a very hot wood market,” Ulf Johansson, Global Wood Supply and Forestry Manager at brand owner Inter IKEA, told Reuters. Sweden, the Baltics, Poland and Germany are among countries where IKEA’s wood sourcing has increased as a result of the war in Ukraine, he said, adding that some of the solutions might be long-term and others short-term. Russia and Belarus were IKEA’s fifth and sixth biggest wood suppliers before the war, accounting for 6% and 5% respectively of its supplies, the company’s website said. The company on Thursday launched a map on its website showing the origin of all its wood to meet customers’ demands for more transparency. Poland, followed by Lithuania and Sweden were the three biggest suppliers in the 12 months through August 2022. IKEA says it uses only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or recycled wood. It banned suppliers from using Russian and Belarusian wood after FSC suspended its certification in the two countries due to the invasion. IKEA stores in Russia have been closed since March, while IKEA owned shopping malls remain open. Inter IKEA’s four factories in the country are closed and up for sale. Johansson said IKEA is now the midst of a review of its long-term wood supply strategy, in terms of alternatives to Russia but also in light of expansion plans for South America where it opened its first store in 2022. “Now it also looks like the raw material market is going down a bit so it is maybe a little easier situation right now,” he said. Wood prices are easing after surging in the past few years, partly in response to increased demand for packaging during the pandemic as people shopped online. IKEA has in recent years been buying and managing forests in a number of countries through its investment vehicle Ingka Investments, from which it might use wood and wood products in the future. While IKEA says managing forests responsibly will help mitigate climate change, it does not yet include that business in its overall target to be climate positive by 2030 due to difficulties measuring carbon capture and storage.  

Financial compensation for refusing felling

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 49 Minuten
During 2022, the Norwegian Forestry Agency paid out approximately SEK 250 million (approx A$34M) in compensation in 110 cases where landowners were denied felling in forests near mountains. Source: Timberbiz The number of new applications for felling fell during the year, but the pressure is still high, and it can currently take a long-time before an application is decided and ready. In 2021, the number of new applications to fell in the mountains broke records. At the same time, the Norwegian Forestry Agency made a decision to reject the equivalent of SEK 300 million covering 12,600 hectares. During the same year, SEK 75 million was paid out to landowners who were refused felling. The Norwegian Forestry Agency’s compilation for 2022 shows that close to SEK 250 million was paid out during the year covering 7,100 hectares of forest where high natural values have now been preserved. “We continue to invest a lot of resources in ensuring that the landowners receive a legally secure handling and as quickly as possible receive notification and the financial compensation they are entitled to,” said Staffan Norin, regional manager, Norwegian Forestry Agency Region North. All in all, with the continued high number of cases handled by the Norwegian Forestry Agency, it can take 1.5 years to get a decision on the application, depending on when in the year it is received. In addition, it may take another year or so to receive information about the size of the compensation. “The right to compensation is regulated by law and is not affected by budget changes. Everyone who becomes eligible for compensation will receive it. “But every matter takes time and even though we have many employees who handle this now, the payment can unfortunately be delayed,” said Kristina Nilson, coordinator of the Norwegian Forestry Agency. Each case is tried according to the regulations that exist, which means an investigation of natural values, the age of the forest, the possibility of growing new forest and what needs there are to take the environment into account. It is often required that the Norwegian Forestry Agency make field visits when there is no snow, in the forests where the assessments are more difficult to make. In cases where the landowner is entitled to compensation, the timber volume in the forest must be measured to determine the size of the compensation, also in the field. The stock is then valued and a decision is made on the size of the compensation. The number of applications differs between the counties in a mountain environment, largely depending on the ownership structure, but also on how the geography looks. Most cases are handled in Jämtland County, which handled 169 during the year out of a total of 290 decided cases. In the area closest to the mountains, you may not cut down without permission from the Swedish Forestry Agency, unlike the rest of the country, where in the vast majority of cases you need to make a report. The Norwegian Forestry Agency then examines the application and issues a decision. The Norwegian Forestry Agency can refuse permission for felling for measures that may significantly affect natural and cultural environmental values. If the landowner’s application for a permit is rejected, the landowner may be entitled to compensation. According to the judgments from the Land and Environmental Supreme Court that won legal force in June 2020, it has been determined that the right to compensation applies to the forest owner who is not allowed to cut down and full trespass compensation must be paid, that is 125% of the reduction in market value. Mountain forest includes the forest along the mountain chain from Norrbotten to the northern parts of Dalarna.The area includes approximately 1.2 million hectares of productive forest land.

Australian High Commissioner visits Scion

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 50 Minuten
Scion hosted Australian High Commissioner Her Excellency Harinder Sidhu in Rotorua recently. During her first visit to Rotorua, Ms Sidhu took the opportunity to visit the building, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata, to learn how Scion scientists are leading the way in New Zealand with research exploring the circular bioeconomy. Source: Timberbiz She also discovered how our research strategy is aligned with the goals of Ngā Hapū e Toru as tangatawhenua of the land where Scion has its headquarters at the Te Papa Tipu Innovation Park. With partnerships important to both Scion and Australia, Scion’s general manager for Forests to Biobased Products Florian Graichen explained how scientists have built collaborative relationships across the Tasman and around the world to advance research internationally. He also highlighted the opportunities for businesses to benefit from Scion’s research, innovation and technology. Ms Sidhu explored Scion’s exhibition space and discovered examples of how Scion’s research is contributing to efforts aimed at reducing waste and New Zealand’s reliance on products made from fossil fuels. She says the visit to Scion was a highlight of her time in Rotorua. “Scion is an impressive example of cutting-edge research and innovation in New Zealand. I’m delighted to learn of the many collaborations between Scion and Australian universities and institutions.” Dr Graichen says it was a privilege and pleasure to host and meet with Her Excellency the High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu and discuss challenges and opportunities that a transition to circular bio economies could bring for Australia and New Zealand. “It is one of the most exciting parts of my role to have the opportunity to share the exciting work that our Scion staff are doing.”

Major log transport event shows off new innovations

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 51 Minuten
As log transport continues to evolve and innovations are plentiful so is the need to roll out the array of new innovations in electric, hydrogen and diesel hybrid powered vehicles as well as truck automation and platooning. Source: Timberbiz To cater for this an event is scheduled for 23-24 May in New Zealand which has been organised by the Forest Industry Engineering Association with support of all key trucking associations involved in forestry and log transport. This is the first dedicated log transport event to be run in more than five years and will include a conference, trade exhibits and workshops. Items of special interest will include: The first Australasian electric log truck using exchangeable batteries Operations of the first hydrogen powered log and timber haulage trucks Trial results on running diesel-hydrogen hybrid transport fleets Rolling out scalable hydrogen refuelling networks across NZ Development of the first off -road in-forest log truck platooning Robotic and mobile log scaling measurements Operations of new automated chain throwing & tensioning. The event is called Wood Transport & Logistics and it will be held in Rotorua, New Zealand and live streamed for Australian companies unable to travel into New Zealand or for remote delegates from outside this region. Program details and registrations have gone live and other information on this event can now be found on the event website www.woodtransport.event

Signs on the horizon that home building will get cheaper

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 51 Minuten
Builders and new homeowners are breathing a sigh of relief with signs that home building inflationary pressures are easing says Master Builders Acting CEO Shaun Schmitke. Source: Timberbiz The cost of purchasing a new home decelerated sharply with an increase of just 1.7% during the December 2022 quarter. Earlier in the year, new home purchase costs had grown at their fastest pace on record due to increased costs of labour and materials. “After a period of high inflation off the back crippling labour shortages and high material costs, we are starting to see some easing in the cost of building a home. “As state and federal governments continue to roll out incentives to assist housing affordability, we expect this will help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for Australians and further slow the rate of inflation for new dwellings. “Master Builders urges the Housing Supply and Affordability Council to look closely around continuity and duplication of shared equity, loans and grant schemes in order to maintain a steady pipeline of housing projects and reduce the cost Australians pay for a home,” Mr Schmitke said. Overall, annual inflation rose to 7.8% during the December quarter, the highest since 1990. However, this was a little lower than anticipated by the RBA. Inflation is now in the process of easing, and this is likely to continue over the course of 2023. “While we are seeing a slowing in demand for new homes, we recognise the Reserve Bank has a difficult challenge to strike the right balance when curbing inflation. “It is worth pointing out that interest rate increases are adding to the cost pressures in some parts of the economy. Rental inflation is now at its highest in over a decade as landlords are forced to pass higher mortgage repayments onto tenants. “Non-discretionary costs such as electricity, labour, land supply and material costs are continuing to have a negative impact on the sector. “The cost of doing business in the building and construction industry needs to be addressed with bottlenecks in our migration system, unnecessary regulatory burdens on builders and a lack of land supply. “The industry will continue to work closely with the federal and state governments to tackle these challenges head on,” Mr Schmitke said.  

Liberal Wayne Farnham takes over Gary Blackwood’s West Gippsland seat

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 51 Minuten
Liberal Wayne Farnham has secured the West Gippsland seat of Narracan two months after the Victorian state election. Source: Timberbiz He replaces Gary Blackwood who held the seat for the Liberals for 16 years before retiring before last year’s State election. The poll was postponed following the death of Nationals candidate Shaun Gilchrist just days before the 26 November election. Mr Farnham edged out Greens candidate Alyssa Weaver (11.6%) and independent Tony Wolfe (10%) to claim the victory eight weeks after the state election was decided. New Liberal leader John Pesutto welcomed Mr Farnham, saying he ran a “strong local campaign”. “Over many months, Wayne has run a strong local campaign, earning the trust of his community and demonstrating his ability to be a powerful and effective voice for Narracan,” he said on Saturday. “The effort he has displayed, along with his team, has been reflected in today’s result. “Wayne has been a loud advocate for local issues such as the much-needed West Gippsland Hospital and has proven he will work tirelessly in the interest of his local community. “He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to working closely with him over the next four years.” The win in Narracan now sees the Coalition hold 28 seats with the Government winning 56.

NZ’s Timber Design Centre program designed by the industry

Australian timber industry news - vor 13 Stunden 52 Minuten
Envisioning a future where timber is used more widely in mid to high rise buildings and contributes to carbon neutral targets, is an exciting opportunity in building design. The tools to make this a reality are now coming together with the Timber Design Centre, launched in March 2022. Source: Timberbiz The centre’s work program will be co-designed with a wide range of people involved in the building construction process including developers, designers, council planners and consenters, architects, engineers, builders, building owners, students and researchers. The centre is an initiative between Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service and a consortium comprising Scion, the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association, New Zealand Timber Design Society and BRANZ. The greater use of timber in construction provides an opportunity for the sector to support the Government’s commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2050, while realising the broader economic and well-being benefits of including wood products in multi-storied buildings. New Zealand’s built environment accounts for about 20% of the country’s carbon footprint owing to the emission of greenhouse gasses over the full life cycle of buildings. This includes embodied emissions of building materials and products. The time is right for New Zealand to have a dedicated timber knowledge centre that provides advice and guidance on timber construction. Over recent years, the interest in engineered timber construction has increased significantly and the Timber Design Centre will help ensure that clients, designers, contractors and authorities have all the information they need to build efficiently in timber. For more information, visit www.timberdesigncentre.co.nz


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by Dr. Radut