Forest-Based Industries vision 2050
On 18 November 2019, the European Forest-Based Industries presented their vision “Forest-based Industries 2050: a vision for sustainable choices in a climate-friendly future”. The vision is a response to the European Commission’s 2050 climate strategy as well as to the President-elect Ursula von der Leyen’s agenda for Europe.

The vision was presented in the framework of the EU Raw Materials Week 2019 during the session “The EU Forest-based Industry: the track to 2050”. The vision has been compiled by seven organisations representing the European Forest-Based Industries (FBI) including the pulp, paper and other fibre-based product industries, the woodworking industries, the producers of furniture, the bio-energy sector and the printing industry. It explains how the European Forest-Based Industries can contribute to the 2050 climate neutrality target by becoming the most competitive, innovative and sustainable provider of net-zero carbon solutions for a climate neutral Europe. Which they will do by:

• substituting CO2-intensive raw materials and fossil energy with forest-based alternatives;

• eradicating waste and boosting recycling with a sector target of at least 90% material collection and 70% recycling rate for all wood-based products and

• driving resource efficiency and enhancing productivity in all areas including materials, manufacturing and logistics.

Malwina Nowakowska-Ketterle, Deputy Head of Unit, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials, DG GROW, indicated at the launching of the vision that “The fact that this vision was developed with all actors of the value chain is a big step forward”.

The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) has been involved in the preparation of this vision and is one the supporting organisations. Indeed, for the FBI to achieve their planned developments, their access to raw material, both from primary and secondary sources, is needed. Therefore, one of the goals of the vision is to meet the increasing demand for raw materials by maximising new secondary streams and ensuring primary raw material supply from sustainably managed forests. This is why the sustainable supply of raw material is one pathway developed in this vision.

The vision addresses the challenges and possible solutions faced by the downstream value chains and does not cover as such the manifold societal expectations on the forest sector, which should be encompassed in an updated and robust post-2020 EU Forest Strategy. This strategy should be the link between the forest sector and the FBI vision.

The next step is now to implement the vision through operational actions and measures.

The full vision can be found here.