New Pöyry report details EUR40 billion opportunity for forest industry

 

Moving just 1% of global business in packaging, plastics and fossil based material could earn up to EUR40 billion in revenue for the sustainable economy, according to a new Pöyry study.

The report, Point of View: The Recarbonisation Revolution, suggests that a recarbonisation revolution of global material flows not only helps the world tackle climate change, it also represents a multi-billion Euro business opportunity for forest-based industries.

The report applies a modest 1% transition to some core markets:

  • Packaging: Moving 1% of the packaging market from fossil plastics to biopackaging equates to 6 billion Euros in turnover.
  • Plastics: Moving 1% from fossil plastics to bioplastics equates to about 3.5 billion Euros of new biobusiness.
  • Material Flow: Substitute 1% of the global volume of fossil fuels with biomass, and process that biomass further in the forest industry would equate to roughly 30 billion Euros of annual new biobusiness.

In the wake of climate change issues, new developments in technology and materials sciences have converged to make the ‘recarbonisation revolution’ necessary and possible.

While quantifying the exact benefits of bio-based solutions and recarbonisation is complicated, a renewable bio-based solution still beats a fossil-fuel-based one. The carbon in recarbonised flows is CO2-neutral as part of a closed loop as long as the loop functions well. For example, eliminating plastic bags globally would reduce the equivalent of the UK’s total annual CO2 emissions by 5%.

“Recarbonisation is already a global business with a turnover in the tens of billions of Euros and major players across the globe. There is room for many winners in the recarbonisation revolution as companies are only now organising the complex value chains,” said Petri Vasara, head of Biofutures at Pöyry and author of the report.

Four material platforms stand out as examples of the possibilities of recarbonisation: lignin, sugar, nanocellulose and graphene. The first three are carbon-based and graphene is pure carbon. Together they have the potential to radically change the materials world. When lignin, sugar, nanocellulose and graphene are mixed with each other and/or other materials into biocomposites, there is a great deal of possibilities in materials production.

 

Image: File photo

Source: Pöyry/ Edited by Panels & Furniture Asia