Sustainably grown renewable wood fibre is Finland's most significant natural resource.
Wood-based biomaterials are already being used to manufacture competitive, environmentally friendly products, and their use will increase in the future. To introduce these possibilities, Metsä Group presents the world's first biodegradable video production – Intelligent Fibre.
With its rich forest resources, Finland is the world's No. 1 country in bioeconomy. Metsä Group is a Finnish forest industry company leading the way – we base our business on the resource-efficient use of renewable natural resources and recyclable materials. The current welfare society is a product of the fossil economy, but we see that the unsustainable consumption can no longer continue.
The core idea behind bio and circular economy is that every part of a tree and all fractions are used for purposes that create the highest added value. The Intelligent Fibre campaign reveals the future use of wood: all featured objects – the shoe, the headphones and the scale model of the bioproduct mill – are made of biodegradable materials.
Forests are managed sustainably and each harvested tree is used 100%
Where someone else may only see trees, we see the world's best renewable raw material. Finland is the most forested country in Europe: forests cover more than 75% of our land, and we prefer to keep it that way. We plant at least four new seedlings for every tree cut in regeneration felling.
Trees are divided into timber logs, pulpwood and branches according to the purpose. Timber logs are processed optimally into high-quality wood products, and all related fractions are used in pulp production or to produce renewable energy.
In the pulp production, side streams and pulp are processed into various bioproducts, with the goal of zero waste. Metsä Group's new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, is a prime example of a sustainable ecosystem that uses and recycles nearly 100% of its material streams.
To complement traditional products like construction materials, pulp, paperboard and tissue papers, new innovative wood-based bioproducts are emerging. In the future, next-generation bioproducts may become major export products for Finland.
Demo plant to produce ecological wood based textile fibres
The most promising innovations include pulp-based textile fibres. These strong, ecological fibres may have great potential to capture the future growth over cotton and oil-based textiles. Metsä Group's new innovation company, Metsä Spring, is investing EUR 40 million in building an industrial scale demo plant to produce textile fibres in Äänekoski. The new technology is more environmentally-friendly than current technologies in the textile industry.
Metsä Group's pulp is also used, in a biocomposite that e.g. LG Electronics uses in its loudspeakers. The combination of wood-based fibre and plastic is a durable and ecological high quality material that has a smaller carbon footprint than plastics.
"Finland is among the world's best places for business operations based on the bioeconomy. The innovations of the future will be created through cooperation. As a bioeconomy ecosystem, Äänekoski is unique in the world, creating new business operations across sectors," says Niklas von Weymarn, CEO of Metsä Spring.
The bioproducts of the future are strong proof of the Finnish forest industry's ability to reinvent itself and offer sustainable alternatives to fossil materials, based on intelligent fibre.
Take a look and experience the world's first biodegradable video production Intelligent fibre. At the campaign site metsagroup.com/intelligentfibre you can also take a peek in the video's making of scenes, and read our experts' thoughts on the bioeconomy of the future.
Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and cooking papers.
Metsä Group's sales totalled EUR 5.0 billion in 2017, and it employs approximately 9,100 people. The Group operates in nearly 30 countries. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 104,000 Finnish forest owners.