Promoting the bioeconomy will call for a broader change in thinking patterns and interdisciplinary collaboration. This was the conclusion of a round table discussion on the bioeconomy arranged by Metsä Group at the end of September. The event heard presentations from Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament, Jussi Haarasilta, Vice President and Head of Underwriting of Finnvera, Liisa Rohweder, Secretary General of WWF Finland and futurist Mika Aaltonen. About 20 representatives of various stakeholders took part in the round table.
Opening the event, Metsä Fibre CEO Ilkka Hämälä and Riikka Joukio, SVP Sustainability and Corporate Affairs at Metsä Group, stressed the importance of the forest industry as a key player in promoting and enabling the bioeconomy. Figures compiled by the Finnish Forest Industries Federation indicate that this sector generates about two thirds of Finland's renewable energy. "In addition to bioenergy and conventional pulp and paper industry products, we now produce various modern biomaterials and chemicals. Metsä Group products are already used in more than 80 countries around the world," Hamala explained.
"We are already an important stakeholder in the bioeconomy, with operations based on processing wood from sustainably managed forests into high-quality products that are also recyclable. The new bioproduct mill, now under construction in ÄÄnekoski, is a significant step forward for the Finnish bioeconomy. For the sake of a sustainable future, it is now important to engage in full and frank dialogue on opportunities and limitations from the perspectives of regulation, competitiveness, use of resources and financing," Riikka Joukio continued.The event generated a diverse discussion on the future of the bioeconomy.