Working closely with our customers in the forestry sector, we always follow the beat of the industry, main trends and forecasts that might affect the way we work and see the sector as a whole, all over the globe. The year at Timbeter started with the great news of the successful close of a financing seed round. And as we look forward to 2020, here are some of the trends that we are following and might shape the industry.
China bans on illegally sourced timber
China, the world’s largest timber importer, recently amended its Forest Law to include a nationwide ban on buying, transporting, and/or processing illegally sourced timber, as well as added focus on traceability.
This update to the law is the first one done in 20 years. It is unclear how the country will enforce the ban, but it is clear that this has the potential to be a transformative market change in the industry. Experts consulted by Bloomberg Environment pointed out that some of the language in the draft of the law could be difficult to enforce.
Nevertheless, as the world’s largest timber importer and major processing hub, China’s commitment would help advance global climate actions. The final document is expected to be presented to at the 15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties (CBD COP) in October, which China will host.
Tree planting as a solution for climate change
The United States joined the initiative One Trillion Trees Initiative at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The initiative has been described as an ambitious effort to bring together the government and the private sector to plant new trees in the U.S. and all around the world.
The main idea behind the initiative is that tree planting is a nature-based solution to climate change, since trees and soil can take in and store the heat-trapping carbon from the atmosphere that is warming the planet. There are important political figures giving their support for the plan.
Wooden skyscrapers taking cities landscapes
Many high profile architecture and construction projects of skyscrapers and neighborhoods from Chicago to Copenhagen are using wood, and in recent studies researchers argue that timber construction could become a critical carbon sink in cities around the world, acting in much the same way that trees do.
One of the most recent studies that point out to this possibility was written by researchers from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. For this to be a reality, one of the most important challenges is to create truly non-combustible wood products, although, already wood construction guidelines are generally accepted worldwide.
Researchers point out that a second way mass timber construction could affect in a positive way is that both concrete and steel generate giant amounts of carbon emissions. This trend is leading an important discussion in the U.S. as well. Check it out!
Digitalizing the sector is the key
Around the world, the forestry sector is undergoing a deep digital transformation to bring efficiency through technology, be it artificial intelligence, data management and cloud storage, such as what Timbeter is making available to its customers, to drone and satellite technology. In developed economies that lead the forestry sector, such as Canada and the U.S., the need for innovation and digital transformation to cut costs and be more efficient is even more pressing.
Image: Mjøstårnet in Norway became the world’s tallest timber tower. Photo by: Peter Fiskerstrand