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Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Jun 11, 2020

Uldis Biķis, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Latvijas Finieris 

What are the main points in Latvijas Finieris development strategy for next years?

Latvijas Finieris Group core competence is birch based products, mainly excellence in birch plywood production. We are convinced that plywood production is and will remain one of the most beneficial industrial uses of birch wood, still presenting considerable development opportunities - in the nearest future this will ensure our core business profitability. For example, we are very proud of joint development project with Stora Enso, creating a lignin-based resin for our plywood that significantly reduces the carbon footprint of plywood products all the way from production to final end-use applications. In coming years, we will work on further marketing, product and efficiency development processes.

However, the growing potential of bioeconomy and changes in the business environment calls for active and regular technological and commercial assessment of other birch based products and wood products in general. External environment requires a broader perspective in terms of bioeconomy and global trade.

This is in good line with the European Green Deal. However, one of the main goals of Green Deal initiative is Climate neutrality by the year of 2050, that requires a focus on clean and renewable energy resources. Can it become an additional burden for manufacturing industry?

Accumulation of additional competencies in technologies utilising renewable energy sources is one of Latvijas Finieris aims. But for regional and state level energy policy it is essential to obtain balance between technological development and costs. Latvia has already made serious mistakes in this regard, now a more logical, balanced development should be created within the framework of the Green Deal.

EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 is another European Commission's planning document, that might have a huge impact on business environment, especially land use sector.

I think that the key answer to this question also is in balance. Land use sustainable interaction with the maintenance of biodiversity is essential. However, it can't be achieved with stricter legislation and penalty system, but through education and the widest possible involvement of different interest groups and society at large. The discussion on biodiversity needs to be held not only with biologists but also with landowners and land users - with those who create jobs and manufacture food and consumer goods. NGOs should hold the role of key balancers in this process helping to match business, environmental and social goals.

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