Rising to the challenge: wood products today and tomorrow



Posted on 05 October 2012  | 
The U.S. is one of the top markets for wood in the world, importing nearly USD$20 billion worth of forest products in 2011. Hence, the role that U.S. companies play in the area of sustainable forestry has implications around the globe.

The market, however, is not without its challenges. Declining demand for pulp and paper products domestically, as well as rising competition from emerging economies such as China has shifted the landscape considerably for producers and buyers.

These issues, as well as other major trends, challenges and opportunities facing the North American industry were discussed at the 27th annual RISI North American Forest Products conference in Boston, U.S., attended by 275 people representing pulp and paper companies, forest products firms and investment groups.

George White, Head of GFTN, spoke about the future demand and outlook for wood and related products, and why it is crucial to halt deforestation and forest degradation to sustain forests and the markets that support them.

“Companies globally have a huge role to play in determining the future of our forests, with over 60 per cent of the global forest resource under their direct control,” White said. “North American companies have proved to be some of the top leaders in accepting social and environmental responsibility. In the future, we hope that more companies step forward to play their part in shaping a living future for our forests.”

Coastal redwood, certified forest. Big Creek, California, USA.
© Edward Parker / WWF-Canon Enlarge

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