"Metsä is ultimately controlled by a co-operative belonging to more than
100,000 families who have each owned large chunks of the forest for
generations. For every tree harvested, four saplings are planted. These
are allowed to grow for a few years and are then thinned to encourage
the best specimens to develop vigorously. The thinnings, however, are
not wasted. They are sent to the mill. The mature trees, meanwhile, are
harvested when they are between six and ten decades old. The consequence
of this husbandry, according to Finland’s Natural Resources Institute,
is that the annual growth of trees in Finland exceeds the volume of
felling and natural loss by over 20m cubic metres, despite the
increasing demand for wood.
As for the mill itself, Metsä’s stated aim is to make best use of every
part of a tree, both to maximise the value of its wood and, where
possible, to continue to lock up its carbon. To this end, besides the
bread-and-butter business of turning out planks and plywood, the firm
has come up with several new ideas. Three are of particular interest.
One is a better way of converting wood pulp into fibre that can be
turned into textiles. A second is to produce plastic-free cardboard
cartons which can be used as food containers and then recycled. The
third is to find employment for lignin, a by-product of the pulping
process which is, at the moment, usually burned."
Via Kam-Yung Soh, who wrote "Interesting. Article shows the various ways
parts of plants are used to generate products, energy or recycled."
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics