The Power of Partnerships: FPMU June Update Now Online

fpmuupdateThe latest Update from the Forest Products Laboratory’s Forest Products Marketing Unit (FPMU) is now available!

The June 2016 Update focuses on the power of partnerships. FPMU works closely with program delivery partners across the United States to support utilization and marketing of forest residues, small-diameter trees, and woody biomass—all generated through hazardous fuels reduction, forest management, and restoration. This Update includes a guest column from one such partner and also a calendar of upcoming classes, events, and workshops.

If you would like to receive the FPMU Update via email, send a message to asarnecki@fs.fed.us to be added to the distribution list.

Wood for Energy Focus of May “Update”

fpmuupdateThe latest Update from the Forest Products Laboratory’s Forest Products Marketing Unit (FPMU) is now available!

The May 2016 Update focuses on wood for heat and power. The Update reveals the winners of the National Wood Stove Competition and outlines the accomplishments of 21 state wood energy teams. It also includes exciting news about a new tribal sawmill operation that runs on biomass, as well as a calendar of upcoming classes, events, and workshops.

If you would like to receive the FPMU Update via email, send a message to asarnecki@fs.fed.us to be added to the distribution list.

It’s All About Mass Timber! April FPMU Update is out!

fpmuupdateThe latest Update from the Forest Products Laboratory’s Forest Products Marketing Unit (FPMU) is out!

The April 2016 Update sums up the successful Mass Timber Conference held in Portland, Oregon, last month and offers some highlights from the event. It also includes exciting news about the grand opening of the first all-cross laminated timber hotel in the U.S., as well as a calendar of upcoming classes, events, and workshops.

If you would like to receive the FPMU Update via email, send a message to asarnecki@fs.fed.us to be added to the distribution list.

Certifiably Sustainable: Systems That Safeguard Forests

Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) work with several different certification authorities when developing new technology.

Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) work with several different certification authorities when developing new technology.

Unlike metals and fossil-fuel-based products (such as plastics), our forest resource is renewable and with proper management a flow of wood products can be maintained indefinitely.

The importance of forest-based products to our economy and standard of living is hard to overemphasize — half of all major industrial raw materials we use in the United States come from forests.

However, the sustainability of this resource requires forestry and harvesting practices that ensure the long-term health and diversity of our forests. Unfortunately, sustainable practices have not always been applied in the past, nor are they universally applied around the world today.

Architects, product designers, material specifiers, and homeowners are increasingly asking for building products that are certified to be from a sustainable source.For the forest products sector, the result of this demand has been the formation of forest certification programs. These programs not only ensure that the forest resource is harvested in a sustainable fashion but also that issues of biodiversity, habitat protection, and indigenous peoples rights are included in land management plans.

More than 50 different forest certification systems in the world today represent over 700 million acres of forest land and more than 15,000 companies marketing certified products. These programs represent about 8% of the global forest area and 13% of managed forests. From 2007 to 2008, the world’s certified forest area grew by nearly 8%. North America has certified more than one-third of its forests and Europe more than 50% of its forests; however, Africa and Asia have certified less than 0.1%

Approximately 80% to 90% of the world’s certified forests are located in the northern hemisphere, where two thirds of the world’s roundwood is produced. In North America, five major certification systems are used.

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
  • American Tree Farm System (ATFS)
  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) schemes.

In terms of acreage under certification, the FSC and the SFI dominate in the United States. These two systems evolved from different perspectives of sustainability. The FSC’s guidelines are geared more to preserver natural systems while allowing for careful harvest, whereas the SFI’s guidelines are aimed at encouraging fiber productivity while allowing for conservation of resources.

The growing trends in green building are helping drive certification in the construction market in the United States. Helpful online tools provide more information and data on forest certification, including the Forest Certification Resource Center and Forest Products Annual Market Review.

For more information, please see The Wood Handbook, Wood as an Engineering Material.

Forest Products Marketing Unit Launches Monthly “UPDATE”

The Forest Products Marketing Unit (FPMU) at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) works collaboratively and strategically with Forest Service and external partners to advance high-value, high-volume markets for woody biomass.

Even small investments in woody biomass utilization can have substantial impacts. (www.bugwood.org)

The FPMU UPDATE looks to connect people across the forest-to-product market chain. (photo: www.bugwood.org)

To keep folks across the “forest-to-products” marketing chain informed and connected, the FPMU is sending a monthly UPDATE to those in industry, research, forest resource, forest management and other partners. The first UPDATE is now available on the FPL website.

Each monthly UPDATE will feature a current program, highlighting important connections between the forest to market supply chain.  Key information on upcoming events and recent news will be provided, as a means to strengthen wood utilization and marketing.

If you would like the FPMU UPDATE delivered right to your inbox, simply send an email with your request to Ann Sarnecki at asarnecki@fs.fed.us

To achieve forest restoration and foster resilient forests, support for existing markets and development of emerging markets is critical.  FPMU focuses on utilization and marketing opportunities for products and residues from forest timber harvest, land restoration activities, fuels reduction, natural disaster recovery and urban forestry.