Browsing by Subject "Forest Products Marketing"

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  • Malyutin, Kirill (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The main objective was to identify and analyze the tourism management perspective to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the luxury Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (FCLL) Hotel and Resort in the Banff National Park (NP). It is viable for a company to conduct responsible business operations, especially in protected areas, because of a great influence of Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGO’s) and high customer awareness of environmental issues. Definitely, large chains of luxury hotels and resorts, such as the Fairmont, are greatly dependent on their reputation and engagement with the communities’ well-being and handling the environmental issues in the area of business operations. The thesis is divided into several parts, i.e. introduction, theoretical background, methodology and previous research, results of the research, and conclusions and discussions. Undoubtedly, all of the above mentioned parts are essential in order to get a complete picture of the thesis topic and its achieved objectives. As a matter of fact, the current Master’s thesis comprises various industries with hospitality, tourism, and forestry. In order to gain the stated objectives, a deep analysis of the literature related to the topic and online sources was conducted, as well as email interviews with some representatives, i.e. certain managers, of the FCLL. Obviously, not all of the respondents were able to answer in time or to answer at all due to various reasons; however, the received replies were enough to make their contribution to the current thesis. The questions were especially designed to fit the respondents and to get a better insight into the FCLL’s business activities in the Banff NP. As the results showed, the FCLL has a good reputation due to its dedication and achievements, regardless of the plans to build a conference center and previous negative impact on the environment in the area. FCLL is trying its best to become a good “citizen” by following its CSR practices and engaging stakeholders. The FCLL’s major focus is to diminish negative impacts from its business operations in the park, i.e. on its various environmental programs, engaging not only personnel of the company, but communities and customers. These results were used as a basis of a SWOT analysis to have a clearer and visible representation of the FCLL’s current position, taking all the issues into consideration. In conclusion, this research shows that the luxury Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and Resort in the Banff National Park has a good image and reputation due to its various environmental programs, dedication to its responsible business operations, and engagement of the involved stakeholders; therefore, it is clear the company has a great potential based on its achievements and willingness to make its positive contribution.
  • Xu, Yuan (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The increasing recognition of eco-friendly packaging in the packaging industry makes paperboard one of the most promising green packaging materials. The global demand for paperboard has increased rapidly in the past two decades. The purposes of the study are: firstly, to provide an overview of the consumption, production, imports and exports of paperboard products in different regions worldwide between 1992 and 2010. Secondly, as the Finnish paperboard industry has been highly export-oriented, the study also aims to provide quantitative analysis of the main determinants influencing the demand for Finnish paperboard exports in its main destinations-Germany and Russia by applying economic models from the first quarter of 1995 to the third quarter of 2011. Finally, trends projection for the future development of Finnish paperboard is presented based on results of analysis. The research is both descriptive and explanatory based on secondary data collected from various databases. The regional analysis of paperboard market from 1992 to 2010 revealed that North America and Western Europe’s paperboard production exceeded the consumption, where Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America’s consumption exceeded the production. The consumption and production growth was extremely fast in Asia and it has been the largest consumer and producer of paperboard products since 2000s. Western Europe has been the largest exporter and importer throughout the years. The empirical modeling of Finnish paperboard export demand showed that the export demand for Finnish paperboard in Germany was highly affected by the total paperboard imports of Germany and its GDP. It also has high sensitivity to the income changes of Germany in long term, but the price effect was not significant. The export demand for Finnish paperboard in Russia has low income elasticity and the price effect was statistically significant. Oil price has also significant influence on Finnish paperboard export demand to Russia. According to the linear trends projection for Finnish paperboard market to 2020, the consumption and imports will grow very slowly or even stagnate, but the production and exports will continuously increase at a faster pace.
  • Cheng, Yun (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Furniture is one of the most important necessities in people’s daily life. The development of furniture industry can also be regarded as the progress of society. China is the world’s biggest furniture manufacturer and exporter. After the rapid development in past few decades, the production, technology and quality of furniture has already mature. However, the traditional marketing models are showing disadvantages. It is important for furniture companies to explore profitable marketing models to grasp the market demands and obtain competitive advantages. In recent years, China's e-commerce saw a rapid development and is being used in different sectors such as clothes, shoes, books and beauty products. E-commerce platform is based on the internet, and it decreases the costs and makes shopping more convenient without the limitations on space and time. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang first landed out “Internet Plus” strategy in his government work report in 2015. The aim of this strategy is to promote the transformation of traditional manufacturing industries by using cloud computing, big data and internet of things based on the e-commerce platform. As a new concept, researchers seldom mention the operation of the e-commerce based internet plus strategy in the furniture industry. To fill this gap, this study was based on the perspective of companies, making practical explanations on internet plus and analyzed its application in furniture industry. In the methodology part, the business model canvas was applied to make qualitative analysis on the industrial level. Case study was also adopted to give quantitative support with the market data. Conclusion and discussions raised suggestions for future development and further studies.
  • Suominen, Tiia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The changing environment causes new needs and objectives for which new plans and strategies have to be created. The importance of the residents increases during these planning processes, and therefore utilizing different participatory methods comes more and more important. There are two parts in this research; the first part examines how the resident survey, from participatory methods, can be used in the strategical planning of the city’s forests’ use and management, and in the second part, the resident survey has been implemented to find out the opinions, wishes, and proposals of the residents concerning the city’s forests’ use and management in Vantaa. The first part of the research examines how the resident survey can be used in the achieving the objectives, what is the content that the resident survey is able to bring into the planning process, and to find out how and in which phase, or in which way, the resident survey can be used in the planning process. In this part, the qualitative methods were used, and the results are mainly based on the existing literature together with the implemented survey in the certain aspects. From the results, it is possible to find out that the resident survey may achieve very well the objectives of the municipality and the objectives relating residents’ local knowledge and possibilities to influence by certain criteria. The objectives related to the residents’ spiritual or psychological characteristics, like building the trust, are more difficult to achieve. On the other hand, the implemented resident survey cannot be used to achieve all the objectives of the international or institutional parts, like the objectives related to the Forest Act. It is possible to use the resident survey in every phase of the planning process, but according to the results of this research, it will not be able to bring all the objectives in every phase. The second part of the research was to implement the resident survey to find out the residents’ opinions, wishes, and proposals concerning the forests of Vantaa city. It enabled to gather the knowledge and the information about the meaning and the use of the forests, the acceptable forest management methods, the participatory in the forest management and planning, and the local information about the forests. Vantaa city was divided into the seven areas. The sample size was 2 100 – so 300 residents of the age 15 to 75 from each area. In total 950 answers were received with the respond rate 45 %. The results were created by using the quantitative methods. They show that the meaning of the forests for recreation and outdoor activities is remarkable; the most important characteristics are naturalness and feeling of the forest, calmness and silence, and the opportunities to outdoor activities and sport; the residents mostly use forests nearby home; and the most acceptable forest management methods cause less changes in the environment, like thinning, uneven-aged forest management, and harvesting. The participatory is quite unknown for most of the respondents, and the most of the residents think that this resident survey will not influence to the final decisions. Further studies about how the criteria, used in this research, could work with different resident surveys is needed, and if they can be used in the other phases of the planning process that have been found out in this research.
  • Pöyhönen, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The popularity of wooden multi-storey construction (WMC) has increased in Finland during the recent years. Reasons for this could be the favorable changes in the legislation, the action plans of government agencies endorsing the WMC, and the developing business models of the construction industry. The business ecosystem (BE) concept has become a topical research subject and recent research suggests that the BE concept could be a useful tool in analyzing the value creation in the construction industry. This qualitative case study examined the applicability of the BE concept for the field of wood construc-tion. Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit the experiences of people involved in a specific wood construction project and thematization was used in the analysis of the data. The case construction project was a two-storey wooden loft. The aims of this thesis included the exploration of the functioning of the case BE, and identifying the roles of the BE participants, the benefits of belonging in a BE, and the key factors for the success of the BE. The study also aimed in examining the end-user involvement and the innovation detection and communication in the case BE. The interviews revealed that the core companies of the case construction project have cooperated for years before the case project took place. Some coevolutive efforts were revealed between some of the project participants, such as attempts to cut the turnaround time of the projects by focusing on process enhancements, and addressing to varying service demands by offering the services of a partner company among own services. The results suggest that a BE exists around the main contractor, which also acts as a keystone player, leading the BE. The other core companies act as niche players, bringing specialized expertise and skills that complement the inputs of others. According to the interviewees, the co-opera-tion and the construction project created benefits, such as reference value and value for the research and development. The interviewees also thought the familiarity of the project participants creates trust, and leads to better understanding of the working habits of the other participants, and thus increasing project efficiency. In addition, well-functioning communication and cooperation, and the high quality of plan-ning were seen as some of the essential factors for the success of the construction project. The residents were involved in the project only after the construction had already started, but they could nevertheless affect interior materials and could make change requests. The building project itself was perceived as relatively traditional one by the interviewees, although some innovativeness was identified in the pro-cesses and components of the project. In the future, business ecosystems in the WMC could be studied further, for example, by also examining larger scale WMC projects.
  • Lantta, Marja-Leena (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Increasing societal demands are driving forest industry companies to evaluate the impacts of their business activities more comprehensively. Corporate responsibility (CR) is not a new phenomenon to the industry sector as environmental considerations have been on the agenda of the firms for decades through the use of forest resources. Globalization and relocations of operations overseas have increased the general public's awareness of the societal effects of business. CR of major forest industry corporations has been studied extensively but a research gap was identified in the case of CR in small and medium-sized (SME) Finnish forest industry companies. The significance of SMEs is expected to grow within Finnish forest industry in the future as mechanical forest industry increases its relative importance. Based on literature this study suggests that SMEs should approach CR as a strategic issue, i.e., they should evaluate which aspects of this multidimensional phenomenon can affect the firm's ability to reach its objectives. The relatively limited resources of the firm should be allocated to those strategic CR issues. Empirical primary data was collected by interviewing the line managers of medium-sized Finnish sawmills. The managers were asked to identify sources of competitive advantage within the company, to give their definitions of CR and to discuss the potential of CR as a source of competitive advantage. The findings were congruent with earlier studies on SMEs in other industry fields. The firms often execute CR without identifying it and relate to CR through their key stakeholders (employees, community, customers). The interviewed line managers did not generally perceive CR to have potential as a source of CA. If CR is to be promoted amongst Finnish forest industry SMEs, robust business cases have to be presented to demonstrate the measurable benefits of CR. Practical examples of what CR incorporates in the smaller firm are required. Consumer studies are necessary to discover the value of CR stewardship perceived by the customers.
  • Li, Ning (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    This exploratory study aims to analyze the CR reporting by eleven largest forest products companies in North America. Both annual reports and sustainability reports produced in year 2006 by eleven largest forest products companies in North America were chosen for this very study. To ensure the comparability of the results, the study adopts the similar variables in operationalizations by Routto (2008), who studied the CR reporting of European forest products companies. The methodology applied in the study is content analysis. Mean, T-test and One-way Anova analysis were used in data analysis. Though all the three pillars of CR (economic, environmental, and social) were covered in their CR reporting, the North American companies seem to give more weight to Social Focus, followed by Economic Focus and Environmental Focus respectively, whereas the largest European companies considered Environmental Focus as the most important area, Social Focus the second, whereas Economic Focus was least emphasized. A number of notable differences and similarities between the European companies and the North American companies towards CR reporting were also identified. For example, the North American companies obviously seek for more efforts to co-operate with interest groups and business partners to ensure responsible actions than the European companies. The European companies emphasize energy consumption more frequently than the North American companies. Neither the European companies nor the North American companies perceived environmental welfare at the expense of corporate profits an important element concerning Economic Focus. It would be interesting to note that neither the European companies nor the North American companies considered shareholders, NGOs and forest owners as primary target audience groups in their CR reporting, since the communication benefits were not frequently mentioned for these stakeholder groups. The study also observes some variation of CR practices within a common industrial and cultural environment. The results suggest that the US companies seem to particularly emphasize a number of issues more than the Canadian companies, namely: 1) Business behavior, 2) Social principles & guidelines, 3) Internal communication, 4) Social focus, 5) External communication, and 6) Audience. No significant difference was found concerning Social & ethical accounting and Economic focus between the US companies and the Canadian companies. Sector of Integrated forest products placed notably much more weight on Social & ethical accounting than Sectors of Consumer products and Sector of Pulp & paper & packaging in this study, whereas no other significant difference was indicated by the pair-wise comparison of means between Sector and the nine summative variables respectively. In addition, sustainability reports seem to have much clear focus on environmental-related issues than annual reports, whereas issues concerning Social Focus and External Communication received more attention in annual reports than in sustainability reports. No further significant difference was suggested between Type of report and the nine summative variables in this study. In short, the comparison between the reports by North American companies and those by the European companies showed some regional variations in CR reporting. These regional characteristics include 1) the emphasis on Social Focus by North American companies, and Environmental Focus by European companies, 2) the emphasis on partnership by North American companies, and workplace safety by European companies, 3) the emphasis on employees’ benefits by North American companies, and customers’ benefits by European companies, 4) the emphasis on commitment of top management to CR by North American companies, and existence of CR policy statements by European companies, 5) the emphasis on recycled raw materials by North American companies, and energy consumption by European companies, and 6) the emphasis on profitability by North American companies, and investing to socially/environmentally responsible targets by European companies. Such differences could also be argued to be related to the different institutional arrangements in the regions. The comparison between different sectors suggests that, Sector of Integrated forest products emphasized Social & Ethical Accounting more than Sector of Consumer products and Sector of Pulp & paper & packaging, whereas Sector of Consumer products paid more attention to Economic Focus issues than the other two sectors. The results also suggests that, sustainability reports emphasized Environmental Focus more than annual reports, whereas annual reports clearly focused on Social Focus and External Communication more than sustainability reports.
  • Lempiäinen, Antti (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important topic in forest industries, and other global companies, in recent years. Globalisation, faster information delivery and demand for sustainable development have set new challenges for global companies in their business operations. Also the importance of stakeholder relations, and pressure to become more transparent has increased in the forest industries. Three dimensions of corporate responsibility economic, environmental and social, are often included in the concept of CSR. Global companies mostly claim that these dimensions are equally important. This study analyses CSR in forest industry and has focus on reporting and implementation of social responsibility in three international companies. These case-companies are Stora Enso, SCA and Sappi, and they have different geographical base, product portfolios and therefore present interesting differences about forest industry strategy and CSR. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has created the most known and used reporting framework in CSR reporting. GRI Guidelines have made CSR reporting a uniform function, which can also be measured between companies and different sectors. GRI Guidelines have also made it possible to record and control CSR data in the companies. In recent years the use of GRI Guidelines has increased substantially. Typically CSR reporting on economic and environmental responsibility have been systematic in the global companies and often driven by legistlation and other regulations. However the social responsibility has been less regulated and more difficult to compare. Therefore it has previously been often less focused in the CSR reporting of the global companies. The implementation and use of GRI Guidelines have also increased dialogue on social responsibility issues and stakeholder management in global companies. This study analyses the use of GRI´s framework in the forest industry companies´ CSR reporting. This is a qualitative study and the disclosure of data is empricially analysed using content analysis. Content analysis has been selected as a method for this study because it makes it possible to use different sources of information. The data of this study consists of existing academic literature of CSR, sustainability reports of thecase-companies during 2005-2009, and the semi-structured interviews with company representatives. Different sources provide the possibility to look at specific subject from more than one viewpoint. The results of the study show that all case-companies have relatively common themes in their CSR disclosure, and the differences rise mainly from their product-portfolios, and geographic base. Social impacts to local communities, in the CSR of the companies, were mainly dominated by issues concerning creating wealth to the society and impacting communities through creation of work. The comparability of the CSR reporting, and especially social indicators increased significally from 2007 onwards in all case-companies. Even though the companies claim that three dimensions of CSR economic, environmental and social are equally important economic issues and profit improvement still seem to drive most of the operations in the global companies. Many issues that are covered by laws and regulations are still essentially presented as social responsibility in CSR. However often the unwelcome issues in companies like closing operations are covered just briefly, and without adequate explanation. To make social responsibility equally important in the CSR it would demand more emphasis from all the case-companies. A lot of emphasis should be put especially on the detail and extensiveness of the social reponsibility content in the CSR.
  • Xiong, Ying (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    As the global economy grows rapidly, certain environmental and societal problems have become challenges. This pushes more and more global companies to integrate those concerns in their business operations, in the form of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This thesis analyzes leading global companies’ CSR performance by using forest and IT industry as comparable cases, in order to point out the strength and weakness of CSR practice, and to indicate the proposal for CSR development. The study also describes the differences in emphasizing CSR between forest industry and IT industry, and between globally and in China market. The method of content analysis is introduced to the study. Based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines as classification frame, relevant information from the CSR reports of analyzed sampling units was classified into corresponding indicators and then transformed into the numbers that represent companies’ CSR performance. The result of the study shows that on a global scale environmental and economic responsibilities are the mainly focused areas of CSR by global companies while companies’ performance of human rights responsibility is very poor. In the future, global companies should work harder on human rights by taking actions to analyze violent risks and prevent discrimination instead of only releasing policies. Concerning differences between industries, forest product companies emphasize economic, environmental and labor practice responsibilities much more than IT companies do. IT industry is able to learn the experience from forest industry to improve its weak areas. The other finding in the study is that nearly no global companies publish separate unit CSR reports in China or sufficient information of CSR activities in China. It indicates that CSR is still at the very beginning status in China and global companies are recommended to take more responsibility for its development.
  • Ilmoniemi, Timo (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on tutkia asiakkaiden havaintoja palvelun laatuun ja yrityksen imagoon liittyen. Laatuun ja imagoon liittyvät näkökohdat liittyvät tutkimuksessa Metso konsernin OneMetso konseptiin. Tutkimuksen kohteena olevat asiakasyritykset edustavat sellu- ja paperiteollisuutta sekä voimantuotantoa. Käsitteistöltään tutkimus perustuu laatua ja yrityksen imagoa käsittelevään kirjallisuuteen. Kirjallisuuskatsaus esittelee laatuun ja erityisesti palveluiden laatuun liittyviä erityispiirteitä. Olemassa oleva palveluiden laatua koskeva kirjallisuus perustuu pitkälti yritysten ja yksityishenkilöiden väliseen suhteeseen ja teoreettiselta pohjaltaan SERVQUAL tai Nordic model malleihin. Edellä mainittujen mallien ulottuvuuksia on hyödynnetty myös tässä tutkimuksessa, mutta painotus on yritysten välisessä (B2B) asiayhteydessä. Tämän alan tutkimuksia on tehty viime vuosikymmenenä. Tutkimuksen tulokset perustuvat kyselytutkimukseen joka on tehty Metson sellu- ja paperi sekä voimantuotannon asiakkaille. Kyselyn on tehnyt puhelinhaastatteluihin erikoistunut yritys. Kyselytutkimuksen vastaukset on tässä tutkimuksessa tilastollisesti analysoitu käyttäen ei-parametrista testausmenetelmää. Perustuen vastausten jakaumaan käytetty testausmenetelmä kaikille kysymyksille oli riippumattomien näytteiden Mann-Whitneyn U testi. Tilastollisen testauksen tuloksien perusteella nollahypoteesi hylätään kahdessa asiakkaille esitetyssä kysymyksessä kaikkiaan neljästätoista. Automation ja Power segmenttien asiakkaiden havainnot ovat yhteneviä useimmissa laatuun liittyvistä kysymyksistä. Saadut tulokset tukevat Metson One Metso konseptia. Jatkotutkimuksen aiheena toimisi keskittyminen yrityksen nykyisiin muuttuneisiin segmentteihin syventäen samallamkyselyn laatunäkökohtia.
  • Cai, Dinglin (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Globalization has remarkably redirected the flows of global forestry investment to developing countries since early 1990s, several leading multinational forest companies have established a huge area of Eucalyptus plantations in the past decades in Guangxi, China. Previous studies show that the establishment of Eucalyptus plantations has both positive and negative effects on rural environment and communities’ livelihoods, but few of these studies have highlighted the local communities’ perspective. This study aims to assess how the local communities perceive ecosystem services and their livelihoods after the intense land use changes to provide a deeper understanding of the impacts for companies operating or investing in the region, moreover, it also aims to complement the previous studies on forest industry managers’ perception on plantation forestry and ecosystem services in the context of China. With the guidance of two qualitative questionnaires, 5 village-level and 80 villager-level semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data in villages near Eucalyptus plantations. The results indicate that from local communities’ perspective, the establishment of Eucalyptus plantations has degraded ecosystem services, especially soil fertility, water quantity and quality, the local livelihoods have been however diversified to some extent. Some managerial implications concerning community engagement are provided according to the findings so that the forest companies can achieve better business performance in Guangxi and similar areas in future.
  • Toivio, Matti (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    Finnish forest industry is in the middle of a radical change. Deepening recession and the falling demand of woodworking industry´s traditional products have forced also sawmilling industry to find new and more fertile solutions to improve their operational preconditions. In recent years, the role of bioenergy production has often been highlighted as a part of sawmills´ business repertoire. Sawmilling produces naturally a lot of by-products (e.g. bark, sawdust, chips) which could be exploited more effectively in energy production, and this would bring more incomes or maybe even create new business opportunities for sawmills. Production of bioenergy is also supported by government´s climate and energy policies favouring renewable energy sources, public financial subsidies, and soaring prices of fossil fuels. Also the decreasing production of domestic pulp and paper industry releases a fair amount of sawmills´ by-products for other uses. However, bioenergy production as a part of sawmills´ by-product utilization has been so far researched very little from a managerial point of view. The purpose of this study was to explore the relative significance of the main bioenergy-related processes, resources and factors at Finnish independent industrial sawmills including partnerships, cooperation, customers relationships and investments, and also the future perspectives of bioenergy business at these sawmills with the help of two resource-based approaches (resource-based view, natural-resource-based view). Data of the study comprised of secondary data (e.g. literature), and primary data which was attracted from interviews directed to sawmill managers (or equivalent persons in charge of decisions regarding bioenergy production at sawmill). While a literature review and the Delphi method with two questionnaires were utilized as the methods of the study. According to the results of the study, the most significant processes related to the value chain of bioenergy business are connected to raw material availability and procurement, and customer relationships management. In addition to raw material and services, the most significant resources included factory and machinery, personnel, collaboration, and geographic location. Long-term cooperation deals were clearly valued as the most significant form of collaboration, and especially in processes connected to raw material procurement. Study results also revealed that factors related to demand, subsidies and prices had highest importance in connection with sawmills´ future bioenergy business. However, majority of the respondents required that certain preconditions connected to the above-mentioned factors should be fulfilled before they will continue their bioenergy-related investments. Generally, the answers showed a wide divergence of opinions among the respondents which may refer to sawmills´ different emphases and expectations concerning bioenergy. In other words, bioenergy is still perceived as a quite novel and risky area of business at Finnish independent industrial sawmills. These results indicate that the massive expansion of bioenergy business at private sawmills in Finland is not a self-evident truth. The blocking barriers seem to be connected mainly to demand of bioenergy and money. Respondents´ answers disseminated a growing dissatisfaction towards the policies of authorities, which don´t treat equally sawmill-based bioenergy compared to other forms of bioenergy. This proposition was boiled down in a sawmill manager´s comment: “There is a lot of bioenergy available, if they just want to make use of it.” It seems that the positive effects of government´s policies favouring the renewables are not taking effect at private sawmills. However, as there anyway seems to be a lot of potential connected to emerging bioenergy business at Finnish independent industrial sawmills, there is also a clear need for more profound future studies over this topic.
  • Nguemgne Fotso, Rostandine (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Cameroon is a country located in Central Africa. The country has an export-led economy, which means that the country highly depends on exports to ensure its population well-being. Sawnwood exports represent 14% of Cameroon’s total exports. Sawnwood is therefore one of the most important export products for Cameroon. Since Cameroon signed the EU-Cameroon voluntary partnership agreement policy in 2010, Cameroon’s sawnwood exports were impacted. The aim of this study is therefore, to examine the export competitive performance of Cameroon’s sawnwood industry from 2001 to 2017. Based on the literature, a set of three methods analyzing the competitiveness of Cameroon’s sawnwood exports were chosen. These methods are: The Revealed Comparative Advantage Index (RCA) and RSCA index which were used to analyze the competitiveness and international specialization of Cameroon in exporting sawnwood. The Spearman Rank Correlation was used to study the export competitive performance of Cameroon’s sawnwood across years and to analyze the level of competition between Cameroon, Finland, China and Ghana. Lastly, the Constant Market Share Analysis was used to explain the drivers of Cameroon’s sawnwood export competitiveness. This study also compiles information on forest in Cameroon and provides an overview of Cameroon sawnwood industry, it can therefore serve as a base for further studies on sawnwood in Cameroon. Results show that Cameroon has a competitive advantage and is the highest specialized in exporting sawnwood compared to Finland, China and Ghana. Nevertheless, the export competitive performance of Cameroon across years is not continuous and highly depends on external factors. Results also show that Cameroon has reduced its exports to EU and has diversified its importers portfolio by redirecting its exports trade flows towards Asia, especially China which has less stringent imports policies compared to EU. Cameroon will need to improve its production technologies and management practices to ensure a long run competitiveness on the global sawnwood market.
  • Paatela, Heli (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    At present the operating environment of sawmills in Europe is changing and there are uncertainties related in raw material supply in many countries. The changes in the operating environment of roundwood markets and the effects followed by these changes have brought up several interesting issues from the viewpoint of research. Lately new factors have been influencing the roundwood markets, such as increasing interest towards wood-based energy and implementation of new energy policies as well as changes in wood trade flows that affect the domestic markets in many countries. This Master’s thesis studies the adaptation ability of Finnish roundwood markets in a changing operating environment, aiming to produce an up-to-date analysis considering new development trends. The study concentrates on the roundwood markets from the viewpoint of sawmill industry since the industry is dependent on the functioning of the markets and sawmills are highly affected by the changes on the roundwood markets. To facilitate international comparison, the study is implemented by comparing Finnish and Austrian roundwood markets and analysing changes happening in the two countries. Finland and Austria share rather similar characteristics in the roundwood market structures, forest resources and forest ownership as well as production of roundwood and sawnwood. In addition they both are big exporters of forest industry products. In this study changes in the operating environment of sawmill industry both in Finland as well as in Austria are compared to each other aiming to recognise the main similarities and differences between the countries. In addition both development possibilities as well as challenges followed by the changes are discussed. The aim of the study is to define the main challenges and possibilities confronted by the actors on the markets and also to find new perspectives to approach these. The study is implemented as a qualitative study. The theoretical framework of the study describes the operating environment of wood markets from the viewpoint of the sawmill industry and represents the effects of supply and demand on the wood markets. The primary research material of the study was gathered by interviewing high level experts of forestry and sawmill industry in both Finland and Austria. The aim was to receive as extensive country specific viewpoint from the markets as possible, hence interviewees represented different parties of the markets. After creating country-specific profiles based on the theoretical framework a cross-country comparison was implemented. As a consequence the main similarities and differences in the operating environment and on the roundwood markets of Finland and Austria were recognized. In addition the main challenges and possibilites were identified. The results of the study offer a wide analysis regarding the main similarities and differences of the wood markets of Finland and Austria and their operating environments as well as concerning challenges and possibilities faced on the markets.
  • Hoang, Ngoc (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Wooden furniture industry is a traditional low-technology based and labor intensive industry (Kaplinsky & Readman, 2000), which is highly recommended for global outsourcing. Besides, the raising of “China plus one” manufacturing strategy made Southeast Asian countries became new investment destinations. In case of Vietnam, the largest exporter of wood products in Southeast Asian, wooden furniture industry is highly export-oriented with a fast growing rate especially since 2008 (MARD, 2012). While the global economic crisis in 2008 has a vital impact on the national economy, it is reported that the foreign subsidiaries in furniture industry in Vietnam have outstripped their local competitors (VNS, 2013). Despite the importance of foreign subsidiaries in Vietnam, there is lack of study regarding their competitive advantage and strategy. Investigating on how foreign subsidiaries respond to the external challenges is essential to support strategic knowledge on managing industry? Under the influence of market turbulence. This empirical study used qualitative data from interviews with eight managers of foreign furniture processing subsidiaries in Vietnam. Results indicated that under the influences of global downturn, managers have become more proactive and flexible in their strategic planning when facing with chaotic turbulence, which brings both opportunities and challenges. The study pointed out that the negative impact of global recession was passed through in later time in low-cost manufacturing countries and business risks could be minimized especially in companies with a strong pool of intangible resources (reputation, technology, innovation capability). Despite its complexity, recession was not completely seen a threat, yet the managers perceived it as external turbulence from which organizations can benefit but only if they choose the right strategic orientation.
  • Teittinen, Heidi (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    International attempts to mitigate climate change and the growth in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have resulted in the formation of global carbon markets, including markets for forest carbon projects. Forests are critical in mitigating the effects of global climate change because they are major carbon sinks, and activities that alter forests can release or sequester carbon dioxide (CO2), the most common greenhouse gas. Various forestry activities are acceptable for carbon offsets, and the evolving forest carbon markets offer new opportunities for investors. To better understand the forest carbon market and its current situation, this thesis has gathered up-to-date information on the different market areas of forest carbon. The objective of this study was to research global forest carbon markets as a private sector investment. The aim was to discover the barriers and the prerequisites that exist for investors. Furthermore, the study aimed to discover the opportunities and challenges of forest carbon. In addition, the financial characteristics and risks of the forest carbon projects were identified. Analyzing these factors provide insight into how the forest carbon markets function, what are the market entry recommendations for a private sector investor, and what are the prospects of the forest carbon market after 2012. This study employed a qualitative research design. Empirical data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with nine forest carbon professionals, who have extensive knowledge on the evolving forest carbon market. The findings from the interviews were triangulated with secondary data available in the public domain. The secondary data consisted of research articles, publications and Internet sources. The findings reveal that forest carbon projects may offer market opportunities, such as additional revenue and serve as “green investment”, but several issues have generated concerns and controversy. The main identified barrier is the uncertainty related to the global carbon market. In addition, there are other challenges creating barriers for entry for private investor, such as current measurement and monitoring practices, which are costly and time consuming. Project implementation in developing nations creates challenges related to the land tenure and carbon credit rights, just to mention a few. In many countries the legal and operational framework is not ready. Based on the study it can be concluded that the forest carbon should only be seen as extra revenue. The investment feasibility should not be based purely on carbon revenues; the cash flow needs to be generated from other forestry activities such as timber or non-wood forest products.
  • Malkamäki, Arttu J. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This thesis aims to assess the state and development of beekeeping in Uruguay. Uruguay exports more than 90% of its honey and supplies regularly to the demanding markets in the EU and the US. As marginalized actors in the global honey chain, the beekeepers' livelihoods are largely dependent on the shifts of globalization, predominantly on the patterns of global economy. Proliferation of voluntary certification schemes such as Fairtrade International and European Union Organic Farming have become evident features of these patterns. Adoption of voluntary certification schemes has impacted particularly the development trajectories of smallholders, which is why particular attention in this thesis was laid on them. It was, however, quickly understood the development is dependent on several factors on different levels. To conceptualize these levels, value chain governance and voluntary certification schemes in them were seen shaping the livelihood outcomes of the smallholders. Combining governance and horizontal livelihood approaches, which represents the main innovation of this thesis, was used to identify action points and upgrading strategies feasible for the beekeepers as actors engaged in the global honey chain. In addition, this thesis further highlights the context of beekeeping as a livelihood, honey as a commodity with certain features and market dynamics, as well as Uruguay as the main geographical scope. Research methods were qualitative. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2014 with four different respondent groups along the global honey chain: importers of honey in the EU; representatives of local institutions and export agencies in Uruguay; and the beekeepers themselves, which of some were organized in cooperatives. From the collected data, the development trajectories were analyzed deductively to identify the viable strategies to improve sustainable livelihood outcomes. Based on results, the global honey chain was found buyer-driven since the buyers bear the most powerful role. The structure replicates features of market and captive types of governance, suggesting there is a high degree of power asymmetry and coordination. Higher coordination, however, favors successful upgrading. By identifying the activities performed by actors in the chain, the action point was found in the production node due to the recent increase in activities. High costs of inputs and low margins throughout the chain were observed, particularly in the export node. Beekeepers' baseline conditions were determined as access to livelihood assets, which were found generally weak. State of the fundamental aspect of beekeeping, access to natural assets, was found alarming. The decreased floral resources in Uruguay are due to the rapid proliferation of changes in land use, accelerated by the main vulnerability causing shocks in production and with implications on prices: the climate variability. A key finding, however, was that the proliferation of Eucalyptus grandis in Uruguay has created a dependency by compensating the losses in production based on other flowerings. Furthermore, the emergence of pests has brought risk of losing colonies and increasing costs in treatment and prevention. Natural assets set the main constraint over sustainability of beekeeping in Uruguay, but possibilities to compensate smallholders was found among social assets, which clearly were not optimized at their current levels. This notion largely represents the main conclusion in this thesis: horizontal contractualization of the beekeepers through collective action is the only strategy with a reasonable balance between revenues and risks. In all other scenarios, the risks are likely to become unbearable, unless an external agent would be willing to guarantee the risks up to some point to initiate the process. Collective action was found as a precondition of vertical contractualization, which could include affiliation in voluntary certification schemes. Fairtrade International was predominantly found as a more attractive scheme, but could in this context benefit only a large cooperative with already good resources. Affiliation in a certification scheme, however, would not remove the main constraints faced by the sector in Uruguay, which are the decreasing production per hive and the costs running relatively faster than the prices received, resulting in a decreasing profitability. Whereas more beekeepers are excluded from the chain, the ones remaining practice beekeeping largely based on love and tradition. Future research is suggested to take a more sophisticated approach to cost-benefit analyses to support further decision-making on the level of the beekeepers, as well as on the level of policy-makers. In addition, prospective approaches to develop and assess the potential of systems such as payments for ecosystem services in the context of beekeeping are highly recommended.
  • Zhang, Yijing (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    With far-reaching impacts of economic globalization, the internationalization process of the forest industry has been accelerated. Particularly since the 1990s, internationalization has progressed intensively through industry consolidation and production relocation. Within the wood and wood products sector, for example, world inward foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks increased from 20 billion US dollars in 1990 to more than 120 billion US dollars in 2011. Forest industry firms have geographically shifted their operations from traditional production bases in developed countries to emerging Asian and Latin American countries. The share of FDI flows into developing and transition economies has grown from 18.8% in 1990 - 1992 to 73% in 2009 - 2011. The internationalization process of the forest industry has induced multifaceted concerns from economic, strategic, and environmental perspectives at both country and corporate level. However, the actual consequences of such expansion are still largely unknown. It is therefore important to study the current status of the forest industry s internationalization process and to explore drivers and goals of this process. The theoretical background of this thesis is mainly based on the internationalization and FDI theories portrayed in international business literature. A systematic literature review, a qualitative case study and cross-sectional regression analysis have been applied methodologically. China is used as an example in two of the empirical studies, as it is the most attractive FDI destination in the global forest sector. This thesis conceptually depicts a framework of the systematic internationalization process of the forest industry. Empirically, three themes are identified as focal topics; namely corporate financial performance, corporate sustainability, and corporate entry mode choice. Managerial implications derived from this thesis indicate that (1) firms could aim for either internationalized or domestic-oriented operational strategies to pursue higher financial performance; (2) firms should implement social and environmental assessment to maintain sustainable overseas operations; and (3) firms ought to accumulate operational experience and familiarity with local culture before investing in a wholly owned subsidiary. In general, this thesis concludes that internationalization is a dynamic process of pursuing sustainable development to tackle physical forest resource constraints, socio-economic challenges, and corporate operational risks at the global operations scale. Topics related to the analysis of new innovative products, collaboration with supporting industries, and the consideration of sustainability as corporate core competitive advantages are worthy of future research aiming to analyze the further internationalization process of the forest industry.
  • Luo, Wen (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The main purpose of this Master’s thesis was to examine the impacts of distance factors on the equity-based entry mode choice of forest multinational companies (MNCs) by testing the distances (both in cultural and geographical terms) combined with corporate and local factors. China was chosen as the case host country in this study, and the collected data followed the top global forest MNCs that made investments in China at the subsidiary level. Based on a series of internationalization theories and previous studies, 8 hypotheses were proposed. These hypotheses were suppositions of selected factors having positive or negative impacts on the preference of MNCs for wholly owned subsidiaries (WOS) rather than the joint venture (JV) mode. Logistic regression was utilized as the methodology to test these hypotheses.The dependent variables were defined as WOS vs. JV, and the selected independent variables were cultural and geographical distance, experience of the host country, investment size, resource commitment and geographic concentration. The development and status quo of forest foreign investment in China were given by a descriptive statistical analysis. The results demonstrated that the most popular home countries of the forest corporations in this case were the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and the most common investment locations in China were the east coastal regions. Furthermore, foreign investment in the forest industry showed differences between historical stages and economic regions. The statistical results indicate that a greater geographical distance, experience of the host country, and geographical concentration have positive impacts on the preference for WOS, while the CDI has a negative impact on it. However, investment size and resource commitment showed no impact on the equity-based entry mode choice in this study. The conclusions at the end of this thesis describe the future trend in and potential for forest foreign investment in China.
  • Sinkkilä, Suvi-Maaria (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    The paper industry environment is going through changes. Traditionally in the Western Europe and the North America the paper consumption has increased along with the economic and population growth. Despite the growth of these indicators, the newsprint consumption in North America has been declining since the late 1980's and the magazine paper consumptions have also started to decline. Also in the Western Europe signs of maturing can be seen. The paper consumption growth is assumed to be happening elsewhere. The purpose of this study is to estimate potential magazine paper consumption of three different socio-economic environments up to 2020. In this study the focus was on three country groups, clusters, which the assignment company had formed with grouping analysis. In the theoretical background of the study the previous studies of paper demand and the methods used were examined. Also the paper grades and their end-uses were studied. The empirical part of this study was conducted by using both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Trend-analysis was used in quantitative part and PESTE-analysis was used in qualitative part. Through these analysis the key drivers of each cluster where identified and the development trend of consumption was estimated with the help of the analysis and the lifecycle model used by the company. Based on the socio-economic factors, the consumption is on a positive growth track but the speed of the growth cannot be estimated due to the influence of media substitution among others.