Browsing by Subject "forest sector"

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  • Vehola, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Forests play a key role in climate change mitigation. There are different ways in which forests can contribute to both increasing carbon sequestration and reducing emissions. In Finland, forests are largely owned by private forest owners and thus the actions of these forest owners have a great impact on the climate change mitigation potential of forests. Thereby, this study examined the perceptions of Finnish forest owners on the following climate change mitigation strategies in the forest sector: Forest management, More harvest, Less harvest, Wood products, Conservation, Adaptation, and Land use change. Especially, the study focused on “Less intervention” (a combination of three individual strategies), and “Forest management” as strategies and tested how the following hypothesized aspects are associated with the support for these strategies: the prioritized values affecting the choice between climate change mitigation strategies in the forest sector, risk perception of climate change, political orientation, education level, and the size of forest land. The tested hypotheses were derived from the existing literature on theories and empirical findings on the perceptions of citizens and forest owners. The effect of the independent variables on the chosen climate change mitigation strategies was studied through linear regression analysis based on a quantitative survey with 892 responses. Regression models were established separately for both chosen strategies. On average, forest owners supported all climate change mitigation strategies in the forest sector, except Less harvest. Further the results of the linear regression analysis supported all hypotheses to some degree. Perceived risk of climate change emerged as an important measure affecting the support for climate change mitigation strategies in general. Left-right political orientation was found important, where individuals positioned more on the right side of the political spectrum generally supported strategies that have more human intervention in forests. Forest owners’ prioritized values were discovered to significantly affect the support for climate change mitigation strategies in the forest sector, and forest owners who valued biodiversity gave more support towards Less intervention and less support towards Forest management. Forest owners with a smaller property tended to be slightly more supportive towards Less intervention, but in the Forest management model, the effect was not significant. Similarly, the simultaneous effect of education and political orientation was significant in the Less intervention model, indicating that forest owners with a university degree and right-winged political orientation tended to be more supportive towards strategies with more human intervention in forests, compared to forest owners with a university degree and left-winged political orientation. Apart from hypothesized variables, gender was found a significant predictor of support towards strategies, where, on average, women were more likely to support Less intervention, and similarly be more opposing towards Forest management, compared to men. In light of the results, Finnish forest owners tend to be rather conscious about climate change and support on average different climate change mitigation strategies in the forest sector. Nevertheless, private forest owners are a heterogeneous group of people whose preferences vary greatly, and thus policies need to be implemented accordingly.
  • Forssell, Lotta (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The purpose of this thesis was to study high school student counsellors’ perceptions of university-level forest science studies and perceptions of forest sector in general. Student counsellors act as an information source when choosing a career and further studies after high school. Furthermore, this study explored the communication and student marketing implemented by the department of Forest Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki. The theoretical background of this study was based on the theories of organizational communication and image forming. The aim was to clarify how the image of forest studies and forest sector is formed. The data were collected with personal theme-interviews. In addition to counsellors, personnel from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry were also interviewed. The data were analyzed by using thematizing. The forest sector was seen as a field of business that has been important to Finnish economy and society in the past. However, counsellors understanding of forest science studies were quite defective. Still, the employment possibilities were seen extensive, although some images of traditional positions related to the paper industry and wood trading emerged. The Internet is the main source of information to the counsellors and to the prospective students. Because of this, web-pages that are clear and up-to-date are important in student marketing. The experiences about the communication and student marketing implemented by the Faculty were few and more actions were wished. The image is that the whole Faculty offers several study possibilities. However, both counsellors, and most likely, the prospective students have very unsound conceptions of the possibilities. Both counsellors and the personnel from the Faculty described the name of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry challenging. The name does not define clearly what fields of study are included. Forest sector aims to improve the conspicuousness and the attractiveness of the sector among the young people. Based on this thesis, it is possible to say that the challenges with the communication and student marketing are related to the structured components of the communication, such as actions and messages. The impressiveness is low and there is a lack of resources. Even though the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, the Department of Forest Sciences and other members of the forest sector are investing in the communication, student counsellors are unfamiliar with the possibilities that forest sector offers as an education and as a profession. The collaboration between the university and other members of the forest sector can give the possibility to improve the communication and to accelerate student marketing.
  • Suuronen, Juulia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Forests play a central role in climate change mitigation actions, and substitution, that is the use of wood products in place of fossil intensive materials, has been recognized as a potential way to avoid emissions. While there are studies estimating the substitution impact of products, i.e., the avoided emissions, there is a lack of studies integrating market perspectives into substitution estimation. To contribute to this research gap, this study explores the market assumptions of substitution through the theoretical lenses of value chains and microeconomic theory on demand. The objectives are to recognize powerful decision-makers in the value chains, to establish a better understanding for the current state of substitution in the markets, and to explore the determinants of demand of the wood-based products. To limit the scope of this study, the use of pulp-based products was examined in the cases of packaging and textile sectors. Semi-structured interviews with 14 experts were arranged to discuss their views on substitution and demand of the pulp-based products in the chosen sectors. Additionally, a Likert scale was filled at the end of each interview to supplement the interview answers and enable elasticity and cross-price elasticity analyses to examine substitution. The sample of respondents was chosen through the use of snowball sampling and a matrix to recognize potential interviewees. First, the findings of this study suggest that in both sectors, the decision-making power on materials is held by the operators at the end of the value chain whereas the forest sector is located at the beginning of the chain. Second, in both sectors, there is willingness to find more sustainable material solutions, but the tools for this are lacking. In the case of packaging sector, the barrier capacities of plastic are unattainable with fiber-based materials, meaning that reducing plastic use does not always imply switching the feedstock itself. In the textile sector, the production of wood-based textile fibers is not yet scaled enough for it to compete with similar materials. However, the analysis of elasticities indicates that some substitution can be expected in both sectors. Third, a number of important determinants of demand were identified, yet no single factor could be identified as the most important one. This study concluded that there is room to improve the market assumptions for substitution impact estimation. In packages, the market preferences of fiber-based packaging in some uses give a rise for interpretational issues, while plastic reduction goals do not always imply switching to wood feedstock. In textiles, the new man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCFs) are expected to mostly substitute for viscose and fill the cellulosic gap from stagnating production of cotton instead of substituting for synthetic fibers. To conclude, it is central to integrate market data and concepts better into future substitution impact analyses to facilitate more realistic estimates.
  • Rekola, Mika; Nippala, Jaakko; Tynjälä, Päivi; Virtanen, Anne V. (2018)
    This explorative study examined practices of competence modelling in the forest sector organisations and how organisations anticipate changes in competence needs in the future. Semi-structured in-depth interviews (n=10) were conducted amongst forest sector experts in Finland and data was analysed by thematic analysis. The findings showed that the practices of modelling competences were diverse, most frequently used ones being superior-subordinate review discussions and quantitative competence surveys. In addition to these formal systems, informal modelling, especially on the team level and in smaller companies was also frequent. Organisations used competence modelling for several human resources functions, such as appraisal, motivation and promotion of employees. Surprisingly hiring and compensation functions were not mentioned. Perceptions related to competence modelling were generally speaking positive. The most important challenges were the lack of further actions and sometimes the extraordinary burden to the employees. When anticipating the future, the experts interviewed mentioned several commonly recognised trends, e.g., development of information technology, fragmentation of working life and structural changes in labour markets. All these require more generic competences related to information processing and personal self-management, especially respondents highlighted the importance of self-awareness skills. It is concluded that several useful practices for competence modelling already exist and that present study provides a basis for further quantitative further study.
  • Suojanen, Hannele (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Ongoing structural changes within the forest sector, competition with substitute materials in construction business and rising stakeholder pressure towards actions of environmentally sensitive forest sector are pushing extra challenges to the communication efforts of forest sector. Communication has an essential role when promoting the favorable characteristics of wood products and influencing perceptions of stakeholders but inapplicable messages or channels may cause obstacles for effective communication. The purpose of the study is to examine what kind of information forest sector provides to consumers related to sustainability features of wooden floor materials. Sustainability communication is defined using sustainability dimensions. Additionally, aim is to evaluate how important different type of information is for consumers purchasing wooden floor materials and to find the meaning of various communication channels for consumers in obtaining sustainability-related information. Additionally, also the communication planning is approached in the study by scrutinizing, what communication should be and could be. Data collection was conducted using quantitative questionnaire survey. Consumers of wooden floor materials were included as a consumer group of interest and survey was conducted to 52 respondents in a special wooden floor material store using exit method. Communication was approached from the theoretical view of communication process. Results of this study underline the significance of the personnel as the method to tailor the communication of sustainability. When communicating the benefits of wooden floor materials, focus should be on health aspects of wooden floor and additionally in safety issues as these were most appreciated by respondents. According to the results of this study, communication efforts should be put on tailoring communication according to the content of the sustainability messages, as there seemed to be no significant dependency in sustainability communication perceptions between different stakeholder segments.
  • Ylönen, Lyydia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The Forest Academy for Decision-makers is a well-known concept. It is necessary to evaluate the concept occasionally as it was created already in 1995. The goal of the Forest Academy is to increase dialogue between forest sector and rest of society by providing a forum to arouse interest towards forest issues and the possibilities that the field can provide for society, create new networks and provide stimulations for forest professionals from other sectors. Interaction, high-class presentations and attractions and the unique course spirit are in the core of the concept. I have evaluated the impact and effectiveness of the Forest Academy forums in this quality study. I have studied weather the concept has been able to affect in decision making or has something been achieved in the forest sector or wider in the society by utilizing networks or substance from the courses. I have interviewed course participants in 2016. Additionally, I have analyzed the course themes and how those have been changed during the past 20 years. I have used the previous evaluation study of the Forest Academy forums for planning this study and it is also valuable to compare results between these studies. The Forest Academy has improved the understanding of the Finnish forest sector among decision-makers. The acceptability of the forest sector and forest utilization and the national consensus in forest issues have strengthened by the Forest Academy. It has offered a memorable four-day-course experience for over thousand decision-makers. The concept has worked effectively as it has created new networks, added knowledge of the forest sector, and introduced how pervasive the forest and natural resource sector is. The results support the future demand for this kind of forum. At the same time, it is important to reach appropriate, effective, and committed participants for the upcoming courses. However, the concept needs developing as society and operational environment has become more hectic and global, forest sector is nowadays part of the bioeconomy and the whole natural resources and bioeconomy field faces strong expectations how to tackle the climate change and maintain biodiversity. The Forest Academy would need to answer more and more complex and wider topics. It demands development of the concept structure, encourage for interdisciplinary collaboration with various interest groups, even more interactive working during the courses, and bolder visions of the future role of forests. However, the basic knowledge of the forest related issues cannot be neglect. Forest Academy would need to consider, how to coordinate continuous and more determined developing, which takes into account the different operational environment than 20 years ago. The Forest Academy should still regard that the two-way communication really works in practice.