Browsing by Subject "wood products"

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  • Hurmekoski, Elias; Sjolie, Hanne K. (2018)
    Scenario analyses are widely used in forest sector foresight studies, being typically based on either qualitative or quantitative approaches. As scenario analyses are used for informing decision-makers, it is of interest to contrast the similarities and differences between the scenario processes and outcomes using quantitative and qualitative approaches and to explore the underlying causes of differences. This paper uses the output from a qualitative scenario study to design forest sector model (FSM) scenarios and compares the results from the two approaches. We analyse two cases on wood products markets in Norway: i) Wood products suppliers establish a developer firm specializing on wood construction to boost demand, and ii) Levying a carbon tax while reducing CO2 emissions in cement production. Comparing the qualitative studies (innovation diffusion analysis, backcasting and Delphi) and FSM analyses (NorFor model), the results resemble for case ii) but deviate strongly for case i). Notably, the strategy aiming to boost the demand for domestic wood products leads in NorFor mainly to an increase in imports with limited impact on Norwegian sawnwood production. Causes of the discrepancies are discussed. Despite the challenges of combining the two frameworks, we believe that the method where assumptions based on stakeholder input or other qualitative research approaches are elaborated in a FSM and compared, should be more explored. Importantly, applying various methods and frameworks allows for complementing and diversifying the picture, and thus improving the knowledge base. (C) 2017 Department of Forest Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umea. Published by Elsevier GmbH.
  • Perttula, Sini (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The green markets are growing all the time and many different environmental performance measures (EPMs) such as forest certificates, eco-labels, footprint calculations and environmental management systems have emerged in the past few decades. These measures help companies to prove the origin of wood and the environmental friendliness of their products and production processes. This qualitative study examined how Finnish wood products companies use different environmental performance measures in both supply and demand side of the wood products market and the practices and problems related to environmental communication. Seventeen personal interviews among Finnish wood products value chain professionals were conducted in order to find the industry perspectives on the development needs in environmental performance of the wood products. The results of this study indicate that the most commonly used environmental performance measures in Finnish wood product companies are forest certificate PEFC and the standard of ISO14001. In contrast, the use of other ecolabels as well as Life Cycle Assessment methods (LCA) and related tools were relatively uncommon. The main drivers for use of EPMs were customer requirements (especially in certain environmentally sensitive export markets) and strategic decisions to act responsibly. The most important issue in environmental performance measures was perceived to be the ability to document trustworthiness of company operations. Also the origin of wood was recognized as an important issue. It also seems that forest certificates and ISO14001 standard are more important in the export markets than in the domestic markets. The supply chains for wood products are often long and complex and therefore the environmental information of the products does not always reach the end-consumers. The communication between wood product companies in the B2B markets is mainly based on personal relationships. Environmental issues are mentioned, but in most of the companies, they are still in passive use. Companies that want to stand out in the future need to start focusing on new green strategies and providing more detailed environmental information on their products and processes.
  • Haarasilta, Teemu (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The concept of social media includes a wide range of online, word-of-mouth forums including blogs, company sponsored discussion boards, chat rooms, consumer product or service ratings websites, and social networking sites. Social media is top of the agenda for many business executives today. Decision makers and consultants try to identify ways in which firms can make profitable use of applications such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. One of the main goals of an industrial company is to execute its new product development process in a way where new technological opportunities can be identified and commercialized before its competitors. In this study it was investigated how wood processing companies, log house builders and hardware stores currently exploit social media in their commercial efforts such as marketing and sales. Further it was also examined do wood processing companies, log house builders and hardware stores use social media in their new product development (NPD) process. The empirical part of the study was carried out by interviewing a small number of companies and conducting a desk research of the social media activity of a larger number of companies. Most of the companies studied were present in social media. The type and the intensity of social media presence varied depending on the type of the company. E.g. hardware stores used social media merely for marketing and sales related purposes whereas in wood processing companies the focus was on communication and PR. Besides the normal customer feedback systems there was no evidence that the companies of this study would actively use social media in collecting end user driven ideas for R&D purposes. Based on the theoretical background, framework of the study, desk research and company interviews a model for collecting feedback and product development ideas from end users is created. Furthermore some ideas for more effective usage of social media regarding the topic of the study are offered as well.
  • Hurmekoski, Elias; Smyth, Carolyn E.; Stern, Tobias; Verkerk, Pieter Johannes; Asada, Raphael (2021)
    There is strong evidence that wood-based products are typically associated with lower fossil-based emissions over their lifecycle than functionally equivalent products made from other materials. However, the potential impact of large-scale material substitution at the market level remains challenging to quantify and is subject to assumptions and system boundary considerations. This paper presents a systematic review covering 44 peer-reviewed studies that quantify the substitution impacts of wood use at the level of a region or sector, to assess the commonalities and differences in scopes, system boundaries and key assumptions. We estimated the average and range of market-level substitution impacts and identify the caveats and knowledge gaps for such assessments. The results indicate an average substitution factor of 0.55 tonnes of fossil C avoided per tonne of C contained in wood harvested, with a range of 0.27-1.16 tC/tC for baseline scenarios covering all wood flows. This value depicts the average efficiency of avoided fossil emissions per unit of wood used for a certain wood use structure based on published studies but is of limited practical use as it is strictly context specific. A direct comparison between studies is complicated because a notable proportion of the studies provided insufficient information to estimate substitution factors or were not transparent in their assumptions, such as specifying which wood product is assumed to substitute for which non-wood product. A growing number of studies focus on policy-relevant analyses of the climate change mitigation potential associated with marginal changes in wood use, but market dynamics are generally considered to a limited extent. To further support decision-making, future studies could focus on changes in those end uses where increased substitution impacts could realistically be expected, while considering the various market dynamics and uncertainties.