Gail Sherson, who spoke at our meeting on February 3rd is a Chemical Engineer with a graduate degree in Pulp and Paper Engineering, and has been working with the BC Pulp and Paper Sector on innovation and industry transformation. She spoke to our group about the positive things that are happening as well as some difficult challenges being faced. While BC’s forest industry is world-renowned for sustainable forestry and very high quality products, the industry is challenged by market uncertainty and rising costs.
These challenges include rapid decline in paper consumption, pulp end-uses that are shifting from printing papers to tissue and towel grades and specialty papers, and markets that are shifting geographically from North America to Asia. Competition continues to grow from countries like Brazil, with very fast growing plantation forests and huge investments in new, high capacity, modern and efficient pulp mills.
The opportunity that the BC pulp and paper industry is seizing to remain competitive is to add new revenue streams by diversifying into non-traditional products such as new forest-based biomaterials and chemicals (think lightweight composites materials, compostable bags, biofuels, etc).
For more information about BC’s Forest Sector today, please see the link below:
STRONG PAST, BRIGHT FUTURE: A Competitiveness Agenda for British Columbia’s Forest Sector