Resource-wise circular bioeconomy know-how from the forest province
The Kuopio region is a hub of forest bioeconomy whose strengths are wood-based products and energy. For an international investor, the benefits lie in the natural resources of the forests, the local businesses and research institutes and the educational opportunities in the field.
Wood is used sustainably in the Kuopio region as an industrial raw material and the aim is to constantly increase the degree of processing. The more effective use of forests creates new opportunities for developing business activities to mitigate climate change. Among other things, the Kuopio region produces sawn timber, glued laminated timber, veneering wood, heat-treated wood, wood products, chemical pulp and fluting paper. The area of Upper Savo is home to successful timber producers, such as Anaika Wood and Lunawood. The wood processing industry also provides opportunities for newcomers, for example through solutions that utilize the side streams of the industry.
Due to our abundant forest resources, wood construction has become a major trend in circular bioeconomy. The long-term utilization of wood in construction, demolition and renovation projects is seen as a way to fight climate change. The University of Eastern Finland and other research and educational institutions are national pioneers in wood construction that stores carbon for longer periods of time. The Kuopio region has welcomed businesses specializing in construction, such as PP Glulam which manufactures laminated logs.
When fossil-based energy production is replaced with solutions sourced from nature, we talk about circular bioeconomy. In energy production, wood is used to replace non-renewable fossil raw materials (coal, oil and natural gas). For example, the power plant of Kuopion Energia in Haapaniemi utilizes forest processed chips, biogas and peat. A third of the energy consumed in the region is produced by burning wood.
Professionals in bioeconomy and forest economy are educated in three different levels of education and in numerous study programmes in the region, such as forest economy, environmental and energy technology, natural resource management, environmental and biosciences and biotechnology.