The bio-economy encompasses “the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy via innovative and efficient technologies provided by Industrial Biotechnology. It is already a reality and one that offers great opportunities and solutions to a growing number of major societal, environmental and economic challenges, including climate change mitigation, energy and food security, and resource efficiency.”

convention_2014_speaker_04_1Session #4 at the 2014 Council of Forest Industries Convention earlier this month explored the current state of bio-economy in BC and future business opportunities. Ken Shields, President and CEO, Conifex Timber Inc, was one of three presenters. His impassioned presentation was packed with thought-provoking content, all capped with a call to action. It set the stage for a flurry of audience questions, punctuated by a memorable and respectful exchange with Dave Peterson, Chief Forester of the province. A transcript of the presentation is available at the COFI website here.

“The forest industry in Sweden and Finland captures revenue from about 16 million cubic metres of log harvest residuals consumed in more than 1,000 heat and power plants. These two countries operate 10 times the number of heat and power plants we operate in Canada, and they utilize fibre that typically ends up in burn piles in BC.”

“Conifex would be most pleased if policy shapers in BC spent more time studying what is taking place in the bio-economy at the international level. The best opportunity to maximize the social, environmental, and economic benefits from our Mountain Pine Beetle-impacted forest inventory is to host new businesses with greater fibre-paying capability. We need to transform the business model for the BC forest sector away from a focus on sawlogs, to a broader focus on sawlogs and in-forest biomass procurement.”

– Ken Shields, COFI Annual Convention, April 2, 2014

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