If you surveyed 1,000 Canadians, as pollsters often do, and asked them to provide an example of an innovative sector, most would not name forestry. Yet, in an age of increased trade protectionism, worsening forest fires and concerns about environmental impact of materials from cement to plastic, Canada’s forest products industry is meeting these challenges head on.
Years of extensive collaboration with governments, Indigenous communities, and research partners has made Canada’s forest products sector a global leader in product and process innovation, environmental stewardship, and international trade. Yet as science transforms the materials of daily life and new markets enter the global middle class, the question before us is, how do we fully unlock the economic and environmental value Canada’s forest products industry? Put another way, how can Canada’s forest products sector go from good to great?