Forestry sector inching towards FPAC’s Vision2020
Report card suggests the sector is making headway on growth parameters.
OTTAWA — The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says it is making progress towards its Vision2020, according to the project’s first report card.
The Pathways to Prosperity report card suggests the forestry sector is making headway on three growth parameters including products, environmental performance and people.
Vision2020 was launched in May 2012 as a challenge to industry as well as governments, academic researchers, policy thinkers and other partners to build on the sector’s transformation. Its goal is to refresh the workforce with an additional 60,000 new employees; improve environmental performance by 35% and generate an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new products and markets, all by 2020.
The report card covers the first two year period between the baseline year of 2010 and 2012. During this period, the forest industry hired 8,000 new recruits and made a further 6% improvement in its environmental credentials.
The industry saw only a modest increase in the product goal with a gain in economic activity of $500 million. More recent figures show the industry growing at a faster pace: Statistics Canada figures say that during 2013, the forest products sector had a 3.4% increase in GDP, faster than the overall economy at 2%, while wood exports were up 27%.
“We still have a long way to go.” says David Lindsay,CEO of FPAC. “Realizing the ambitious goals of Vision2020 will require bold thinking and determination. There needs to be a collective effort of FPAC and its member companies, working with the broader industry, government, policy thinkers, academics and others to find the best technological, social, environmental and economic pathways to progress.”
The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers, with 235,000 direct jobs across the country.