Friday Offcuts 4 November 2022
Click to Subscribe - It's FREE!More fuel was added late last week to the “pines across the rural landscape” debate. A new report commissioned by Beef + Lamb New Zealand says that more than 52,000ha of land was purchased by forestry interests in 2021, a 36 percent increase on the previous two years, and up from 7,000ha in 2017. This, they’re pointing out, is far more than the 25,000ha a year of exotics that the Climate Change Commission is suggesting will be needed to achieve the country’s climate change objectives.
The message from Beef & Lamb NZ is that the conversion along with the land currently being planted is going to have significant and long-term implications for rural communities and the wider NZ economy. Results of another recent survey on if and how forests should be used to offset emissions has also recently been undertaken. Links to both reports are contained in this week’s lead story along with a response by the NZ Farm Forestry Association. The report, the survey and the use of the results by Beef & Lamb NZ across a variety of media channels over the week have been well covered and timely – for the “too many trees and too quickly” side of the debate.
For an update on log trade stats, Wood Resources International show a significant 20% drop has been recorded in the global trade of softwood logs for the first half of 2022. Softwood log imports to China also plunged from 23 million m3 in the first half of 2021 to only 14 million m3 during the same period in 2022, the second- lowest quarterly volume recorded in six years. PF Olsen’s NZ log market update for October also looks at China and other key markets for NZ log exports. A recent key Chinese manufacturing index shows that China's export sales have declined at the steepest rate in four months and market sentiment is at its lowest point since November 2019. Further details on the markets and some of the underlying trends impacting currently on trading can be found in both articles – and links supplied in this week’s issue.
In timber construction, firms from Japan and Australia have started work on a 182-metre-high 39-storey skyscraper in central Sydney in what’s planned to be the world’s tallest hybrid-timber building using a combination of steel frames and cross-laminated timber. It’s due to be completed in 2026. More on 3D-printed houses, either printed off site and transported as prefabricated units, or printed onsite. This time we’ve built in an article on exploring claims that the construction system and materials provide a sustainable solution for housing shortages.
And in mass timber construction, a record of around 300 delegates have signed up for the annual WoodWorks 2022 conference, exhibitions and site tours running in Rotorua, New Zealand next week on 8-9 November. If interested in securing a last minute space, registrations to next week’s major timber construction event can still be made here. That's it for this week.
This week we have for you:
Large increase in NZ forestry land purchasesResearch commissioned by New Zealand’s Federated Farmers and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has found 54 percent of New Zealander's support a limit on the amount of fossil fuel emissions that can be offset with new pine forests. Meanwhile, almost two thirds of Kiwis oppose foreign companies buying New Zealand farms to offset their emissions.
The findings by Curia coincide with the release of a new independent report by Orme & Associates, commissioned by B+LNZ, which shows more than 52,000ha of land was purchased by forestry interests in 2021, a 36 percent increase on the previous two years, and up from 7,000ha in 2017.
This is far more than the 25,000ha a year of exotics that the Climate Change Commission has suggested are needed to achieve New Zealand’s climate change objectives. B+LNZ is forecasting significant economic damage to New Zealand’s red meat sector, rural communities, and the economy as a result of the conversion of productive land into carbon farms.
Of the 175,000ha of land purchased for afforestation over the last five years, about 134,500ha is grassland suitable for planting in forestry. If 100 percent of this suitable land was planted, B+LNZ expects this would lead to a decline of around 1 million stock units, equating to an annual farm production loss of NZ$170 million at the farm gate and a cumulative production loss of NZ$540 million from progressive planting from 2017 to 2022.
Downstream from the farm gate a further 44 percent of value is added from processing which at 2021-22 export prices equates to lost export receipts of NZ$245 million annually and NZ$775 million from progressive planting from 2017 to 2022.
“We have been tracking whole farm sales data on a regular basis and we’re increasingly alarmed at the scale, pace, and style of land use change across the country,” says Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ. In 2017, only 7,000 hectares of sheep and beef farmland was sold with the intention to convert into forestry, so the jump to 52,000 hectares in 2021 is a hammer blow for our farmers and our sector”.
“B+LNZ supports the integration of exotic and indigenous forestry within farms. It can provide a win-win in helping New Zealand meet its climate change commitments while also continuing to support food production, underpinning vibrant rural communities and ensuring ongoing export revenue critical for New Zealand’s economic wellbeing.
“However, the scale of change is far in excess of what is needed, and the Climate Change Commission agrees with us on this. This will have significant long-term implications for rural communities and the wider New Zealand economy.”
The Curia research also showed that 61 percent of people support greater incentives to plant native forests over pine trees – this is something B+LNZ is pushing for as part of better recognition of sequestration under the Government’s proposals for pricing agricultural emissions and would better enable the integration of trees on farms.
• Primary Industries Issues Poll October 2022
• Orme and Associates summary
• Comment from Fish & Game
• Further coverage of the B+LNZ release, click here
Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Farming’s forestry hysteria questionedBeef & Lamb NZ and Federated Farmers media release on recent results of an opinion survey on forestry offset adds to the misuse of information that’s building alarm and public hysteria around forestry that is not helpful. Misunderstanding of the role of forestry in climate change may rob NZ of one of the few remedies available. Picking selective facts from surveys they commissioned is building a narrative that suits their political purposes and deflects from the real issues.
Asking those surveyed whether they support a limit on forestry offsets to mitigate fossil fuel emissions or whether there is concern around the conversion of farms to forests to meet climate change, addresses only a part of the issue. Both avoid the obvious question “What alternatives do you prefer?” A more relevant question might be, “What global temperature increase is acceptable before we start using land use change as a method of cooling the planet?”.
Beef & Lamb NZ also released an update on whole farms sold to forestry interests. They report that in 2021 a total 52,000 ha was sold. They ignore that 2,292 was to Manuka interests, and only 19,717 was for carbon forestry. They simply use a total from the bottom of the table. Importantly for the public to receive total disclosure, Beef & Lamb NZ fail to give the numbers context.
The total of whole farms sold to forestry interests that year was less than 0.5% of the area in pastoral farming. Far from “ripping the guts out of rural communities” the change is less than what a free-market economy would expect anyway. Their report usefully maps where these changes occurred and show it was not concentrated in any district. Instead, they are widely dispersed and occurred in almost every region of NZ.
These leaders have also said in radio interviews that farming should not be held responsible for cooling the climate. I don’t see why not, farming’s contribution to heating the planet is evident in all the emissions reports going back 40-50years. Farming’s leadership should be addressing the lack of progress in reducing global warming instead of deflecting public awareness on to the issue of a relatively small area being sold to forestry interests.
Current flooding, droughts, and windstorms indicate climate change will destroy rural economies at significant scale unless tree crops are used to provide financial and environmental buffering. We need a better-informed debate than this. Let’s drop the politics and deal to the issues, all the primary sector depends on the weather, NZ cannot afford climate change.
Graham West, NZ Farm Forestry President
Australian company and world's tallest timber towerConstruction firms from Japan and Australia have started work on a 182-metre-high skyscraper in central Sydney in what is planned to be the world’s tallest hybrid-timber building using an eco-friendly wood product. Tokyo-based Obayashi and Sydney-based Built plan to complete construction on the 39-story Atlassian Central in 2026. The building will be used for offices, accommodation and retail outlets, the companies said in recent press releases.
The companies aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions during construction by 50% or more compared to a conventional building project and operate the tower entirely with renewable energy, they said. The seventh floor upwards will feature a hybrid-timber structure that consists of a combination of steel frames and cross-laminated timber — or a wood panel product made from glued layers of sawn lumber.
The product is said to emit less carbon dioxide in production and is lighter than concrete. It can also be recycled for other uses, according to the Japanese construction firm. Reinforced concrete will be used below the seventh floor, including the basement, the two builders said.
“Nothing about this project is typical,” said Built CEO and managing director Brett Mason in a company press release. “It has been designed and developed to be a proof of concept for what the future of buildings should look like that are low impact on the environment in both construction and operation.”
Obayashi has been emphasizing in its home market the construction of low-emission wood buildings and increasing the use of the eco-friendly lumber product. In March, the Japanese firm completed an 11-floor, 44-meter-tall building in Yokohama, the tallest in the nation to have its main structural components such as columns, floors and walls all be made of wood, it said.
The firm “aims to achieve a sustainable society by expanding and promoting the use of recyclable resources such as timber and wooden materials,” Obayashi said, adding that it will address social challenges such as achieving carbon neutrality. In 2016, Obayashi and Built signed a strategic partnership to cooperate on select large-scale construction opportunities in Australia.
Photo: A rendering of Atlassian Central, expected to be the world's highest hybrid-timber building | Image courtesy of Atlassian/via Kyodo
Source: Japan Times
Battery or hydrogen? Truck makers battle it outSoaring fuel prices and greener policies have given electric vehicles (EVs) a serious boost in recent years. Now the attention is turning to trucks, but manufacturers still face a dilemma over which technology can best do the job. Some companies like Volkswagen are embracing battery-electric trucks because they’re cheaper and the charging infrastructure is more developed.
Others such as Hyundai Motor, Daimler Truck and Volvo Trucks are betting on hydrogen-powered fuel cells because they can support longer ranges, heavier payloads and longer uptime via faster refuelling. For British start-up Tevva, the solution could be somewhere in the middle. It has just launched a new 7.5-tonne battery-electric truck whose normal range can be doubled or tripled to around 500 km using hydrogen as a backup energy source.
That means truck drivers don’t need to stop to charge and can spend a full day driving. “Most of the time, we're using the batteries and the grid. But we're removing any concern about the range by the hydrogen system,” Tevva CEO Asher Bennett told Euronews Next. “So, we really want you mostly to use grid electricity which is abundant and cheap, but when you need to, the hydrogen is always there,” he said. The dual-energy system ensures that electric trucks aren’t relegated to short inner-city routes, Tevva argues, but can take on longer urban and extra-urban routes.
Having a reserve of hydrogen as a backup also removes the risk of the trucks ending up stranded because their battery ran out faster than expected. “Our goal is a truck that just gets the job done. Repatriating a truck in the middle of the workday is not fun,” Bennett said. Tevva is launching the truck as a 7.5-tonne, to be followed by 12-tonne and 19-tonne models. The company is aiming to capture the medium-duty truck market, where vehicles are typically going back to the same depot every evening, and where they could plug into standard medium power chargers to top up more cheaply than on the go.
For the hydrogen reserves, Tevva says the goal would be to top up once or twice a week. It says mobile refuelling stations could go to the depots of trucking companies every week to make up for the current dearth of refuelling points across Europe.
Is hydrogen the future of trucks?
The European Union wants truck CO2 emissions cut by a third by 2030 from 2019 levels, a target that’s putting manufacturers under pressure to quickly develop new fossil-free, heavy-duty vehicles. EU transport commissioner Adina Vălean said last December that the European Commission expects 60,000 hydrogen trucks on European roads by 2030.
Hydrogen-powered trucks do have an appeal. Instead of being charged from an external source, they produce their own electricity on board – when the hydrogen stored in the vehicle comes into contact with an electrochemical cell. The only byproduct emitted is water vapour.
Asian manufacturers are currently leading the market for hydrogen vehicles. South Korean conglomerate Hyundai’s Xcient trucks have a range of around 400 km and they’re being trialled in a pilot in Switzerland – where road tax is waived for zero-carbon vehicles – to undertake deliveries for supermarkets and logistics companies.
Volvo Trucks, which already makes battery-electric trucks, is the latest manufacturer to test vehicles using fuel cells powered by hydrogen, and it aims to bring them to market in “the latter part of this decade” although it won’t give a more specific date.
Recently, it unveiled new hydrogen trucks with a range comparable to many diesel trucks – up to 1,000 km – and a refuelling time of under 15 minutes. The total weight can be around 65 tonnes or more. Volvo Trucks says hydrogen fuel cell technology will best fit lorries that drive very long distances, have very heavy loads or do not have reliable access to electric charging.
“For us, this is one additional piece of the puzzle to be able to really have a good menu of different options for our customers so they can make this transition,” Jessica Sandström, head of product management and sustainability at Volvo Trucks, told Euronews Next. By 2030, the company is aiming for half of its European sales to be from electric trucks, powered by either batteries or hydrogen fuel cells – but the exact share of each technology remains very much an open question, she said. That’s because big challenges remain in the rollout of hydrogen vehicles.
“It’s still early days,” Sandström said, citing the need to scale up hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and to seriously boost supplies of green hydrogen – produced without fossil fuels and instead with renewable sources, such as wind, water and solar power.
Carter Holt constrains timber supply for 18 monthsNZ builders say the supply crisis has eased for many critical products – but now they face a plummeting demand crisis that threatens to drive more of them to the wall.
Suppliers ITM and Mitre 10 say they're being squeezed by the timber company Carter Holt Harvey allocating structural timber to its own retail outlets by preference. It's a last, inexplicable residue of a supply crisis that had caused building sites to grind to a halt. The two independent merchant chains are caught between the big producers – which have largely addressed shortages of plasterboard, ply and steel – and construction companies.
The builders have, out of frustration at the past year's supply crisis, started going to alternative suppliers or directly importing the products they need from overseas – and that's left independent retailers vulnerable.
Last year, Carter Holt Harvey halted structural timber supply to some of its domestic customers while maintaining supply to its subsidiary Carters, to Fletcher Building’s PlaceMakers, and to the Chinese export market. Under fire from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it promised the shortage of timber would be resolved within six months.
But, in a submission to a Commerce Commission inquiry into the dominance of a few big suppliers, ITM reveals that has now dragged out for 18 months. Chief executive Darrin Hughes says: "ITM would ordinarily expect to have members’ combined volume as a decent negotiating lever, but for over 18 months now that foreclosure of input by Carter Holt Harvey has damaged competition by others trying to get product supply in enough volume to meeting builders’ demands.
"The last 18 months or so have provided a real-life example where our individual independent merchants faced significant difficulties and dealings with the vertically integrated players, especially in terms of supply of structural timber – an absolutely essential bedrock product in the industry."
ITM is a nationwide chain, comprising 91 independent building supplies stores operating under a cooperative umbrella. Mitre 10 is also a cooperative, with more than 350 stores. Mitre 10's general counsel Grant Fraser told the Commerce Commission hearing there had been a "very similar" ordeal for Mitre 10 stores. "Our experience was pretty similar to ITM's in terms of the allocation models, the costs, the various suppliers or particularly those vertically integrated."
In a hearing, the transcripts of which have now been published by the commission, Hughes said the impact of losing access to Carter Holt Harvey's structural timber was unlikely to be short-lived. Carter Holt does nationwide deals with high-volume customers that put ITM at a material disadvantage in obtaining frame and truss timber, he explained. "There has been some recent evidence of minor loosening from some mills but on the whole, it remains a constrained supply product for us."
If Victoria Wood. I Wood tooVictoria Wood, an initiative by the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA), launched last week to educate Victorians about the wood products they use every day, said VFPA Chief Executive Officer Deb Kerr.
Key points of the initiative include:
• Case studies that introduce the growers and makers of wood products in Victoria
• A microsite that encourages Victorians to rethink forestry
• Showcasing forestry as an attractive and innovative career path to develop a new generation of foresters and forestry workers
• Featuring the forestry cycle of plant, nurture, harvest, regrow
• A comprehensive social media strategy to increase reach.
“We are excited to tell the stories Victorian forestry has to offer. The industry does so much more than harvest trees. Foresters’ care about the trees they grow, the landscapes they manage and the wood products they produce. By sustaining the forestry cycle, we can ensure that we have enough timber and wood fibre for future demand – without relying on fossil fuels. And, unlike fossil fuels, trees are renewable – it’s the perfect cycle of ‘plant, grow, harvest and plant again’,” Deb Kerr said. The case studies aim to create a connection between the people working in forestry and the products we all love.
“Victoria Wood is an initiative to show Victorians how we make the products we all rely on in our everyday lives. Insulation and frames for our homes, musical instruments we play, the table we sit at and the frames our pictures are in – wood is everywhere. But it’s also in the places we don’t even think about such as the biofuels for machinery, pulp for cardboard boxes and tan bark in our children’s playgrounds. It’s time we celebrate the ultimate renewable, grown in our backyard right here in Victoria to one of the highest sustainability standards in the world,” Deb Kerr concluded.
Scion staff recognised for research excellenceA Christchurch scientist whose pioneering research is making work safer for people on the frontline of forestry and rural firefighting has been recognised by his peers at Scion. Richard Parker (photo) has received the Roger Newman Award for Science or Engineering Excellence – one of 12 awards presented to more than 30 Scion staff during the Crown Research Institute’s (CRI) 2022 Employee Recognition Awards.
The awards coincide with Scion’s 75th anniversary and celebrate not only individual scientific achievements but also team success, respect for mātauranga Māori and the values of ingenuity, collaboration, excellence and manaakitanga that are at the heart of Scion’s way of delivering impactful science for New Zealand.
Dr Parker is a human factors researcher whose contributions to both science and engineering have exceeded expectations throughout his 30-year career. He specialises in developing work practices that enhance productivity and safety in dangerous occupations – primarily forest harvesting and rural firefighting. He explores robotic solutions aimed at removing workers from high-risk situations, with his research on high visibility clothing leading to garments being adopted as an industry uniform that has reduced ‘not seen’ accidents across New Zealand’s trade and primary sectors.
His pragmatic brilliance is built on his experience as both a volunteer firefighter and a professional tree feller. Scion chief executive Dr Julian Elder says Richard has not only laid the foundation for a deeper understanding of decision-making in life threatening environments and developed tools to augment it, he has created award-winning engineering and design solutions for industry.
“Richard’s concepts stem from caring for others and applying smart lessons from nature. This combination allows for incredible innovation in the service of others, creating a powerful vision that captures everyone’s imagination.”
Three further Scion award recipients are among nominees in three categories who will be acknowledged for their contributions at the 2022 Science New Zealand Awards being held in Parliament on 6 December. Scientists from all seven CRIs are represented.
Dr Angelique Greene has been nominated in Science New Zealand’s Early Career Researcher category after developing into one of Scion’s most creative and productive emerging scientists since joining the Biopolymers and Chemicals team four years ago. Angel’s keen sense for immediate commercial impact has been demonstrated through the success of her Innovation Jumpstart project which developed into a collaboration with Auckland-based filament manufacturer Imagin Plastics – research that has led to an innovative new biodegradable product targeting home 3D printer users.
Scion’s CVC Biotech Team has been nominated in Science New Zealand’s Team Award category for its collaboration with a New Zealand company to fast-track the production of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine prototype. Scion’s resources and expertise working with PHA-producing bacteria, combined with the ability to work flexibly in the face of a global health challenge, was critical to the company achieving proof of concept for its strategy.
Nominated for Science New Zealand’s Individual Lifetime Achievement Award is Scion Principal Researcher Dr Mike Watt, whose distinguished scientific career has spanned more than two decades. Dr Watt has made significant contributions to several research areas with notable influence within the areas of forest science, weed management, forest growth modelling and, most recently, remote sensing. Having produced more than 173 peer-reviewed publications, he is one of our country’s most prolific and trusted forest researchers.
New Directors at Forestry AustraliaNew Forestry Australia Director appointments have been announced following a member vote and AGM held at the recent National Symposium in Albury. Forestry Australia CEO Jacquie Martin (photo) welcomed new Director Matt de Jongh and returning Director Blair Freeman to the Board, saying their appointments would help the organisation maintain momentum in advocating for members and the role of sustainable forestry in Australia.
“I’m delighted to give a big welcome to new Director Matt de Jongh and a big welcome back to returning Director Blair Freeman,” Ms Martin said. A forester with over 20 years’ experience in both operational and policy roles, new Director Matt de Jongh is the Sustainability Manager for Responsible Wood and holds a Bachelor of Science (Forestry), ANU and a Graduate Certificate in Business Management, UNE.
Reappointed Director Blair Freeman, is a professional forester with over 25 years’ experience in providing advisory services on forest policy development, strategic planning and natural resource management across Australia and the Asia Pacific region. the Head of Strategy and Sustainability with Indufor, an international forest sector consulting firm with offices in Australia, New Zealand, Finland and North America.
Ms Martin also thanked retiring Director Dr Lachie McCaw for his service to the organisation, which included a term as Vice President.
Source: Forestry Australia
PF Olsen NZ log market update - OctoberMarket Summary
At Wharf Gate Prices (AWG) prices for export logs reduced an average of 2 NZD per JASm3 across ports in New Zealand in October. The CFR log sale price in China has reduced as the CNY weakens against the USD. The weaker NZD against the USD had countered this lower sale price when determining AWG prices in New Zealand. The NZD has stabilised against the USD, while the CNY has continued to weaken against the USD. This variation in currency performance against the USD will likely cause some short-term AWG log price pain for New Zealand forest owners. While log demand is down in China, reduced log supply is maintaining a balance between supply and demand.
The PF Olsen Log Price Index decreased $2 in October to $123 which equals the two-year and five-year averages. The October index is $5 above the one-year average, so continues to show that log prices this year have been well below average.
Basis of Index: This Index is based on prices in the table below weighted in proportions that represent a broad average of log grades produced from a typical pruned forest with an approximate mix of 40% domestic and 60% export supply.
Domestic Log Market
In August 2022, 5457 new dwelling were consented. This comprised of 48% townhouses/flats/apartments and units, 42% stand-alone dwellings, and 10% retirement village units. The number of new dwellings consented to the end of August YTD is up 8.9% from the same period last year.
The annual value of non-residential building work was up 14% year-on-year ended August 2022. Auckland and Waikato continue to dominate the construction industry with 52% of the national consents this year coming from those two regions. Canterbury consents are also strong with 17% of the national consents. Canterbury consents had the biggest increase of major areas, up 23% year-on-year to the end of August. While West Coast consents are only 3% of Canterbury’s consents, they are up 58%!
Export Log Markets
China softwood log inventory remains below the 4m m3 despite China having the Golden Week holiday at the start of October. There is also a lot less spruce in China as arrivals from Europe has dropped dramatically. This inventory is now less than 500k m3. Daily port log volume off-take has not fully rebounded since the Golden Week and is only about 60k per day. (It was 70k per day before the holiday period). There is still a wide range of CFR sale prices in China depending upon vessel timing and sales strategies. The current sale prices for A grade logs range between 128-134 USD per JASm3. This is about a 10 USD drop over the last month.
The September Caixin China Manufacturing PMI declined further to 48.1 from 49.5 the previous month. Output fell for the first time in four months and new orders shrank the most since April. Of more concern is that export sales declined at the steepest rate in four months. Market sentiment is at its lowest point since November 2019. While log demand is down in China the reduced log supply is maintaining the supply demand balance.
High unemployment rates as well as low productivity means housing affordability will be a significant issue. Homebuyers have also lost confidence in the completion of new real estate projects and are refraining from buying new properties. Housing prices are falling in more than half of China’s cities. A survey by the People’s Bank of China in the second quarter of 2022 showed that only 16.2 per cent of households expect an increase in house prices. New home sales are also plummeting, dropping 23 per cent year-on-year as of August. A drop in pre-sales is important because they currently account for 86 per cent of Chinese developers’ funding.
Policymakers attempt to restore the confidence of homebuyers by financing developers with guarantees or have state-owned developers take over the assets of private developers. The structural changes to the Chinese real estate market are resulting in a larger market share for state-owned developers (deeper pockets and access to better funding) at the expense of private companies. it is estimated that only about 25% of private property developers will remain. This means the developers will tend to have healthier balance-sheets, be more stable and operate with smaller profit margins. Urbanisation of the population as well as upgrading housing standards means log demand will continue and should stabilise with less property speculation.
Scott Downs, Director Sales & Marketing, PF Olsen Ltd
Source: PF Olsen Ltd
FSC ANZ appoint New CEOFSC ANZ is pleased to announce the appointment of Melanie Robertson as its new CEO, effective 24 October 2022.
Announcing the appointment, FSC ANZ Chair of the Board, Matthew Crapp, said that Melanie was chosen after an extensive and highly competitive selection process. "We believe Melanie will be a wonderful fit, and the Board is excited to appoint her to lead the outstanding team at FSC ANZ. Her track record for building relationships across a wide range of stakeholders in complex organisational environments will be critical in supporting the next stage of FSC ANZ’s growth," he said.
Melanie has extensive corporate leadership experience across not-for-profit membership-based organisations, government and for-profit organisations in the health and renewable energy sector. She has worked with a wide range of corporate, community and government stakeholders building collaboration across traditional boundaries.
Melanie's background includes her role as CEO of the Committee for Ballarat, a membership-based organisation that works to help create a better future for Ballarat and the Western Region. She joins FSC ANZ from the role of Executive Director of Infrastructure and Redevelopment at Grampians Health, where she was responsible for the provision of infrastructure across the region, master planning, asset management, sustainability, operational services and the AU$542 million new Ballarat Base Hospital as well as master planning for the future of Ballarat Health Service.
She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Bachelor of Applied Science Environmental Health and a Master of Environmental Engineering Management. Matt notes, “This appointment marks an exciting new chapter for FSC ANZ, and the Board is looking forward to working with Melanie to continue the excellent momentum the team has achieved so far.”
FSC ANZ is in the second year of its Five-Year Strategic Plan, focusing on several important initiatives, including the certification of new forests, the rollout of the New Zealand National Standard, the growth of its promotional licenses program, the revisions of the Australian National Forest Stewardship Standard and the National Risk Assessment for controlled wood.
Melanie takes over the position from Interim CEO Patricia Fitzsimons, whose leadership and support successfully guided the FSC ANZ team from June 30th – October 24th, 2022. Matt notes, “The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Patricia Fitzsimons, who has done an exceptional job as Interim CEO over the past three months. We value her ongoing contribution as a senior leader of the organisation”.
FSC ANZ will continue to focus on the implementation of our 5-year strategic plan. Together with Melanie as CEO, our vision is to enhance the reach and strengthen the impact of FSC across Australia and New Zealand.
International softwood log trade declines 20%Global trade of softwood logs plunged by 20% during the first half of 2022 y-o-y. Much of the decline was because of the Russian log export ban that came into effect on January 1, 2022. However, with weakening housing markets worldwide resulting in lower demand for lumber, other countries beyond Russia saw slowing exports of logs throughout the spring and early summer.
North America, Oceania, and Central Europe are all regions where shipments have fallen substantially this year. Out of the top 10 exporting countries in the world, only Norway, Poland, and Sweden increased their exports during the first six months of 2022. Norway increased shipments by almost 20% y-o-y, making them the fourth largest log-exporting country in the world. Most of this relative increase was in sales to Germany and Latvia. However, Sweden still imports the lion's share of overall log exports from Norway.
Longer term, pulplog exports to Sweden may be negatively affected if the new CTMP pulpmill that the Norwegian forest owner group Viken Skog and Swedish paper company BillerudKorsnäs are considering building coming to fruition (the possible project is currently in a feasibility study phase).
Softwood log imports to China plunged from 23 million m3 in the 1H/21 to only 14 million m3 during the same period in 2022, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Although importation picked up in the 2Q/22, it was still the second-lowest quarterly volume in six years. A slowing economy and uncertainty in the financial markets kept the government and banks from investing in the housing sector, resulting in reduced demand for logs and lumber. Other countries that have reduced roundwood imports in the 1H/22 include Austria (-18% y-o-y), South Korea (-18%), and Germany (-11%).
Global sawlog prices reach record highs
Sawlog prices increased worldwide in the 2Q/22 (in US dollar terms), except for Oceania and Northern Europe. The increase extends the upward trend that started in early 2020, just after prices had fallen to their lowest levels in over a decade.
Over the past two years, log prices have gone up the most in Central Europe (+82%), followed by Southeast Baltic Sea (+58%), North America (+33%), Latin America (+27%), and the Nordic countries (+20%). As a result, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI), representing 20 regions worldwide, has gone up 34% from $68/m3 in the 2Q/20 to $92/m3 in the 2Q/22 (see chart). The current index is substantially higher than its ten-year average of $78/m3 and is the highest level on record since it was established in 1995.
Source: Wood Resource, www.WoodPrices.com
NZ Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations updateNew Zealand’s new Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations 2022 have been published. These regulations will come into effect on 1 January 2023 - at the same time as most of the changes relating to forestry in the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Act 2020. Until 2023, the existing 2008 Regulations will continue to apply.
Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations 2022 – NZ Legislation
What do these changes mean for you?
- From 1 January 2023, all forests newly registered in the ETS will be subject to either the new ‘averaging accounting’ method for calculating unit entitlement and surrenders or the new permanent post-1989 forestry category.
- If you have forest where the application occurred after 1 January 2019 and the land was registered before 31 December 2022, you can choose to move those forests to ‘averaging accounting’. If you decide to move to averaging, you will need to notify us and complete a special emissions return. If you want to remain on stock change you do not need to do anything.
Carbon Accounting in the ETS - MPI website
- The new permanent forestry category will become available next year for post-1989 forest land in the NZ ETS, and will not be able to be clear-felled for 50 years after it is registered as a permanent forest.
Permanent forests in the ETS - MPI website
- There is a new exemption from carbon liabilities for those with forests that have been partly or fully cleared by a temporary adverse event, such as a fire or a landslide.
- There is a new ability to offset liabilities for planted averaging forests which are older than the average age if you intend to deregister or deforest. Rather than surrender units for their deforestation liability, the participants can elect to establish an equivalent forest elsewhere.
Training courses and other learning resources for the new online forestry ETS system will be available in December and January, coinciding with the period to submit emissions returns for the 2018 - 2022 Mandatory Emissions Return Period. Full details of all training and education opportunities over the next few months will be outlined by MPI.
Are 3D-printed homes a sustainable future option?The process is being touted as a sustainable solution for housing shortages, but is it? The answer is yes, possibly no and it depends.
Few industries have seen the fast-paced level of innovations like the 3D-printing world. What began as a high-priced device capable of printing a small figurine in 12 or more hours has exploded into technology that can print the framework of a house in a few days’ time.
Perhaps the most notable step towards sustainability in the 3D realm is the ability to print houses with nearly zero waste. The technology is so precise it allows structures to be printed to exact specifications. Even better, because the printing information is provided by software, changes from one design to another are easily accomplished with a tweak to the programming.
In standard construction, board and metal cutoffs are prolific, resulting in copious waste on the construction site. Without a doubt, well-designed 3D houses are a win for the environment in this category. However, “well-designed” is essential. Not all 3D printing companies have their processes dialed in. Those who don’t can produce waste through inefficiencies.
3D-printed houses, either printed off site and transported as prefabricated units, or printed onsite where the structure will sit, predominantly require much less transport than traditionally-built homes. Think of all the separate contractors, suppliers, subcontractors and other invested parties that show up to a traditional build over the multi-month timeline.
In contrast, 3D-printed homes typically require limited equipment and transports, significantly cutting the embodied carbon during the build. This is especially true in remote locations and for small structures like tiny homes. However, this is again contingent upon the sustainability efforts of the 3D-printing provider.
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