Forestry

Discover Canadian wood products and services to import from British Columbia including wood, pulp, wood pellets, biofuels, lumber,  value-added forest products, advanced wood technologies and building design, and forests and wood sector management.
Forestry is the largest manufacturing sector of the B.C. economy, $7.7 billion in wood products and $3.9 billion in pulp and paper products in 2013. About 90 per cent of B.C. forestry output is exported. British Columbia’s forest economy dates back more than a century and has spurred innovation in new products, production techniques, international market development, and new approaches to using wood for building. British Columbia has a worldwide reputation for sustainable forest practices and has more forests certified as environmentally sustainable than any comparable jurisdiction in the world.

Watch this short video on British Columbia’s Forestry advantages.

Products and Services

Services

British Columbia offers a wide range of services related to forest management, forest industry management, and building design and construction, and research:

Forest management
British Columbia is recognized internationally for the professional management of its forests. This recognition is based on both a strong regulatory framework as well as the professional skills of forest managers. Through Registered Forest Professionals and Registered Forest Technologists, British Columbia has more than 5,400 professionals who are qualified in forest management. Many of these professionals consult to foreign governments and land owners regarding sustainable forest management practices.

Forest company management
British Columbia is home to some of the world’s largest and most successful forest products companies. The sector is mature and is supported by a wide range of consultancies offering services in all aspects of the forest sector (harvesting, sawmill operation, logistics, marketing, value-added production, etc.). Many of these firms provide services to foreign markets.

Building design and construction
British Columbia has a large and internationally recognized building sector (architects, engineers, construction) skilled in both wood-frame and mass wood design and construction that conforms to the Canadian building code (similar to the U.S. building code), and to new international standards for "green" construction, such as LEED. Firms are available to consult internationally for projects being built to these standards. The Canadian/U.S. building code for wood-frame construction offers a number of benefits to overseas markets, as wood buildings constructed to the code are:  

  • Energy efficient
  • Earthquake resistant
  • Fire resistant
British Columbia was the first jurisdiction in North America to allow six-storey wood-frame construction for residential buildings. British Columbia professionals are also available to assist foreign governments interested in revising their building codes.

Research
British Columbia has university faculties and other institutions that are doing world-leading research into new products, including mass timber (for tall wood buildings), and the manufacturing of bio-chemicals using wood (cellulose) as the feedstock.

Products

British Columbia produces a full range of forest products:
 

Commodity products

British Columbia is the world’s largest exporter of softwood lumber products. It is also a major supplier of softwood pulp and related paper products. Commodity forest products include lumber, plywood, OSB (oriented strand board), particleboard, and MDF (medium-density fibreboard). British Columbia is one of the few suppliers of western red cedar, Douglas Fir and other coastal species that have strong demand internationally for value-added uses.
 

Value-added products

British Columbia produces a wide range of value-added products, such as:
  • treated lumber for landscaping and outdoor use,
  • engineered wood products,
  • shakes and shingles,
  • posts and, poles,
  • log and timber-frame homes,
  • pre-fabricated housing,
  • mouldings, and other wood products for interior finishings
  • mass timber products for use in larger building construction, including cross-laminated timber and solid wood posts and beams,
 

Biofuels

British Columbia is a  leader in producing alternative energy products including wood pellets, ethanol, biodiesel, xylose, and syngas. Here is a summary of the three broad categories of British Columbia forest products: commodities, traditional value-added, and next-generation manufacturing:
Type Typical Products
Commodity
  • Dimensional Lumber
  • Plywood
  • Pulp and paper
  • Shakes and shingles
  • Boards
  • Chips
  • Hog Fuel
  • Panels
Traditional Value-Added
  • Art
  • Cabinets and furniture
  • Dissolving Pulps (leads directly to biochemicals and material like rayon)
  • Glulam
  • Laminated veneer lumber (LML)
  • Log/timber homes
  • Mouldings
  • Pallets and boxes
  • Posts and poles
  • Tall oil
  • Treated lumber
  • Windows and doors
  • Wood I-joists
Next Generation Manufacturing
  • Alternative energy products - wood pellets, Engineered wood products - cross-laminated timbers, high strength and stiffness hybrid engineered wood products, new fibre-polymer composite wood products
  • New building systems
 

Key Advantages

British Columbia diverse forest industry, leading-edge innovation, and advantageous location for shipping make British Columbia forest products attractive to buyers from around the world.

Global access
British Columbia is strategically located on Canada’s Pacific coast, with easy access to key markets in Asia, Europe, and North America. The forest industry is fully integrated with extensive port, rail, and road transportation systems.

Cross-border trade
The North American Free Trade Agreement gives businesses in British Columbia duty-free access to markets in the United States and Mexico. There is a separate agreement for softwood lumber with the United States.

Innovation in new products
Centres of Excellence research and develop advanced technologies to expand the range of wood products and the efficient use of wood. These include engineered wood products, new building systems, biochemicals, and bioenergy alternatives. Our bioenergy industry is turning forest residues into clean power.

Building “green”
Developers around the world are looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of constructing and operating buildings. Wood’s many advantages – renewable, energy-efficient, lightweight, durable, flexible, cost-competitive – make it an excellent choice for green construction projects.

British Columbia wood comes from sustainably managed forests, and our industry is constantly developing innovative new products and services for the green construction industry.
 

Snapshot

British Columbia’s forestry sector looks to the future with modern, efficient infrastructure and high-quality, sustainable products.

Vast timber supplies

Almost 60 per cent of British Columbia’s land base – 55 million hectares – consists of productive forests that provide diverse and abundant wood fibre. These forests contain roughly 11 billion cubic metres of timber.

Well-established industry

British Columbia is the world’s largest exporter of softwood lumber. We are home to some of the world’s largest forestry companies and most efficient sawmills.

Varity of tree species

Tree species in our forests are primarily coniferous or softwood, including Douglas-fir, western hemlock, amabilis fir, western red cedar, lodgepole pine and interior spruce.

Beneficial land tenure system

Most of British Columbia's forest land is publicly owned. The provincial government issues forest tenures, giving companies the right to harvest in exchange for harvesting fees and management responsibilities. Rights to harvest timber are also provided through BC Timber Sales, a government organization that annually auctions approximately 20 per cent of the timber resource all across the province. The auction timber is fully developed and is ready for harvest, reducing investment costs.

Preferred supplier

British Columbia has more lands certified to internationally recognized sustainability standards than any other jurisdiction. As of 2010, 54 million hectares were certified by at least one of three third-party certification programs. This ensures sustainable production, and attracts customers from around the world looking for environmentally sound products.

Worldwide exports

Our primary wood products export market is the United States, followed by China, Japan, the European Union, South Korea and India.


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