IFIT Funds Announced for B.C. Sustainable Forestry Initiatives
Newly announced funding from Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program will expand wood product lines in British Columbia with an emphasis on innovative technologies for engineered wood. The $5.4 million outlay is meant to support sustainable forestry through more effective use of dead and damaged trees and product diversification.
Deadwood Innovations and the Nak’azdli Development Corporation (NDC) will invest $1.14 million in a pilot facility at the Tl’oh Forest Products mill in Fort St. James, B.C. to test processes for manufacturing engineered wood products from dead and damaged wood fibre. The federal funding augments a nearly $4 million commitment from B.C.’s Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program. Along with furthering sustainability goals, the project partners foresee job creation and climate change adaptation benefits through reduction of forest fire risk.
“Deadwood and Nak’azdli Whut’en are on the precipice of driving sustainable, valuable change in forestry,” maintains Owen Miller, president of Deadwood Innovations. “The IFIT program has provided our partnership with essential contributions to design, build and develop our wood modification technology from concept to pilot. The funding closed a gap for our forest technology start-up and helped position us to prepare for commercialization due diligence.”
Meanwhile, Tolko Industries Ltd. will channel $4.25 million in IFIT funding to broaden the scope of its product lines from commodity plywood to specialty, industrial and engineered wood products. This will involve the introduction of new manufacturing equipment that promises lower output of greenhouse gas emissions, thus helping builders and building owners to address embedded carbon.
“Tolko is grateful to receive funding from the IFIT program,” affirms the company’s president and chief executive officer, Brad Thorlakson. “It will allow Tolko to continue to meet market demands for sustainably produced forest products while maintaining jobs in B.C.”