International Day of Forests: Meet 3 EIC-funded companies protecting forests with green innovations
You probably already had a glass of water today, you took some notes in a white paper, and you’re spending your time at an office desk without making any connection with forests. But our daily habits have a surprising impact on these faraway beautiful places and its environment. The United Nation’s International Day of Forests, celebrated each year on March 21, raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. These rich habitat structures are key to combat climate change, and to contribute to the well-being of current and future generations. And even if technology can’t solve all our problems, some EIC-funded startups have innovative solutions to improve forests management and reduce CO2 emissions. Discover how in the EIC Community.
föra forest technologies: Assisting the environment with AI
Accurate mapping of tree species and estimation of wood volume and biomass are important assignments of any forest inventory. However, forestry operations currently rely heavily on field data as a basis for estimating its attributes. This labour-intensive approach provides limited information and has become a costly bottleneck in completing operations. The Spanish startup fora has pioneered high-resolution and timely forest inventory services, which combine state-of-the-art remote sensing technologies and deep learning to produce operational forest inventories that help improving the efficiency of forest management activities. These solutions help forest managers and wood or paper companies, reducing the field plots to a minimum, while maintaining a high quality of information about the state of the forest at the (local) scale of individual plantations.
Acosense: Helping industries to protect the environment
The processing industry is facing major challenges to reduce production costs, increase product quality and reduce environmental impact. Many industrial processes are not optimised, which means that energy goes to waste and production doesn’t reach full potential in terms of consistency quality. In the Pulp & Paper and Chemical industries it is crucial to continuously analyse various process parameters and provide this information to operators in real-time, to optimise their processes. The Swedish startup ACOSENSE developed a technology that can meets these needs. Their process monitoring system is installed on the outside of the process pipe and uses acoustics to analyse several fluids’ properties. The technology digitises the process flow and enables continuous and real-time monitoring, in a truly non-invasive way. ACOSENSE enables the better transformation of wood chips to high quality fibers. This unlocks tremendous value by optimising their production, saving energy, chemicals, and raw materials. At the same time, the technology translates to huge environmental benefits, as more pulp is produced from the same area of forests.
Ekofolio: Enabling sustainable forestry investments
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year. The causes are varied – agriculture, logging of virgin or old-growth forest for timber, fire, and even climate change itself. The rising global population and the increasing demand for forest products present a clear need to preserve large areas of forests and presents strong global demand for sustainably-managed forests. Ekofolio – a startup based in Luxembourg - developed a revolutionary trading platform focused on the forestry asset class, in which large forest assets are divided into small tradable tokens (tokenisation), thus enabling small to medium investors to collectively own parts of forests. While the forests are managed and harvested in the most sustainable ways, they offer the investors stable and reliable returns between 3 to 7+% annually at low risk. The innovative trading platform is powered by the latest blockchain technology, which eliminates the need for traditional financial intermediaries (e.g. brokers), ensuring that the large majority of returns are given back to token holders.