HomeFinland-StartupsFinnish startup Fiberwood secures €3 million for its ecological insulation and packaging...

Finnish startup Fiberwood secures €3 million for its ecological insulation and packaging materials

Fiberwood, a startup making eco-friendly insulation and packaging solutions, has just secured €3 million to accelerate product development. The Finnish startup wants to shape a fossil-free future for construction and is now set to scale.

It’s reported that the construction industry is responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions. At the same time, about 75% of buildings in Northern Europe are energy inefficient and responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. The industry is earning itself a poor reputation in this regard, and as demand for buildings and urban development continues to grow, something needs to change.

Better building insulation has been seen as a way to reduce energy costs and it has a market value of about €25 billion on a global scale. However, today insulation is dominated by two groups of products – neither of which are particularly sustainable or eco-friendly. Some options use inorganic mineral wools, such as stone or glass wool, and others use fossil-based cellular plastic products, like polystyrene.

Now, thanks to Fiberwood, there’s a third option available that is recyclable and biodegradable. The startup has just secured €3 million in a fresh funding round led by Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring. Stephen Industries and public financing from Business Finland also participated.

Karita Kinnunen-Raudaskoski, Fiberwood’s Director of Technology and Product Development: “Our innovative foam-forming production process is more energy-efficient and uses less water than similar processes in general, so we promote the goal of sustainable development by using side streams, producing high-value products energy-efficiently, and promoting wood construction.”

Founded in 2019, Fiberwood’s solution for insulation and packaging are offering a sustainable alternative inspired by nature. Its bio-based, plastic-free, and compostable insulation sheets are made from wood pulp and side streams from the mechanical wood industry with special foam-forming technology. The insulation sheets include natural traits of trees as well as air pockets that increase the material’s insulation capabilities.

Tage Johansson, Fiberwood CEO: “We are contributing towards a more sustainable future by using side streams, producing high-value products energy efficiently, and by accelerating the potential of wood-based construction. We are grateful to our investors for believing in our product’s potential, and for the opportunity to use Metsä Group’s forest industry side streams as raw material.”

The products are carbon negative as they store and bind carbon dioxide to the wood for as long as it exists. Once they are ready to be recycled, the insulation sheets will biodegrade into plastic-free soil.

For the construction industry, this means there is now a safe, secure and sustainable alternative. The insulation boards are breathable and, as they are plastic-free, won’t create harmful microplastics. Meanwhile, it’s packaging sheets are looking promising for protecting goods in transport – again cutting the use of plastics.

Karita Kinnunen-Raudaskoski: “Since last September, in our first phase of production we have been able to produce commercial-sized insulation boards for testing. Next, we will build a continuous pilot line for production-scale product and process development. As no existing machinery and processes can produce our products, we need to invent new technology to do so.”

Armed with this new investment, the Finnish team will be able to develop and scale up the production capabilities of its pilot plant as it heads into industrial-level continuous production. The aim is to have the products commercially available in mid-2024.

Erik Kolehmainen, VP, Corporate Venturing at Metsä Spring: “Fiberwood has developed a one-of-a-kind technology that utilises renewable raw materials from sustainable forest sources. Metsä Group wants to support the most efficient utilisation of side streams. The world needs new innovations to support the circular economy, and it is innovations like this that we want to support.”

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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