Fiberwood, a Helsinki-based producer of ecological wood fibre insulation and packaging materials, has raised €3M in late seed funding led by Metsä Spring with participation from Stephen Industries and public financing from Business Finland (also backed Kide Science and Jobilla).
Fiberwood will utilise the funds to scale up the production capabilities of its pilot plant. To date, the company has raised €3.5M in total funding.
The global insulation market, which is valued at €25B is dominated by two groups of products: inorganic mineral wools and fossil-based cellular plastic products, like polystyrene.
However, these products have more negative environmental consequences as they are not recyclable or biodegradable.
And here’s where Fiberwood led by Tage Johansson aims to replace this.
“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,” says Tage Johansson, Fiberwood CEO, and board member.
Making insulation and packaging fossil-free
Fiberwood is a bio-based, plastic-free, and compostable insulation sheet 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.
The products are carbon negative as they store and bind carbon dioxide to the wood for as long as it exists. Also, the material is fire-resistant, insulates excellently, and as it’s plastic-free, it’s not a source of microplastics.
According to Fiberwood, wood construction is estimated to grow from 10% to 30% in EU countries by 2050.
Approximately 75% of buildings in Northern Europe are energy inefficient and responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Finnish company aims to promote energy efficiency and cleaner inside air while reducing environmental waste in the construction industry.
“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,” says Karita Kinnunen-Raudaskoski, Fiberwood’s Director of Technology and Product Development.
Further, it can be used for protecting goods in transport, with protection abilities similar to styrofoam sheets.
“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,” says Erik Kolehmainen, VP, Corporate Venturing at Metsä Spring – the innovation arm of Metsä Group.