1. SDG Impact Analysis - an introduction

We set out to get a better idea of how Wood in Construction impacts on the SDGs...

Using the only renewable construction material to create low-carbon, healthy buildings, while supporting supply chains that drive local and rural industries. On the face of it, building more with wood has the potential to do a great amount of good. But nothing is ever all good; trade-offs are always involved and if we don’t know what they are, it’s very difficult to manage and minimise negative impacts whilst maximising positive ones.

In 2015, the global community agreed upon the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that must be met to deliver on Agenda 2030, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.

To better understand where using wood in construction has the most positive impact, but also where it may have potential trade-offs, the SDGs can provide an invaluable framework. Already there has been some excellent analysis that points to the pluses and minuses, so to further this conversation, the Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat wanted to take a deeper dive into some of the 169 specific targets that underlie  the 17 goals.

Teaming up with the Swedish firm Projektengagemang, who specialise in sustainable solutions in buildings and industry, we conducted a survey of experts from across the Wood in Construction value chain and Nordic region.

Whilst this study doesn’t claim to hold definitive answers on the quantitative effect of Wood in Construction on the SDGs, it does gather expert views to shed some light on where exactly wood is good and where trade-offs need managing, highlighting points for consideration and further investigation.

We’ve compiled the findings into this online resource, with an executive summary and some deep-dives into selected SDGs where we test several key hypotheses, we hope you find it an informative and enjoyable read!

→ Read on to the executive summary →

The Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat is hosted by EIT Climate-KIC

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.