To understand where using wood in construction has the most positive impact, but also where it may have potential trade-offs, the Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat teamed up with the Swedish firm Projektengagemang, who specialise in sustainable solutions in buildings and industry.
The project consisted of two stages, beginning with an analysis of the 169 targets underlying the 17 SDGs to identify where the wood in construction value chain impacts. From here hypotheses were developed that address wood in construction’s potential negative and positive impacts on the SDGs.
To test these SDGs, a survey of experts from across the Wood in Construction value chain and Nordic region was conducted. The 41 selected respondents came from government, academia, the private sector and civil society, and prove an authoritative voice covering a broad range of perspectives.
Bias & Reliability of Results
As we noted in the introduction, 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.
Of the 41 respondents, 11 had direct economic interests in the wood in construction value chain (such as forest companies, construction element producers etc). A very clear trend was shown amongst these respondents in disagreeing with critical hypotheses, far more than those respondents with no economic interests.
A difference clearly exists in the perception of the potential negative impacts of wood in construction. If those working directly in the industry are unable to acknowledge these impacts, it may form a barrier to reducing negative impacts and strengthening contributions to the SDGs.
As such, we recommend that differences in perceptions and interests are acknowledged in a developed agenda on wood in construction.