23.03.2020

3. Nordic Timber Resource Flows and Imports

At the root of our understanding of Nordic wood in construction’s impacts upon the SDGs is the sourcing of that wood, and the resource flow of that wood from forest to construction site.

The impact of logging depends heavily on local factors where the wood is sourced from, including the sustainability of forest management, social welfare, working conditions, water scarcity, and so on. So where does wood used in the Nordics come from?

As you can see in this figure, data from Eurostat and FAO for 2016 suggests that 91% of sawn wood in the Nordics is nationally sourced, with a further 4% coming from neighbouring Nordic nations, and only 5% of sawn wood being imported from outside the Nordics.

Approximately 94% of wood imported is sawn wood, and of the wood imported from outside of the Nordics, almost all comes from Baltic states and Russia.

86% of production and imports of wood construction elements are from sawn wood. Consequently, it can be concluded that the majority of impact on the SDGs in the Nordics is likely related to domestically sourced sawn wood.

It’s also important to look at the wider resource flows, as shown in the above figure. Of course only a small proportion of wood produced is used in construction, and hence the responsibility of for both positive and negative impacts on SDGs are shared between all users. Allocating that responsibility was beyond the scope of this study, but as an example, of the 70 million m3 of wood logged annually in Sweden, only around 4% is used in construction.

 

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

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.