Objectives and Key Message
1. Wood - the smart choice in your daily life and the renewable way to build, heat and furnish your home
- Renewable: the wood we use grows back – oil wells run dry, mines peter out, forests regrow
- Managed forests grow forever. Oil, steel and concrete do not
- Smart wood from healthy forests
- When managed wisely and sustainably, forests provide an endlessly renewable supply of materials and energy, as well as essential environmental and social benefits.
- Wise and sustainable management of Europe’s forests provides us with endlessly renewable supplies of environmentally friendly materials, products and services such as timber, wood, food, energy, fuel, biodiversity, water, clean air, recreation and eco-tourism.
- Wood is an excellent choice for any residential, commercial, industrial or public building – it has a low environmental impact, is safe, durable and attractive.
2. Healthy forests safeguard Europe's future
- Europe’s forests are responsibly managed for today and tomorrow
- Healthy forests - healthy society
- Forests, vital for biodiversity
- Managed forests burn less
- Europe’s forests are generally kept in good health, but further attention is required to counter increasing threats – largely from climate change, storms, fire, pests, and disease.
- Europe’s forests are 26% undisturbed, 70% semi-natural and 4% plantations and are an important source of biodiversity.
- The area of protected forests in Europe has increased by around half a million hectares annually over the last 10 years due to policies to improve biodiversity.
- Forests promote well-being: 92% of forests in the pan-European region are available to the public for recreational purposes. Recreational use is the main management goal for 3% of forests in Europe.
- Actively managed forests are less prone to fire, pests and other damages.
3. Sustainable forests contribute to a sustainable economy
- Forest products are our oldest source of material and energy
- The smart choice: use wood and energy from healthy forests
- Wood is the largest source of renewable energy in Europe
- The forest sector in Europe is already greening the economy by improving human well-being and social equity in urban and rural areas while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
- In 2009, wood accounted for almost half of renewable energy sources
- Despite the increasing rate of wood consumption for energy, Europe’s forests are increasing in area as well as standing volumes.
- Forests contribute to income and employment – around 4 million people work in the European forest sector.
- The forest sector, including wood processing and pulp and paper industries, contributes on average 1 percent to European GDP (gross domestic product).
- Forest management helps maintain rural life
- 16 million people in the region own forests and draw revenue from them; some of these people depend on their forest for their livelihoods.
- Non-wood forest products are an important source of local income.
4. Using forest products, the smart choice, will reduce our environmental footprint
- Europe’s environmental footprint can be reduced by using sustainably produced wood and other forest derived products instead of non-renewable products.
- The concept of sustainability was developed 300 years ago in the forest sector.
- Forests: centuries-old solution for sustainability.
- Are you concerned by climate change and you want to protect your environment? Use wood.
- Be carbon friendly, avoid non-renewables – use forest products.
- Hans Carl von Carlowitz, an administrator of mining in Saxony, developed the concept of sustainable forest management 300 years ago.
- Growing forests remove carbon from the atmosphere. Wood products store carbon and provide us with smart substitutes for energy intensive products and fuels.
- Forest products (i.e. wood and cork) are renewable, durable, reliable and versatile materials. They help to bring nature into our homes.
- Using sustainable forest products reduces our ecological footprint and helps safeguard forests for the future.
5. Innovative wood products are the future
- Examples of market-ready wood-based innovations include bioplastics (i.e. packaging and hygiene materials, cellulose-based materials, new textile materials), bio-based materials (i.e. wood-plastic composites, innovative bioplastic foams), engineered wood products (i.e. cross-laminated timber, cellulose-based insulation) and biorefining (i.e. organic chemicals).
- In the field of bioplastics, there have been a large number of effective innovations, specifically applied in the fields of hygiene and packaging.
- Bioplastic innovations are finding new market niches in the automotive and electronics industries, with promising implications for future development.
- There have been considerable advances and improvement in engineered wood products, including many new types of cross-laminated timbers.
6. Have you seen your green factory?
- Millions visit it!
- Forests: a multi-services factory
- Forests: The largest recreation area
- Forests: Clean air, clean water
- Healthy forests – healthy society
- Forests: source of beauty and inspiration
- Can you imagine life without forests? We can’t.