Sustainable supply

Sustainable supply

Worldwide, forests are an immense resource, accounting for 29.6% of the earth’s total land base. Although European forests, excluding Russia, account for just 5% of that area, they are the most intensively managed in the world, providing 12% of the current global round wood fellings and 23% of the industrial round wood.

The European forest sector’s output is approx. 25% of the current world industrial production of forest products, accounting for nearly 30% of the wood-based panels, paper, and paperboard. Despite the increasing demand for forest resources, the EU has become a net exporter of forest products, while at the same time expanding Europe’s forests.

European forests are so expansive that the total area is equivalent to over two and a half football pitches per capita. Over 1 billion ha of forests are spread over 44 countries and despite the increasing demand, the forested area in the EU is coninuing to grow. Europe's forests are expanding at an annual net area rat of 510.000 ha. The total standing volume is 20 billion cubic metres and just 64 % of the net annual increment is harvested. Europe's net annual increment is estimated at 645 million m³. In Europe, wood is an infinite source.

Sustainable forest management

For Europe, the concept of sustainable forest management was defined in 1993 at the pan-European Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe as: 'The stewardship and use of forest lands in a way and at a rate that maintains their productivity, biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil now and in the future relevant ecological, economic and social functions at local, national and global levels and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.'

Reliable information and careful planning are important for sustainable forest management. The work of organisations such the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) in the field of forestry planning and statistics provides information and tools to assist forest management and forestry policies. Forests in Europe are increasingly being managed as ecosystems, taking into account both economic benefits and environmental values.
Sustainable forest management (SFM) takes into consideration various pressures and demands, both environmental and societal, such as: climate change, air impurities, land use changes, protection, biodiversity certification, timber production, water resources

Global forest cover
Forest Ownership
Europe's forests are expanding, 42 % coniferous wood, primarily spruce