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Sustainability impact assessment of the forestry-wood chain (EFORWOOD)


Wood chain diagram
The diagram shows one of many possible wood chains starting with the planting of a beech forest, and its subsequent tending and eventual harvesting. This timber is converted into sawn timber which is used to manufacture a solid wood table. This finally ends up many years later at the energy plant.

The main aim of the programme was to assess the long term sustainability of the European forestry wood chain, in relation to the three pillars of sustainability:

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Social.

Forests fulfill multiple functions and provide the raw material for a wide range of goods such as timber, fibre and bio-energy, as well as services such as protection of water, soil, biodiversity and recreation. Forestry, forest-based and related industries, including transport, and downstream stakeholders comprise a major economic cluster in Europe.

Through this research, the forest-based sector will be in the front line in identifying means by which the strategic and political decisions on sustainable development currently being discussed all around Europe can be put into practice.

Programme website

Research objectives

  • Collect data and information on simplified wood chains that are representative of operations across Europe
  • In collaboration with stakeholders, develop prototype models (tools) that can simulate the forestry wood chain at a regional scale
  • Bring tools together to represent the entire European forestry wood chain and use this integrated system to evaluate different future scenarios.

Funders and partners

EU flag
The programme was funded under the EU ‘Global change and ecosystems’ research activities in the Sixth Framework Programme.

List of partners.

Forest Research involvement

  • Full partner
  • Contributions to Module 2 (Forest Resources Management) and Module 3 (Forest to Industry Interaction)
  • Deputy leader of Module 3, and leader of Work Package 2.3 (Social and Cultural Values)
  • Responsible for a British test chain (location to be decided).

Reports and journal articles

EU reports

These reports and publications are from Work Package 2.3 'Social and Cultural Values' which was led by David Edwards. Our data is also being used by other studies to model the impacts of changes in forest management at European level, including the FAO/UNECE European Forest Sector Outlook Study.

EU reports are now published as EFI Technical Reports nos 58-63.

Journal articles

Edwards, D.M., Jensen, F.S., Marzano, M., Mason, B., Pizzirani, S. and Schelhaas, M.J. (2011). A Theoretical Framework to Assess the Impacts of Forest Management on the Recreational Value of European Forests. Ecological Indicators 11: 81-89.

Edwards, D., Jay, M., Jensen, F.S., Lucas, B., Marzano, M., Montagne, C., Peace, A. and Weiss G. (2012). Public preferences for structural attributes of forests: towards a pan-European perspective. Forest Policy and Economics 19: 12–19.

Edwards, D., Jay, M., Jensen, F.S., Lucas, B., Marzano, M., Montagne, C., Peace, A. and Weiss G. (2012). Public preferences across Europe for different forest stand types as sites for recreation. Ecology and Society 17(1): 27.


The programme was launched in November 2005. It was a four-year integrated project involving 38 organisations in 18 countries.


Forest Research contacts

For social aspects contact:

David Edwards

For operational aspects contact:

Elspeth Macdonald

EU programme co-ordinator

Prof. Kaj Rosen
Skogforsk,  The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden
Uppsala Science Park, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 36 A,
S-751 83 UPPSALA
Tel: +46 18-18 85 00
Fax: +46 18-18 86 00

EU flag

What's of interest

EFORWOOD: incorporating social and cultural values into sustainability impact assessments of the forestry-wood chain (PDF-59K)
Brief research summary including background, objectives, methods, findings andf recommendations

Shape your sustainability tools - and let your tools shape you
The EFORWOOD final conference was held in Uppsala, Sweden on 23/24 September 2009

European Forest Sector Assessing its Sustainability (PDF-15K)
Article about EFORWOOD from EFI News Number 2, Volume 14, November 2006

Related pages

Useful sites