Phase 1 - Defining forestry wood chains (FWCs) and developing a decision-support tool
This will focus on data collection and decision-support tool development for "Test Chains”, i.e. simplified example value chains from the sector.
The chain starts from planting trees, managing and using the forest (including recreational use), felling trees and transporting timber. It continues with various phases in manufacturing wood and fibre products, further refining and consumption, and ends with recycling of wood based materials.
Each process will be linked to indicators representing the three pillars of sustainability:
- Examples of the economic indicators are the costs of and the value added to the units produced in the process
- Social sustainability will be assessed by examining the recreational potential of the forests and by the impacts of employment, including that of female and youth employment
- Environmental sustainability indicators include the impact of forestry activities on biodiversity, energy consumption, carbon balance and pollution produced in various manufacturing processes.
The essential research problem will be to find the appropriate level of detail in which to describe the forest-wood chain and which sustainability indicators should be used.
Several test chains will be used (e.g. Norway spruce from Scandinavian clear-cut forestry ending up in construction timber in Western Europe or Eucalyptus wood produced in short rotation forest in Portugal, used for fine print and then after recycling ending in newsprint).
The aim is to create a simulation tool, ToSIA (Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment) that will calculate impacts of new technologies or the implementation of new policy instruments on the sustainability of the forest-based sector.
Phase 2 - Assessment and extension of decision-support tool
After an assessment of the prototype decision-support tool with stakeholders, it will be extended to complete “regional cases”, that are complete and real examples of forestry-wood chains.
The regional cases will be selected in agreement with the European Commission during the first year of the project, based on three main criteria:
- Bio-geographical characteristics
- Regional characteristics of the FWC
- The expertise of the EFORWOOD consortium.
Phase 3 - Testing of decision-support tool on current European FWCs
It will also be used to study scenarios of future FWCs and allow identification of the most sustainable economic, social and environmental options.
The functioning of the decision-support tool for selected cases in the developing world will be tested.
A user-friendly, web-based version will be also be developed for users representing industry and policy-making, and demonstration packages for the web will made available.
Phase 4 - Reporting of results
This will include synthesis and reporting of the project outcomes.
Global aspects of FWCs will be analysed by looking at mutual influences on levels of sustainability of inherent inter-dependencies between European and regions outside Europe.
The final conference entitled "Shape your sustainability tools - and let your tools shape you", was held in Uppsala, Sweden on 23rd and 24th September 2009.