Increasing Wood Product Use Essential for Carbon Neutrality

Jun 24, 2024

A carbon-neutral future in the wood industry is only possible through sustainable practices and informed consumer choices. The conclusion is made by Professor Francisco Xavier Aguilar from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in his presentation, “Using Large-Scale Forest Inventory Data and Robustness Tests to Discern Uncertainty in Industry-Related Carbon Effects,” highlighing how the forest industry can significantly bolster carbon pools and contribute to climate goals.

“National forest inventory data provide extensive insights into forest conditions and carbon stocks,” explained Professor Aguilar. “Our analysis reveals how proximity to wood product industries affects these carbon pools, with a focus on the wood pellet sector, a rapidly growing industry of international importance.”

The study underscores the multiple ways in which the wood industry influences carbon pools. “When wood is harvested and converted into products, it can sequester carbon for extended periods,” Aguilar stated. “Using renewable wood products instead of non-renewable, fossil-based materials further enhances this effect.”

Moreover, the wood industry’s use of byproducts for energy production offers an additional climate benefit by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. “Industries that create value encourage replanting of valuable trees, thus maintaining and expanding carbon pools,” said Aguilar.

Aguilar emphasized the creation of value in markets. “When people opt for wood products over more carbon-intensive alternatives, they help close the carbon cycle,” he said. “This not only reduces net emissions but also promotes biomass growth, which is integral to the bioeconomy.”

Aguilar highlighted the socio-economic benefits of a thriving wood industry, including job creation in rural areas and fostering a sustainable local economy. “A well-informed public that consciously chooses local, domestically produced wood products can significantly lower our carbon footprint and support the local economy,” he added.

Explore the work of Professor Francisco Xavier Aguilar, SLU – Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.