The importance of wood in construction recognised in the update of the EU Bioeconomy
On 11 October the EU Commission published the update of the Bioeconomy Strategy in order to accelerate the deployment of a sustainable European bioeconomy so as to maximise its contribution towards the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Paris Agreement.
The update also responds to new European policy priorities, in particular the renewed Industrial Policy Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Communication on Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation, all of which highlight the importance of a sustainable, circular bioeconomy to achieve their objectives.
The update proposes a three-tiered action plan to:
- Strengthen and scale up the bio-based sectors, unlock investments and markets.
- Deploy local bioeconomies rapidly across the whole of Europe.
- Understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy.
The update stresses that:
- A sustainable European bioeconomy is necessary to build a carbon neutral future in line with the Climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. For instance, in the construction sector engineered wood offers great environmental benefits as well as excellent economic opportunities. Studies show that the average impact of building with 1 ton of wood instead of 1 ton of concrete could lead to an average reduction of 2.1 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the complete life cycle of the product (including use and disposal).”
- In terms of its environmental benefits, the bioeconomy can contribute to the defossilisation of major industries, such as the energy and transport sectors, the chemical industry (e.g. plastics) and the construction sector (use of wood and its composites with other materials in the construction industry as a substitute for non-renewable building materials, such as steel and concrete with possibly lower use of energy and greenhouse gas emissions).
The Bioeconomy documents are available below:
- 2017: The review of the Bioeconomy Strategy
- October 2018: Update of the Bioeconomy Strategy
- Infographic on the Bioeconomy