Growing trees capture carbon dioxide from the air. The more trees there are in a forest, the more carbon molecules are stored in the forest. These molecules are released back into the atmosphere in connection with felling, wood processing, decaying, and burning. Forest management and wood processing procedures, such as seedling production and tilling, also consume energy and release impurities and nutrients to the soil, air, and water. The environmental impacts of wood are a combination of these factors.
To mitigate climate change it is important to be able to measure the effect of human activity on the environment and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to humans.
Life cycle assessment of wood products
The Natural Resources Institute Finland’s know-how in forest cultivation and management is instrumental for environmental impact assessments. Information about the ecological footprints of wood products is produced by incorporating the effects of forest cultivation into the life cycle models of wood product manufacturing and use. The data are used by both manufacturers and consumers. The information is also useful for decision-makers who need reliable and comparable data on the effect of the use of wood products on our environment.
Picture on top of the page: Tarmo Räty, Luke