Will wood be sufficient in the future? The answer lies in the present.

07 | 12 | 2023

The wood processing industry is undergoing a constant evolution, driven by the need to respond to environmental challenges through sustainable use of natural resources. In this regard, especially in recent years, wood has been valued as a substitute for non-renewable materials and as an alternative to fossil fuels.

A recognition that has contributed to a growth of the sector, but consequently also to an increasing use of this raw material. The future availability of wood is therefore a crucial issue today, which this article aims to investigate through an analysis of the current situation and future prospects of the sector in terms of sustainability. The starting point is a study conducted by Conlegno and Federlegno Arredo that asks whether there will be enough wood tomorrow to meet the growing needs of the market.

How to ensure the availability of wood tomorrow

According to European strategies for the bioeconomy and sustainable development, wood assumes a key role as a substitute for non-renewable materials and as a source of renewable energy. Valuable peculiarities that, in a period of ecological transition, must necessarily be confronted with the availability of the same raw material, as emerged in the discussion between Conlegno and Federlegno Arredo at the Ecomondo fair for ecological transition.

FAO studies estimate that, should market demand continue to grow, an increase from about 2.2 billion tons today to 3.2 billion in 2050 would be outlined. A plausible scenario that confirms concerns about the actual availability of wood in the future.

In this regard, Conlegno, a well-known consortium that promotes biodiversity and responsible forest management, first and foremost stresses the importance of spreading the culture of sustainable forestry. This approach involves forest management that aims to maintain the balance of ecosystems over the long term, promoting the production of clean air, quality water and ideal habitats for flora and fauna.

With demand for wood set to grow, it therefore becomes crucial to adopt further responsible practices throughout the supply chain. For example, Conlegno Trust, through certifications such as Pefc and Fsc, ensures that companies follow high standards of sustainable forest management.

Salvador, in line with this philosophy, is committed to offering solutions that respect the raw material throughout the production cycle. Its advanced optimizing machines improve efficiency in wood processing, while also helping to reduce waste and reducing processing waste by up to 15 percent compared to manual cutting. A quantifiable and concrete contribution to support the vision of a sustainable future, in which wood is the raw material par excellence and its availability is sufficient because it is continuously preserved.

In this context where availability is a question, there is also a second related issue: sustainability in the wood-furniture supply chain, for which Federlegno Arredo presented a survey at Ecomondo. So let us continue with an overview of the sector, finding out how Salvador and its solutions fit into this path toward efficiency and sustainability.

Sustainability in the wood-furniture supply chain

Also presented at Ecomondo was the survey conducted by FederlegnoArredo in collaboration with Fondazione Symbola. The goal of the survey is to share the state of the art on the strategies that companies are following today regarding the circular economy. Strategies that act in close connection with raw material preservation and sustainable forestry recounted so far. 

Federlegno Arredo points out that a considerable number of companies in the sector are adopting sustainable materials in their processes (96 percent), investing in energy efficiency (70 percent) and preferring local raw materials, i.e., within 100 km of their headquarters (47.5 percent). Not to mention that, speaking of the aforementioned certifications, three out of four companies buy Fsc or Pefc certified wood. “Results that comfort us and show that ours is a green supply chain by vocation, but the path is still long and no one can think of undertaking it alone,” says Claudio Feltrin, president of Federlegno Arredo.

In this scenario in which companies are increasingly sensitive to every issue related to wood processing-recyclability, product reuse, reduction of packaging and consumption- Salvador’s optimizing solutions are also part of the picture. These are woodworking machines designed with efficiency in mind to make a concrete contribution to achieving sustainability goals.

In conclusion, wood availability may be sufficient in the future. But provided that sustainable forest management policies are implemented and adopted in system today, along with widespread efficiency gains throughout the supply chain and production cycles. The latter is where Salvador positions itself, offering state-of-the-art optimizing machines but also a tangible commitment to a future where wood is used responsibly and efficiently.