Promotion of wood construction and wood products in Finland
Wood has the unique ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and to store carbon. There is therefore a justification from the climate perspective for increasing the use of wood in construction and the use of other wood products.
The promotion of the use of wood in construction and in the wood products industry serves many of our current policy objectives in Finland, such as climate change mitigation, sustainable construction and housing policy, and promotion of the circular economy. At the same time, we can positively influence the vitality of rural areas.
In Prime Minister Marin’s Government Programme (2019), Finland set the objective of increasing the use of wood in construction and the use of wood products. At the same time, the aim is to increase the degree of processing of wood products and to find more diverse uses for wood and wood fibre. From the climate perspective, there is a particular emphasis on wood products in which carbon is bound for a long time.
The Wood Building Programme (2017–2022) led by the Ministry of the Environment is the most important strategy for promoting the use of wood in construction. The Programme’s objectives are to promote and develop the skills base in order to take construction with wood to an internationally competitive level and to support industrial wood material manufacturing in Finland, boosting exports.
Alongside the Wood Building Programme, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is implementing a set of measures concerning the land use sector (LULUCF). Projects within the scope of the Catch the carbon project package supplement the Wood Building Programme. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is promoting, among other things, the use of wood in the construction and structures of farms and sparsely populated areas. In addition, Catch the Carbon projects promote the use of wood in Finland’s transport infrastructure, such as bridges. Read more: Promoting the use of wood in farm construction in Finland and Promoting the use of wood in the infrastructure of Finnish private roads.
The Catch the Carbon projects also develop methods and calculators for estimating the amount of carbon bound in wood and wood structures. Efforts are being made to increase the amount of expertise in the sector by producing learning materials on wood structures and wood products. In addition, and as part of the Catch the Carbon project package, information related to forest carbon sequestration and the carbon storage of wood products has been communicated and disseminated. Read more: Communication projects on carbon storage of wood products.
Read more about the Catch the Carbon projects and programmes below.
Kaisa Pirkola, Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Natural Resources Department, Unit for Forests and Bioenergy