Wood construction and wood products
The use of wood reduces the carbon footprint of construction, when we consider the whole lifecycle of wood from the manufacture of the materials to construction, use and recycling. In Finland the greatest growth potential in wood construction is in the construction of blocks of flats and public buildings. The use of wood materials can also be further increased in e.g. energy renovations of facades, construction of additional floors and infill construction.
Increasing the use of wood in construction and structures is one way to achieve the objectives set out in the National Climate and Energy Strategy by 2030. The promotion of wood construction was also included in the Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government and in the key projects of the Government Programme preceding that. At the same time the aim is also to diversify the use of wood and increase its value added. Promoting the use of wood in products that sequester carbon for a long time is also one of the themes of the package of climate measures for the land use sector.
Use of wood in construction promoted
The aim of the Wood Building Programme 2016–2023 implemented under the lead of the Ministry of the Environment is to increase the use of wood in urban construction, public buildings and large wooden structures, such as halls and bridges. The programme promotes the use of wood in construction by strengthening expertise in the sector and providing information on wood construction, including on the role of the carbon footprint and health and safety issues related to construction. In recent years the Building Code has also been revised with respect to e.g. fire safety regulations and certain technical requirements for construction as part of the reform of the Land Use and Building Act.
One of the key priorities of the Wood Building Programme is promoting the use of wood in public buildings. The national objectives for public wood construction were published in September 2020. Objectives were set for the percentage of wood in all new public buildings and in the most significant types of buildings in terms of the construction volumes. In 2022 the percentage set as the target for the market share of wood construction of all public construction was 31% and the target for 2025 is 45%.
Finland produces about 12 million cubic metres of sawn wood per year
The processing of domestic wood has positive impacts on the Finnish economy and employment. Wood products industry employs about 30,000 persons in Finland. The gross value of the production of the Finnish wood products industry is about EUR 6.5 billion, of which the share of sawmilling and board industry is about 62% and that of carpentry industry is about 38%.
In 2021 the production of sawn wood in Finland totalled about 11.9 million cubic metres. For about the past five years the annual production has been around 12 million cubic metres. The domestic consumption of sawn wood depends a great deal on the volume of construction as in Finland about four-fifths of the sawn wood is used in the construction sector.
Export revenue from wood products industry
The wood products industry has an important role in generating export revenue for Finland. For a long time the most important export articles have been sawn wood and plywood. Traditionally, European countries have been the main market area for Finnish wood product exports, but North Africa (especially Egypt), China and Japan are also important destinations for these.
Of the total capacity of the Finnish sawmilling industry, about 70% is exported. In 2021 the production of sawn wood totalled about 11.9 million cubic metres and about 8.7 million cubic metres (73%) was exported. In the same year the value of wood product exports totalled about EUR 3.9 billion.
Forests and the economy
Carbon stocks in wood products
Forest industry statistics
Wood Building Programme 2016-2023 (Ministry of the Environment)
Information on the wood products sector (Federation of Finnish Woodworking Industries)
Wood building (bioeconomy.fi)
Forest industry production 2020
Story of Wood (PUUINFO)
Federation of the Finnish Woodworking Industries
Finnish Sawmills Association
Kaisa Pirkola, Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Forests and Bioenergy Telephone:0295162350