Jörgen Hermansson from Södra becomes new chairman of European Wood

PRESS RELEASE At European Wood’s meeting on Tuesday 29 May, Jörgen Hermansson of Swedish forest company Södra was appointed the new chairman, succeeding Jan Söderlind of the industry organisation Swedish Wood. European Wood is a collaborative platform based around the European sawmill industry whose aim is to influence building regulations and standardisation, primarily in China and Japan. In addition to Sweden, which is responsible for coordinating the work, the body also includes representatives from the sawmill industry in Norway, Finland and Austria.

European Wood has been active in the Chinese market for over ten years and has been a key player in helping the world’s largest construction market to establish basic standards and regulatory frameworks for wood in construction.

That work has been particularly intensive since 2015, when China adopted a highly proactive policy to encourage more building in wood. The main reasons behind China’s wood drive were a greater focus on climate change issues and the need to steer the construction industry towards sustainable growth. The successful and innovative wood construction industry in the countries behind European Wood is providing the Chinese market with valuable expertise in order to support the transition to building more in wood.

Jörgen Hermansson, who is President of Södra  Building Systems, will officially become the new chairman of European Wood on 1 June 2018, and both Swedish Wood’s Director Mikael Eliasson and Jörgen himself have high hopes for the collaborations ahead.

“We are very pleased that Jörgen Hermansson has accepted the role of chairman. With his in-depth knowledge of wood and our industry, not to mention broad market experience, Jörgen will lead European Wood during a hugely dynamic period for wood construction in China,” comments Mikael Eliasson.

“I am pleased and humbled to be taking over as chairman of European Wood. The Swedish and European wood industry has a fantastic opportunity to position itself and be involved in shaping functional and robust regulations for wood in the world’s largest construction market,” says Jörgen Hermansson.

Wood construction growing
Over the past five years, the Swedish sawmill industry has built up a substantial market for wood in China’s expanding construction sector. In 2017, exports reached almost a million cubic metres, which has positioned China as the third largest market for Swedish wood manufacturers. With a rise in wood construction comes the potential to expand the business opportunities for the Swedish wood industry and the knowledge industry that has grown up around industrial wood construction.

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