Sweden exports climate benefit

Editorials by Mikael Eliasson

ARLANDA–CASABLANCA The jet engines roared as the plane took off for Casablanca and the Wood Day that we were on our way to. Through the morning mist, I observed the rolling vista of trees around Arlanda, part of the well managed forests that lead us to market Swedish wood far beyond the nation’s borders. Borders that are no barrier to the air we all share.

As we cut through the dense cloud to be greeted by the sun, my thoughts turned to the fact that we import carbon dioxide that our forests absorb in order to build up their biomass. It felt good, even though the journey itself was generating emissions. Sweden’s system of wild and cultivated forests is increasing its carbon storage year on year, despite us harvesting almost 100 million cubic metres of forest annually. I would suggest that forested Sweden actually exports climate benefit. The wood products we sell and the benefit they represent in the form of carbon storage are something our customers and recipient countries can input into the life cycle assessments of which these wood products become part.

High above the clouds, my mind moved on to the notion of skyscrapers. We are currently constructing wood buildings at heights that couldn’t have been dreamed of just ten years ago and there are plans to reach even loftier heights. Whatever the height, there has to be a roof, one of the most important functional features a building has. In this issue we take a look at roof structures. In addition, we gain an insight into aspects of construction through innovative projects in Sweden, Finland and China. Building in wood is also gaining ground in the field of sustainable development. Property company Rikshem is leading the way, with its clear focus on a sustainable society manifesting itself in a long-term agreement with leading wood construction firms. Success requires courage and action.

We have now begun work on Swedish Wood’s award for architecture in wood, Träpriset 2016. Invitations to take part have gone out and we have a fantastic jury in place. We look forward to an exciting and inspiring competition!

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