Our responsibility and contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
The transition to a climate-neutral industry is occurring from the seedling in the forest to the finished product thanks to the unique properties of wood from a climate and resource perspective – but also thanks to an innovative, forward-looking and curious industry that is constantly changing and improving, with its sights firmly set on the climate goals.
The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 global goals for sustainable development. The goals balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the social, the economic and the environmental. The whole wood industry contributes to all three of these dimensions.
Sweden’s national work
In 2018, the Swedish Government drew up an action plan for the 2030 Agenda, aimed at driving implementation and clarifying the responsibilities of the various stakeholders.
The ambition is for Sweden to lead the way on the 2030 Agenda, both at home and on the global stage, not least by becoming the world’s first fossil-free welfare state and standing as an international role model on economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The action plan covers all 17 goals in the 2030 Agenda. These are the areas on which we are placing a particular emphasis:
Goal 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
The wood industry is a constant source of new innovations. Research focused on optimising every part of the industry is a way to improve the efficiency of production and the processes involved. A prime example is the way we are working on digitalising the industry and its products. One aim of this is to increase the level of circular construction, for example by providing information about what the walls of a building will be made of, and how they can best be recycled, even before construction begins.
Goal 11. Sustainable cities and communities
The role of Sweden’s large wood industry and its sawmills has historically been important for the development and prosperity of society, and it remains so to this day. Industrial wood construction of apartment blocks, houses, and other buildings and structures is an invaluable component of sustainable urban and community planning. The wood industry contributes to Goal 11 along its entire chain: from the seedling in the forest to the sawmill, the construction site or production site and the finished building or product. Jobs are created and communities thrive on those jobs. Transport is also included in this, and more often than not it runs on eco-aware alternatives.
Goal 12. Responsible consumption and production
Our society is driven by various kinds of consumption. Making choices about materials and the form that our consumption takes helps us to cut the release of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We need to consume less, but also to replace fossil and non-renewable consumption with something else. Wood is a renewable, natural material that can be recycled. Did you know that everything made from oil can be made using wood? You can make both fuel and textiles from wood, for example. Wood is all around us. In city buildings, in the furniture you sit on and the packaging your fruit comes in. Wood’s production cycle only has a modest impact on the environment, since it comes from sustainably managed forests.
Goal 17. Partnerships for the goals
There is considerable international interest in wood, both for building and as a material for furniture, design and interiors. Sweden is often seen as a pioneer, setting a good example. Domestic knowledge about how we are using the wood industry to effectively achieve climate neutrality over the long term has ripple effects when shared in export initiatives and other international contexts. Global partnerships establish the transfer and sharing of knowledge, as well as opportunities for the industry to become better for the climate internationally. We see the innovative wood industry, with its renewable raw material, as a tool for achieving the climate goals.