Sawmill industry and sustainability

The aim of sustainable development is to safeguard good living conditions for future generations. Sustainable development consists of three aspects:

Ecological sustainability – Adapting human activity to the environment’s bearing capacity

Sawmills produce timber for the needs of the construction, joinery, furniture and packaging industries. As timber is a renewable material, using it helps to reduce the use non-renewable natural resources. During their growth, trees sequester carbon dioxide, and the carbon remains sequestered in timber products throughout their life cycle. Sawmills use energy from renewable sources, and they generate more energy than they consume. At the end of their life cycle, sawn timber can be utilised for energy.

Economic sustainability – Balanced growth not based on increasing debt or the destruction of resources

In 2016, sawn goods were the fourth most important commodity exported by Finland. Timber is Finland’s principal natural resource, but forests can only have a financial value if they are utilised. Without sawmills, trees would rot where they stand and the value of Finnish forests would drop significantly below the current figure, which is EUR 50 thousand million. The income from forests is distributed evenly across Finland, bringing prosperity and well-being to the whole country. Forests that are managed responsibly and sustainably will generate a steady income for their owners.

Social and cultural sustainability – Transferring the prerequisites of well-being to future generations

The independent sawmill industry mainly consists of family businesses. The business activity of the sawmills is not considered in terms of quarterly prospects, but in terms of entire generations. The sawmills are located close to the forests. Their operation will not be relocated to other countries in the hope of more favourable costs.
Timber is an important part of the Finnish architectural, cultural and economic tradition. Our prosperity is based on the export of goods and products of progressive forestry and forest industry.

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