Forest-based circular bioeconomy

Forests are an integral part of the Swedish way of life and have for generations been the foundation of Swedish prosperity. In the future, sustainably managed forests will continue to provide important services to our citizens and the world as it holds the answer to many of our current societal challenges, such as environmental degradation and climate change.

The regions of Småland, Blekinge and Halland are covered by forests, containing areas with unique natural environments, as well as the fastest growing forests in Sweden. For our regions and their stakeholders, sustainable forestry and sustainable utilisation of natural resources is the basis for a sustainable bieconomy and a circular society. This means working in line with environmental goals, while at the same time producing climate friendly products from renewable resources. Our forest contributes with construction material, bioenergy, and innovative products from biobased materials, as well as ecosystem services and recreation.

The regions of Småland Blekinge and Halland have a long history of working proactively on forest related issues, engaging regional industry and stakeholders to develop and adopt joint Forest and Wood Strategies. Public authority, private actors and academia work closely together on forest related matters providing excellence covering the whole value change – from tree to product.

Building with wood

One of our core competences within the forest-based economy is building with wood. We have both the raw material and the know-how. Linnaeus university has research and education within then field of sustainable built environment and wood construction. Smart Housing Småland is our innovation arena for sustainable living solutions in wood and glass. In addition to this, various projects are currently going on, such as circular building and wood building schools. All around our regions, you find examples of buildings in wood, from private homes to public buildings.

Forest, wood, and climate

Forests play an important role combating climate change and providing solutions to many of the related challenges we face. For example,

  • As forests grow, they absorb and bind CO2. That is why we always plant more trees than we take. The volume of standing wood in our forests have doubled in the past hundred years.
  • Wooden products store CO2. When wood is used for products such as buildings or furniture, they naturally store carbon. Wood can be more easily recycled than many other materials, which helps closing the recycling loop. Used wood can be reused in new products several times, before final combustion to energy.
  • Wood is a renewable material that can be used to substitute fossil materials and fuels.
  • Wood is renewable and circular and our regional actors never let anything go to waste. All part of the trees should be used where it has its highest value. Therefore, we never burn whole trees and always take care of waste and bi-products. Our regional actors have found innovative ways to use residues in the production process to new products.

Leading the way forward

In Småland Blekinge Halland, you will find innovative examples and leading innovation environments:

  • Smart Housing Småland: innovation environment for sustainable buildings in wood and glass. Here we combine two of our traditional competences to come up with innovative solutions and products. Furthermore Smart Housing Småland is an active partner to the New European Bauhaus initiative.
  • Linnaeus university: The university carry out education and research within a broad scientific field, from forest to finished product and development of new wood products for construction and housing. It has a long tradition of cooperating with both industry and society. Many of these actors are gathered around Forest and wood centre South, a unique platform at Linnaeus University that works for increased collaboration and communication between research, education, industry, and society. Linnaeus University, together with Södra and IKEA, have created a unique long-term and strategic investment in research and education with a focus on forestry, innovation and sustainability – the Bridge.
  • Småland’s forest and wood strategies: joint initiative between regions, universities, foresters, industry and national authorities. Together they have a vision and action plan with several cooperation projects in areas such as skills and education, building in wood, equality, and entrepreneurship.

Cooperate with us

We are open to all sorts of collaboration – knowledge sharing to cooperation projects. Contact EU Policy Officer Martin Broberg if you want to know more about forest and forest-based industry in Småland Blekinge Halland or to get in contact with initiatives and organisations in our regions.