Title: Environmental sustainability assessment of a short wood supply chain
Citation: What is sustainable technology? The role of life cycle-based methods in addressing the challenges of sustainability assessment of technologies p. 24-31
Publisher: ENEA
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC75074
ISBN: 978-88-8286-270-1
URI: http://old.enea.it/com/ingl/New_ingl/publications/editions/pdf/V2012LCATechSept.pdf
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Forest-based products and related industries make up one of the most important sectors in European Union, representing about 10% of the total manufacturing industries. Nowadays, the forest-wood supply chain is a complex system and groups several different areas, such as pulp and paper, paper and board, graphic industry woodworking and furniture. The sector represents an asset for the so-called “Bioeconomy” and requires the development of specific evaluation framework for assuring system’s sustainability, from raw material extraction to product’s end of life.The present case study was developed in the context of an interdisciplinary project called BOMO (BOsco-MObile, Forest-Furniture) aimed at studying the economic potential and viability of the use of wood located in the region of Lombardy and to explore the improvements provided by a short-supply chain scheme. The project studied a pilot supply chain using the wood from Intelvi valley forests (Italian Alps). The aims of the study are: i) to evaluate the environmental and energetic burdens associated to wood extraction in Intelvi valley, ii) to compare two different possibilities of extraction (by winch and cable-logging) and iii) to evaluate the environmental impacts induced by the introduction of a new advanced mechanization (with harvester and forwarder), compared to a traditional one, in order to identify the best mechanization method for the site. An additional comparison is about the realization of delimbing phase before or after extraction phase. The evaluation is conducted from an LCA perspective and the study covers the whole life cycle of timber extraction and transport to sawmill. The objective is to provide decision-makers (producers and policymakers) a system structure to operate in the most favorable way from the environmental point of view, identifying key parameters to help producers within supply chain. Data used in this study were collected with the support of the project partners.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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