Main outcomes

SWOT analysis for woodworking industries in the 4 European macro-regions

WoodCircus resulted in a general overview about the state of the art and development potential in the fields of circular bioeconomy in wood construction value chains in the four distinct macro-regions in Europe, such as wood waste recovery and recycling processes, management and utilization of industrial side streams, materials and products, organisation, and regulation of value chains (see WoodCircus deliverable report D2.2. [link]). Thanks to the fact-finding and direct involvement of stakeholders, it was possible to have a clear picture about several aspects of the wood products industries and waste management sectors:

  • Classification and definitions of side streams and wastes from wood based on European, national, regional regulations and standards.
  • Side-streams supplies from wood products industries, construction, demolition, packaging and furniture as well as product palette, end-uses and customers.
  • Recovering, recycling, reusing, and processing technologies.
  • Wood waste management systems.
  • Organization and stakeholders of different value chains, with specific focus on material flows, industrial ecosystems, and stakeholder relationships.
  • Availability and suppliers of raw materials.
  • Bio-circular products from side streams and wood-based wastes (and reference markets);
  • Solutions of and implementation of resource efficiency.
  • funding programmes and financing agencies.

The whole of this analysis generated right away interesting results, even in view of the implementation in the subsequent WPs, as summarized below:

  • Elaboration of SWOT analysis for four different European macro-regions (Table 1);
  • Identification of development needs and, in a preliminary way, good practices.
  • Individuation of potential for novel applications and cross-border transfer.
  • Elaboration of a set of preliminary policy recommendations and research, development, and innovation incentives.


Main conclusions:

The European wood sector shows a certain dynamism which emerged already before the Covid-19 pandemic: starting from very good prerequisites in terms of eco-sustainability and circularity, the wood-working industries, and end-users of wood products along the value chain are more and more aware about the potential related to the adoption of a circular economy model. The achievement of this ambitious objective is possible thanks to efficient and well-functioning value chains of side streams and waste management, as well as a good overall management of raw materials. Moreover, while there are efficient and inclusive collaboration systems among stakeholders of value chains and other actors that provide economic and environmental benefits, the progressive introduction of targeted policies and regulations represents an element of great attention among public institutions. Obviously, it is still necessary to solve many issues: development needs were detected in several areas such as research, testing, piloting, proofs-of-concept and branding of side streams and their business and market potential, as well as resource efficiency, logistics, regulation, standardization, communication, promotion, education, value chain management and stakeholder collaboration, four-angle sustainability, and societal thinking. Furthermore, European regions and countries have different opportunities and specialities as regards industrial and operational environment, industry structure and history, supply and markets, knowledge and expertise and local conditions, infrastructure, and economic opportunities. Good functioning of the Triple Helix collaboration across the whole Europe is then one of the potential next steps to enhance the performance of woodworking industries.



SWOT analysis of the circularity of wood processing value chains in Southern, Central, Northern and Eastern Europe






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Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, VTT

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Anne-Christine Ritschkoff