The most significant sub-sectors of the forest-based industries in Europe are the woodworking and furniture industries, which in 2011 had a total turnover of over Euros 200 billion and 2 million employees, in 314,000 mostly small- and medium-sized companies. The woodworking sector consists of sawmilling (15%), wood construction products (37%) and furniture manufacture (48%). Some 102.9 million m³ of sawn wood were produced in the EU in 2015, close to two thirds of which came from the five largest-producing EU Member States: Germany (20.9%), Sweden (17.7%), Finland (10.3%), Austria (8.6%) and France (7.3%).
Wood is our most important renewable raw material for construction and furniture. First of all, wood and wood products sequester carbon and reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, helping to mitigate climate change. Secondly, wood products are made in an established, low energy production system, with minimal emissions. Bi-products from sawmills such as chips and sawdust are transformed into wood-based panels. Also, wood products can be reused and recycled. At the end of their useful life they can be used for bio-energy.