The forest-based sector in Sweden

We are convinced that to meet the climate challenge there must be a complete shift to a bioeconomy. The vision of the Swedish forest industries is that the Swedish forest sector is driving growth in the world’s bioeconomy. 

Sweden is well placed to drive the development of sustainability – it has endless natural resources, skilled innovators and a strong desire to invest in a fossil-free society. The forest industries use renewable forest sources; something that not only we benefit from, but the global community as well. 

In the development of a sustainable bioeconomy Sweden is well positioned, with strong forest industries. These industries employ approximately 70,000 people, and a total of 200,000 people. Export value was SEK 127 billion in 2015.

Facts and figures:

  • In Sweden alone, forest covers 70% of the country. There are 87 billion trees.
  • There is now twice as much wood in Sweden as there was 90 years ago.
  • 1% of our forest is felled annually. Nonetheless, growth outpaces felling.
  • For every tree harvested at least two new ones are planted.
  • Sweden is the world’s third largest exporter of forest-based products. 
  • 80% of our forest-based products are exported.
  • The substitution effect of Swedish forest industry products is equivalent to Sweden’s annual carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Environmental and production targets in forestry are brought into line with one another, since the Swedish Forestry Act was updated in 1993.
  • Sweden’s forest industries have reduced their emissions by over 60% since 2005 and use almost no fossil fuels in their processes.
  • 96% of heating energy used by the forest industries is bioenergy.
  • The forest industries are one of Sweden’s most important business sectors; they directly employ 70,000 people in Sweden.

Sweden is also one of the leading nations in forestry and forest industry research. Swedish companies are absolutely at the forefront of industrial wood construction and development of new wood and cellulose-based products, such as bioplastics, biocomposites, carbon fibre materials and textile fibres. Technological breakthrough possibilities are also considerable, in terms of the development of chemicals and refined fuels. 

Every year, Sweden invests SEK 2 billion in forest research at universities, colleges and institutes, and forest industry companies annually invest SEK 2.3 billion in their own research.