A resilient and competitive EU

SFIF's 2040 goal: Increase Sweden’s forest industries contribution to European self-sufficiency in wood-based products and renewable energy

Photo: iStock grön skog

The Swedish Forest Industries Federation (SFIF) fully supports the EU’s climate neutrality and circular economy targets. However, greater circularity is not enough. If the EU is to make a success of the green transition, it needs a circular economy based on renewable materials, that is, a circular bioeconomy.

A circular bioeconomy is based on sustainable production and consumption through the replacement of fossil-based materials with sustainable, renewable alternatives. Moreover, the current geopolitical situation has highlighted the need for greater European strategic autonomy to counteract supply chain disruption. A circular bioeconomy would be a European strategic asset.

Moving away from a fossil-based, linear economy to a circular bioeconomy, would improve the Union’s geopolitical resilience and competitiveness and mitigate climate change. In this respect, Sweden’s forest owners and forest industries already make a substantial contribution to European resilience.

The Swedish forest-based sector uses primarily European forests to source its wood and European technology in its production processes. It creates jobs throughout Sweden, including in rural areas. More than 65 per cent of the sector’s materials and solutions are sold on the EU Single Market. The sector is energy- and transport-intensive and therefore strives continuously to remain competitive on European and global markets.

Steps towards this goal include:

  • More new and innovative wood-based products that provide additional societal and customer benefits.
  • Greater investment in Europe.
  • Strong focus on efficiency and cost optimisation to maintain competitiveness.

To achieve this, a supportive policy framework is needed that seeks to:

  • Promote the European circular bioeconomy and make the EU an attractive destination for biobased investment.
  • Promote biomaterials as a way to reduce the Union’s dependency on fossil raw materials in material and energy sectors.
  • Reflect the essential role of wood as a strategic European resource and raw material.
  • Ensure that renewability is promoted ahead of fossil alternatives.
  • Assess the cumulative effect of legislation related to the supply of wood raw materials.
  • Appoint the Secretariat General as the DG responsible for policy coherence for all legislation affecting forest-based industries.