Environmental declarations for wood products are an important tool in customer work

Environmental impact of our products

Published: 17/11/2015 00:00

Our customers are increasingly asking us about the environmental impacts of Metsä Wood products. Our wood products now feature product-specific environmental declarations that provide information about their impact.

These declarations comply with relevant standards and are based on life-cycle calculations. We use these calculation models to assess the environmental impact of the emissions and use of natural resources during the manufacture of one tonne of product, for instance.

Environmental decralations for wood productsEnvironmental declarations help customers to make responsible choices

An environmental declaration presents indicators that describe the environmental impact of the product. These indicators are calculated using emissions released by production processes and the amounts of different natural resources used, from the procurement of raw materials to their processing into finished products. Product distribution, use and end use are not as yet included in our calculations. A third party always verifies the environmental declarations.

Thanks to the information provided in environmental declarations, our customers can make sustainable choices by comparing the environmental impact of different products and building elements. They can use this information to calculate the environmental impact of an entire building, for instance. The declaration also presents information on aspects such as the amount of carbon sequestered in the wood products.

Environmental declarations for Metsä Wood’s wood products comply with EN standards

At present, the calculations only cover the production process up to the point when the product is ready for the transportation at the mill gate. However, standards and official regulations might in future require the calculations to extend over the entire life cycle of the product. “For example, the French authorities already require environmental declarations to cover the entire life cycle of the product,” says Anu Huovinen, R&D Manager, Metsä Wood.

 

Wood products are blazing a trail in the construction industry – to date, they are the only category of building products for which European product category rules for drafting environmental declarations have been ratified. In accordance with the standards in force, environmental declarations have now been drafted for Metsä Wood’s spruce and birch plywood, Kerto® LVL products and Finnjoist I-beams. In future, CE-marked building products must also feature some of the indicators used in the environmental declarations; the environmental impact of the products must be calculated in accordance with the standards. “We have prepared for this by working closely with Eija Saski, the Group’s Development Manager, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, on the necessary development work and calculations,” says Huovinen. The work is ongoing.

Along with other organisations in the field, Metsä Group has proactively contributed to the requirements set in the standards. The Group has cooperated with parties such as Aalto University. This has been a long-term effort over many years, but it has been worth it – the information presented in the environmental declarations is an important competitive factor for Metsä Wood.