Use of wood

Wood is a renewable and climate friendly raw material that is increasingly in demand. It is a goal to increase the use of wood to replace materials with a more detrimental impact on the climate.

Trevirke på skogbruk.
Wood is a material with a long history and a wide range of applications, e.g. construction - from bridges and high-rise buildings to interiors and furniture. Credit: Torbjørn Tandberg

Whether massive laminated timber rafters in the "Viking Ship" Hall in Hamar, or the world's tallest wooden building in Bergen - Norway is at the forefront internationally when it comes to innovative use of wood in construction.

Increased use of wood as a construction material will not only boost value creation in forest industries, but also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Wood is a renewable raw material, which binds CO2 and requires little energy to produce. It can replace non-renewable construction materials such as concrete or materials that cause greater greenhouse gas emissions in production or use.

Many applications

In Norway, wood is also processed into paper and packaging products, fiber boards, bioenergy, biochar and biochemicals such as ethanol, cellulose, lignin and vanillin flavoring. These raw materials are ingredients in various products - such as batteries, biofuel, cement, toothpaste, cosmetics, food and clothing.

The forest industry adds more than tenfold the value of the log as it is processed. Today we utilize only a small part of the potential of wood products.

There is a lot of research on new and innovative applications for what many call the "green oil" - because everything made from oil today can be made from wood in the future.

Supporting innovation

Innovation Norway and the National Research Council run a number of programs on behalf of the government, to stimulate innovation and development:

The most important instrument for increasing the use of wood as a construction material is the Wood Based Innovation program. The aim is for Norway to be a pioneer of value-added processing and new applications of wood in the construction industry.

The objective of the Bioeconomy scheme and BIONAER program is to support developing new uses for forest products and wood fiber, while the Bioenergy program is an incentive scheme for farmers and forest owners to produce, utilize, and deliver more bioenergy.

The Norwegian company Borregaard in Sarpsborg has one of the most advanced sustainable biorefineries in the world and is a leader in international research on all the potential locked in a log of timber.