European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 81–94 | Cite as

Towards assessing the sustainability of European logging operations

  • Staffan BergEmail author
  • Janine Fischbach
  • Franka Brüchert
  • Mikael Poissonnet
  • Stefania Pizzirani
  • Anne Varet
  • Udo H. Sauter
Original Paper


The forest-based sector has been at the forefront in operationally implementing the sustainability concept, its associated principles and indicators for sustainable forest management. Several methods have been developed to study environmental impacts of forestry activities, but none of the existing tools address all the dimensions of sustainability along the whole forest wood chain (FWC) in a balanced way. Consequently, the decision was made to develop a tool for sustainability impact assessment (ToSIA), the modelling framework for sustainability impact assessment of FWCs. The objective of the EU Project Eforwood was to develop ToSIA, a decision support tool. Within ToSIA, a FWC is modelled as a number of interconnected processes. For each process, a range of economic, environmental and social indicators and their respective values are calculated, thus representing the three pillars of sustainability. By this method, the multifunctionality of forests can be assessed and supply chains can be compared with respect to sustainability. Sensitivity analysis and scenario techniques can be applied to learn about the effect of expected changes to the structure of the chain, the material flows and the indicator values. In order to provide the tool with information about forest and logging operations, data were collected at two fundamental levels: (1) a regional level with case studies in Scandinavia, Iberia and Baden-Württemberg and (2) a European level with a case study that reflects conditions in the 27 countries of the European Union. This paper describes and details the harvesting and logging processes for the European countries. The results are displayed for each of the three regional case studies as well as aggregated to five principal areas in Europe: Eastern, Northern, Western, Central and Southwest Europe.


Sustainability impact assessment Harvesting Logging Economic Social Environmental Decision support 



The authors like to thank all project partners who put efforts in process definition, data collection and calculation, namely Carolin Arheidt, Torsten Bensemann, Volker Bölle, Bernhard Bürzle, Vinzenz Fundel, Diana Vötter, Axel Winking and Katarzyna Zielewska. Co-author Stefania Pizzirani (Forest Research, UK) supported as native speaker. Gero Becker (ALUFR, GER) revised the project deliverable which was the basic for this paper. Thanks are also due to the reviewers and editors of this journal who suggested valuable improvements.


  1. AfL Niedersachsen e.V (2005) Maschinenkalkulationstabellen zur betriebswirtschaftlichen Kalkulation für Vollernter und Rückezug Kurzholz (excel). Excel based calculation tables, version 2005.
  2. Andersson J, Eliasson L (2004) Effects of three harvesting work methods on harwarder productivity in final felling. Silva Fennica 38(2):195–202Google Scholar
  3. Anon (2010) In: Rosén K (ed) ToSIA—a tool for sustainability impact assessment of the forest-wood-chain. Uppsala; Skogforsk, 64 p, Final project reportGoogle Scholar
  4. Athanassiadis D (2000) Energy consumption and exhaust emissions in mechanized timber harvesting operations in Sweden. Sci Total Environ 255:135–143PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baltic 21 FOP 5-Project (2002) Promotion strategies for enhanced use of wood and wood based products in the Baltic Sea Region and Strategic Export MarketsGoogle Scholar
  6. Berg S, Karjalainen T (2003) Comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from forest operations in Finland and Sweden. Forestry 76:271–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berg S, Lindholm E-L (2005) Energy use and environmental impacts of forest operations in Sweden. J Clean Prod 13:33–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bürzle B (2009) Analysis of European forestry-wood-chains using the example of Poland and Lithuania based on process-oriented modeling of value chains and collecting data of approved sustainability Indicators for all chain-related processes in order to support the sustainability impact assessment within eforwood. Diplomarbeit. Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im BreisgauGoogle Scholar
  9. Celpa (2005) Statistics report (2004) Associaçaoda industria Papeleira, p 108Google Scholar
  10. Database Central Europe (2007) Labour costs and earnings. Sample Estonia. Accessed 27 Nov 2009
  11. Eforwood (2006) Deliverable D1.4.3. Description of modelling framework and Deliverable D1.4.5. First prototype TOSIA-FWCGoogle Scholar
  12. Eforwood (2007) Deliverable PD3.4.2 Collection and aggregation of single chain data from WP 3.1–WP 3.4 in order to derive ToSIA inputs in commonly agreed units and formats and deliver those to M1Google Scholar
  13. Eforwood (2008a) Deliverable 3.2.3. SI-Data for harvesting operations based on 3.2.1 and 3.2.2Google Scholar
  14. Eforwood (2008b) Project deliverable PD0.0.16. Manual for data collection for regional and European cases. Background document for Eforwood training. Working document for task force. Final version 2 July 2008—UPDATE 3 September 2008Google Scholar
  15. Eforwood (2008c) In: Valinger E (ed) Deliverable PD2.05 updated report on the forest-based case study “Scandinavian regional case”Google Scholar
  16. Eforwood (2008d) Project deliverable 3.2.4. Data collection of harvesting processes to be provided for ToSIA at case study levelGoogle Scholar
  17. Eforwood (2008e) Project deliverable 3.2.5. Prototype development of stratified partial models for harvesting on case study levelsGoogle Scholar
  18. Eforwood (2008f) Deliverable 1.4.7. Reference futures and scenarios for the European FWC (updated version)Google Scholar
  19. Eforwood (2008g) Project deliverable PD 3.4.6. Development of topology for M3 processes at EU-chain level. December 2008Google Scholar
  20. Eforwood (2009) Deliverable D 3.4.7. Processes, volume flows and values of sustainability indicators of the chain of technical timber production to support the tool for sustainability impact assessment. (Materials and methods using the example of Poland; results for Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, and Hungary). October 2009Google Scholar
  21. Eforwood (2010) Deliverable 1.0.6 Description of the EU-FWCGoogle Scholar
  22. Eliasson L (2005) Effects of forwarder tyre pressure on rut formation and soil compaction. Silva Fennica 39(4):549–557Google Scholar
  23. Emeyriat R, Challet E, Giraud L (2009) Parc 2008 de matériels d’exploitation forestière en Aquitaine : vers la maturité? FCBA-Info. 6 p. Accessed 22 Sep 2011
  24. European Commission (2007) Agriculture: forestry measures. Main characteristics of the EU forest sector. Accessed 18 Nov 2007
  25. Forbrig A (2004) Holzernteverfahren—Vergleichende Erhebung und Beurteilung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik e.V. 12. Groß-UmstadtGoogle Scholar
  26. Forestry Commission (1978) Standard time tables and output guides. Forestry Commission booklet No. 45, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Forestry Commission (2001) The Iron Horse. Forestry Commission information note ODW 8.02. Forestry Commission, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  28. Fundel V (2009) Analysis of European forestry-wood-chains using the example of Czech Republic and Hungary based on process-oriented modelling of value chains and collecting data of approved sustainability indicators for all chain-related processes in order to support the sustainability impact assessment within Eforwood. Diplomarbeit. Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im BreisgauGoogle Scholar
  29. FVA (2007) Holzernte version 7.1. Holzernte Kalkulationsprogramme für Holzernte und Holzvermarktung, FVA—Baden-WürttembergGoogle Scholar
  30. García-González S, Berg S, Feijoo G, Moriera MT (2009a) Environmental impacts of forest production and supply of pulpwood: Spanish and Swedish case studies. Int J Life Cycle Assess. Published online 16 May 2009. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  31. García-González S, Berg S, Moreira M-T, Feijoo G (2009b) Evaluation of forest operations in Spanish eucalypt plantations under a life cycle assessment perspective. Scand J For Res 24:2160–2172Google Scholar
  32. Grammel RH (1969) Bringung und Entrindung. Forsttechnische Informationen Jg. 21, Nr. 10, Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik e.VGoogle Scholar
  33. Grammel RH (1988) Holzernte und Holztransport—Grundlagen. Pareys Studientexte 60, Verlag Paul PareyGoogle Scholar
  34. Häberle S (1974) Motorsäge oder Hochmechanisierung? Holz-Zentralblatt Nr 71:1083–1084Google Scholar
  35. Hallonborg U, Nordén B (2000) Räkna med drivare i slutavverkning. Resultat 21 2000. SkogforskGoogle Scholar
  36. IEFC (2002) Forest Atlas of the South Atlantic ArcGoogle Scholar
  37. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2000) Special report. Emissions scenarios. Summary for policymakers. A special report of IPCC working group III, p 27. ISBN: 92-9169-113-5Google Scholar
  38. Kärhä K, Rönkkö E, Gumse S-I (2004). Productivity and cutting costs of thinning harvesters. Int J For Eng 15(2):43–56Google Scholar
  39. Knaack-Nielsen U (2009) Danish Forest Association. Personal communication 10 Sept 2009Google Scholar
  40. KWF (2004) Holzernteverfahren—Vergleichende Erhebung und Beurteilung. CD—Kuratorium für Wald- und ForstwirtschaftGoogle Scholar
  41. Laurijssen J, Usenius A (2009) Quantified drivers for the technology scenario by Module 4. 24.02.09Google Scholar
  42. Lindholm E-L, Berg S (2005) Energy use in Swedish forestry in 1972 and 1997. Int J for Eng 16:27–37Google Scholar
  43. Lindner M, Suominen T, Palosuo T, Garcia-Gonzalo J, Verweij P, Zusin S, Päivinen R (2009) ToSIA-A tool for sustainability impact assessment of forest-wood-chains. Ecol Model. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.08.006
  44. Lindner M, Werhahn-Mees W, Suominen T, Vötter D, Zudin S, Pekkanen M, Päivinen R, Roubalova M, Kneblik P, Brüchert F, Valinger E, Guinard L, Pizzirani S (2011) Conducting sustainability impact assessments of forestry-wood chains: examples of ToSIA applications. Eur J For Res. doi: 10.1007/s10342-011-0483-7
  45. MCPFE (2007) State of Europe′s forests (2007) The MCFPE report on sustainable forest management in Europe. UNECE and FAO. WarsawGoogle Scholar
  46. Michelsen O (2007) Assessment of land use impact on biodiversity: proposal of a new methodology exemplified with forestry operations in Norway. Int J Life Cycle Assess 13:22–31. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  47. Ministère de l’agriculture et de la pêche (2009) Agreste—SSP—Récolte de bois et production de sciages 2007Google Scholar
  48. Ministerium für Ernährung und Ländlichen Raum Baden-Württemberg—Landesforstverwaltung, MLR BW (2007) and Accessed 10 Aug 2007
  49. Muiste P (2009) Estonian University of Life Sciences. Personal communication 7 Apr 2009Google Scholar
  50. Murgatroyd I, Saunders C (2005) Protecting the environment during mechanised harvesting operations. Forestry Commission Technical Note 011, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  51. Nurminen T, Korpunen H, Uusitalo J (2006) Time consumption analysis of the mechanized cut to length harvesting system. Silva Fennica 40(2):335–362Google Scholar
  52. Official Statistics of Sweden (2006) Swedish statistical yearbook of forestry 2006. (Based on FAOSTAT Database) Swedish Forest Agency January 2006Google Scholar
  53. Päivinen R, Lindner M, Rosén K, Lexer MJ (2010) A concept for assessing sustainability impacts of forestry-wood chains. Eur J Forest Res. doi: 10.1007/s10342-010-0446-4
  54. Piskur M (2009) Slovenian Forestry Institute. Personal communication 19 Mar 2009Google Scholar
  55. Poissonnet M (2009) FCBA. Personal communication 29 Apr 2009Google Scholar
  56. Prokofieva I, Lucas B, Thorsen BJ, Carlsen K (2010) Deliverable D1.5.6. Monetary values of environmental and social externalities for the purpose of cost-benefit analysis in the EFORWOOD project. EFORWOOD deliverable report. Forest Technological Center of Catalonia (CTFC), SolsonaGoogle Scholar
  57. Rådström L, Thorsén Å (2006) Jämförelse mellan finskt och svenskt skogsbruk (Finnish and Swedish Forestry- a comparison). Resultat nr 13. 2006Google Scholar
  58. Rametsteiner E, Pülzl H, Puustjärvi E (2006) Draft FWC indicator set: detailed review of existing sustainability indicator concepts and sustainability indicator sets of relevance for the FWC, review of potential indicators for selection and their assessment. EFORWOOD Project, Deliverable D1.1.1., BOKU University, Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  59. Rametsteiner E, Berg S, Laurijssen J, Le-Net E, Lindner M, Peuhkuri L, Prokofiewa I, Schweinle J, Vötter D, Carnus J-M, Edwards D, Jactel H, Raulund-Rasmussen K, Tomé M (2008) EFORWOOD Project Deliverable 1.1.6: Revised FWC-Sustainability Indicator Set Document, BOKU, University, Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  60. Sauter UH, Hehn M, Breinig L, Siemes P (2009) DVD „Holzernteverfahren“. Abteilung Waldnutzung der Forstlichen Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg. Version 1.0Google Scholar
  61. Schwaiger H, Zimmer B (2001) A comparison of fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from forest operations in Europe. In: Karjalainen T, Zimmer B, Berg S, Welling J, Schwaiger H, Finér L, Cortijo P (eds) Energy, carbon and other material flows in the Life Cycle Assessment of forestry and forest products—achievements of the working group 1 of the COST action E9 (Discussion paper 10, pp 33–53). European Forest Institute, Joensuu (Finland)Google Scholar
  62. Skogforsk (2008) FLIS 2.0. (Calculation tool for the harvest of biomass). Freely available at SkogforskGoogle Scholar
  63. Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (STALA BW) (2007) Accessed 10.8.2007
  64. Sundberg U, Silversides CR (1988) Operational efficiency in forestry vol 1 Analyses. Kluwer Academic Publishers, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  65. Sundberg U, Silversides CR (1989) Operational efficiency in forestry vol 2. Practise. Kluwer Academic Publisher, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  66. Thees O (2009) WSL, Switzerland, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  67. Tolosana E, Gonzalez VM, Vignote S (2004) El aprovechamiento Maderero Fundacion conde del valle de salazar ediciones mundi-prensa, 268 pGoogle Scholar
  68. Uusitalo J (2010) Introduction to forest operations and technology. JVP forest systems Oy, 287 pGoogle Scholar
  69. Wolfslehner B, Brüchert F, Fischbach J, Rammer W, Becker G, Lindner M, Lexer MJ (2011) Exploratory multi-criteria analysis in sustainability impact assessment of forest-wood chains: the example of a regional case study in Baden–Württemberg. Eur J For Res. doi: 10.1007/s10342-011-0499-z

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Staffan Berg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Janine Fischbach
    • 2
  • Franka Brüchert
    • 3
  • Mikael Poissonnet
    • 4
  • Stefania Pizzirani
    • 5
  • Anne Varet
    • 4
  • Udo H. Sauter
    • 3
  1. 1.The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk)UppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Institute of Forest Utilization and Work Science, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg (ALUFR)Freiburg im BreisgauGermany
  3. 3.Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA)Freiburg im BreisgauGermany
  4. 4.L’Institut Technologique Forêt Cellulose Bois-construction Ameublement (FCBA)ParisFrance
  5. 5.Forest Research, Northern Research StationRoslinUK

Personalised recommendations