Efficient and environmentally responsible biomass use is central to sustainable development and key to delivering an effective circular economy, an efficient bioeconomy and expanded renewable energy deployment. Cascading use is one strategy to increase the resource efficiency use of wood within the framework of these strategies.
Cascading takes place in the EU in a variety of forms and contexts. To realise its full potential multiple barriers to cascading need to be overcome. These exist to both the provision and utilisation of wood and include technical barriers, such as cleaning of recovered waste wood; market barriers, such as the dependence on upstream products; and governance barriers, such as the lack of integrated approaches towards energy and material applications of biomass. Overcoming these barriers will require a mix of approaches depending on specific local circumstances. Identified measures to promote the cascading use of wood focus largely on the recovery of post-consumer wood in line with existing circular economy and resource efficiency initiatives. However, strong efforts are needed to address the current imbalance between material and energy uses of industrial residues where more significant potential for cascading exists.
“CASCADES – Study on the optimised cascading use of wood”: The most comprehensive study on cascading use of wood including material flows, barriers and potential measures is now available at http://bookshop.europa.eu/en/cascades-pbET0416305/