Rohstoffmonitoring wood: the results

Cascade use already reality - heat stagnant with wood - sustainable wood potentials especially in the hardwood not exhausted

The INFRO e. k. – information systems for raw materials, the University of Hamburg and the Thünen Institute have analyzed the material flows of wood in Germany. The result is a comprehensive resource footprint that, among other things, shows that the cascade use, especially when the material usage, already a reality.

The study fills gaps in official statistics and represents an important data basis in order to keep the sustainable implementation of the Charter for wood 2.0 of BMEL for more wood usage in mind. All results are now read renewable resources (FNR) in three publications of the Agency.

Today, the results will also be at the meeting “Rohstoffmonitoring wood” presented in Berlin and discussed. The lectures are available soon on the page to read.

Three and a half years was working, the team led by Professor Udo Mantau from the University of Hamburg to accounted the use levels and forms of wood in detail. It was to collect data, still disregarded the official wood-statistics – about the energy use of wood or the volume of old wood areas. The study considered seven user groups: sawmills, wood-based material manufacturer, the wood and pulp industry, large and small heating and cogeneration plants, wood heated private households and the old wood disposal market.

The results can be read now in three publications. Depending on how deep the reader wants to go into the matter, a very brief handout, a nearly 30-seitige short version of the study or the full length version is him, appeared as electronic volume 38 of the series of renewable raw materials available. All three publications can be found under the keyword “Rohstoffmonitoring” in the library of the FNR (

The main findings include:

  • Cascade use, i.e. the reuse of residual and recycling wood is already reality in Germany. The 2016er comparison of “fresh” volume of wood from forest and landscape conservation on the one hand and on the other hand the use of wood shows that: nearly 84 million m3 were forest wood, bark and landscape materials 2016 in the various material and energy Fed use Rails, but good 127 million m3 wood raw materials were used in fact. So could the 1.5 times amount of wood for wood products from one cubic metre of primary biomass on cascade use of industrial waste wood (processing residues from sawmills and other wood – processing) and waste wood (demolition of buildings, old pallets, etc.) be won.
  • Also in the energy use of wood, the use of residual and recycling wood plays an important role. So, the large combustion plants 2016 used mostly scrap wood, but only 2.2 percent of the total raw wood volume in Germany. Private furnaces and wood boilers asked 2016 over 23 percent of the raw wood volume. The lion’s share of the raw wood of almost 75 percent went into the material use.
  • The energy use of wood has reached a maximum between 2007 and 2008, fell back after some and has been stagnant for 2011 on a level similar to the material use.
  • On the basis of the 3rd national forest inventory, the Thünen Institute has developed sustainable usage scenarios with different focuses (WEHAM scenarios). In the “natural preference scenario” wood use in especially nature conservation-oriented requirements is carried out while the “wood preference scenario” is based on a natural protection integrated in the management. Compared to the current use of 62.2 million cubic metres, the potential in the conservation preference scenario is 78.2 million m³ and the wood preference scenario 104.7 million m³. Current usage is still below the sustainable use corridor. You differentiated coniferous and deciduous trees, shows that the unused potential lies especially in the hardwood. Through a greater use of hardwood and the development of innovative hardwood products so the German forestry could increase their contribution to climate protection and sustainable supply of raw materials.

Background: Wood from sustainable forestry is a raw material with excellent environmental performance. Wood also has preferred of a short transport routes from domestic production. The wood that is sustainably produced in Germany is indispensable as a raw material base for the domestic companies – keyword bio-economy – especially in rural areas and provides the valuable contributions to the achievement of sustainability and climate protection goals Federal Government. Therefore, the Charter for wood 2.0 of BMEL aims to use more wood from sustainable forestry – in favor of climate protection, job creation and added value in rural areas and to the conservation of exhaustible resources. The group “Material and energy efficiency” with the theme of Rohstoffmonitoring is working within the Charter.

The project “Rohstoffmonitoring wood” was promoted by the Federal Ministry of food and Agriculture (BMEL) about the FNR as promoter. Contact of the three sub-projects can be found under the grant number 22019714, 22021614 , and 22021514.


Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, press release, 2018-06-28.


Universität Hamburg


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