Cascading of wood generates economic activity and employment. It offers possibilities for carbon storage in wooden product and bioenergy generation, counteracting climate change. So, cascading of wood sounds like a good idea!
Cascading of biomass is a hot topic, debated at all levels up till the European Parliament. In order to move forward the discussion it is necessary to make the somewhat abstract concept of cascading measurable and applicable in real situations, enabling to combine traditional applications of wood (paper, wooden packaging, timber and panels) with new applications like biobased products, advanced biofuels and bioenergy, and to take measures to attain optimal cascading use of wood. The European Commission (DG Growth) has selected BTG to advise on these topics together with a consortium of German wood sector analyst INFRO (Prof. Mantau), policy advisor IEEP (UK), biobased market specialist NOVA (DE) and waste sector consultant INTECUS (DE).
In 2014 BTG has developed a Cascade Impact Analysis (CIA) method to determine the resource efficiency, carbon emission reduction and economic impacts of product cascades. Within the current European assignment this method is combined with Wood Flow Analysis of Prof. Mantau which enables detailed analysis of European wood flows. For the first time, the impacts of cascading use of wood will be assessed at a European level!
From a large number of possible measures to optimise cascading use of wood, the most relevant options will be elaborated in case studies and their impacts assessed in scenarios. These options could include reuse of wooden packages, better separation of useful wood waste, increased application of demolition wood in panel production, but also promotion of wood species with the best options for cascading use. Moreover, the possible impact of bioenergy subsidies on current cascades like material reuse of demolition wood will be assessed. As cascading concerns the wood sector as a whole, it is important to know the experiences and opinions of the different stakeholders. Therefore, two workshops will be organised. The first will take place in June 2015.
The project results in recommendations to the European Commission supporting policy making in the fields of resource efficiency, biobased economy, sustainable energy and climate targets for 2030 etc. The results will be published in Spring 2016.