Renewable wood-based materials can help to reduce GHG emissions in the construction sector and thus support the bioeconomy. However, their use has not reached the full potential as there is currently only limited availability of comprehensive sustainability assessments and no benchmarking against non-renewable material use. To fill this information gap, a newly established project co-ordinated by the European Forest Institute (EFI) will be developing a sustainability assessment method which allows comparison and benchmarking between different renewable, mineral and non-renewable materials used in house construction.
BenchValue aims to expand an EFI developed Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment (ToSIA) with a versatile method for benchmarking wood material value chains against mineral and non-renewable value chains to allow comparison with renewable materials. This will help to quantify sustainability impacts and climate change mitigation potential of substituting non-renewable with renewable materials. The project is developing a common method for comparing economic, environmental and social impact values for different material value chains for informed decision making in construction.
The project has a major focus on stakeholder interaction and capacity building. The developed method is being tested in the case studies in Ireland, Lithuania, France, and Austria in close stakeholder interaction. Moreover, BenchValue will allow for regular international stakeholder exchange to offer international knowledge and experience exchange to stakeholders and decision makers.
BenchValue – Benchmarking the sustainability performances of value chains – held its kick off meeting in Joensuu, Finland on 25–26 January 2017.
EFI – European Forest Institute, Finland
BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
FCBA – French Institute of Technology for forest based and furniture sectors, France
UL – University of Limerick, Ireland
NUIG – National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
LAMMC – Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Lithuania
ASU – Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Lithuania
SPBFTU – St Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Russia
IVL – Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden
UNILIM – University of Limoges, France
More information about the project is available here: http://benchvalue.efi.int/
The project is funded by ERA-NET SUMFOREST. SUMFOREST receives funding from the European Union under Grant Agreement no 606803.