Forestry and Wood

The Forestry and Wood sector is a sector of human activity focused on harvesting and processing wood for various applications.

April 10th, 2024

60% of global forests are primarily or partially used for wood and non-wood products. In the ecoinvent database, the sector comprises roughly 800 datasets. These include forestry processes for various species (e.g., pine, oak, eucalyptus), extraction of various wood products (e.g., logs, energy wood, pulpwood), sawing, drying, and planning of wood, production of engineered wood products (e.g., fiberboard, glued laminated timber, plywood), production of wood preservatives, application of different preservation methods, and the production of wood pellets. Datasets related to machinery production used for forestry are also included in the sector. Data on fertiliser production are not included in the sector.  

Geographies covered include Europe (RER) and some countries within Europe (Germany (DE), Portugal (PT), Sweden (SE), Switzerland (CH)), some countries in Asia (China (CN), Malaysia (MY), Thailand (TH), the Philippines (PH)), and some countries in the Americas (Brazil (BR), including some of its territories, Canada, Québec (CA-QC), Colombia (CO), Ecuador (EC)). 

Sector Highlights 


The modelling of forestry processes in the ecoinvent database covers data on forests of mixed species and for nine different softwood and hardwood species. Those include pine, spruce, oak, eucalyptus as well as exotic woods such as azobe and meranti, among others. Furthermore the database also includes data on cork and bamboo forestry. Forestry processes are covered mainly as sustainably managed forests. For eucalyptus, datasets covering planted forest management are included. 

The database covers the full range of processes in forestry. These include tree seedling production, forests’ establishment, and management, harvesting of trees, and finally, the production of different forestry products such as logs, pulpwood, and wood for energy production purposes.

Data on production of fertilizers used in forestry activities are included in the Chemicals and Plastics sector.


Sawmill operations in the ecoinvent database include the debarking, sawing of the softwood and hardwood, and the subsequential drying and planning of the sawn wood. Available are data on different drying techniques (air drying and kiln drying), as well as on different sawn wood products (beam, board, and lath). The database also includes various byproducts produced during the sawmill activities, such as bark and wood chips, sawdust, shavings, and slab and siding, which are partly chipped into wood chips or used directly as an input in other activities.

Engineered Wood Products 

The database covers data on various engineered wood products including, among others, glued laminated timber, plywood, oriented strand board, and different types of fiberboard. It also offers data on commonly used resins and adhesives used to produce engineered wood products, such as melamine urea formaldehyde adhesive and polyurethane adhesive. Next to the wood-based boards, datasets on bamboo-based construction materials are available, such as glued laminated bamboo and woven bamboo mat panels. 

Data for the treatment of wastewater resulting from board production are included in the Waste Management and Recycling sector.

Wood Preservation

Data on the production of wood preservatives and their application are represented at a high level of detail in the ecoinvent database. The database includes data on the production of solvent and water-based preservatives, organic salt-based preservatives (chrome-free), inorganic salt-based preservatives (chrome-containing), and the production of creosote. 

In addition, information on various methods of wood preservation is available, including pressure methods (vacuum pressure process, hot and cold dipping process oscillating pressure process, pressure vessel process) and non-pressure methods (dipping and immersion process, automated spraying, and deluging process).

Wood Incineration

The database provides data on the production of wood pellets from residues of the sawmill processes (shavings, sawdust, woodchips). Various datasets on heat production from wood pellets, as well as wood chips and logs are available in the Energy sector.


The ecoinvent database contains various datasets on a global level pertaining to infrastructure of the wood and forestry sector (equipment, machinery, facilities). These include datasets for forestry machinery (skidders, yarders, forwarders, harvesters, and chippers), for infrastructure related to sawmill activities (sawmill, technical wood drying facility), for wood pellet and different types of wooden board factories (i.e., for cement bonded boards and organic bonded boards) as well as various datasets for wood preservation facilities, furnaces, and dust filters.

Data Providers 

ecoinvent Data originates from different sources. Notable providers of LCI datasets for the Forestry and Wood sector include (but are not limited to):


  • Estelle Vial (Co-Editor), FCBA, France

Relevant Sources 

Althaus, H.-J., Dinkel F., Stettler C. and Werner F., (2007). Life Cycle Inventories of Renewable Materials. Final report ecoinvent data v2.0, No. 21. Dübendorf: Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories. Accessible in the Reports section of version 2. of the ecoinvent database

Folegatti-Matsuura, M.I.S., Picoli, J.F., (2018). Life Cycle Inventories of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry – Brazil. Zurich: ecoinvent Association. Accessible at SRI project results (registration required). 

Werner, F., Bauer, C., Büsser, S., Doka G., Kaufmann, E., Kono, J., Luginbühl, U., Mina, M., Frischknecht, R., Thees, O, Wallbaum, H., Zimmermann W., Hischer, R., (2014). Aktualisierung der Modelle und Datensätze zu Holz und Holzprodukten in der Datenbank ecoinvent. Bern: Bundesamt für Umwelt, Aktionsplan Holz. Auftragnehmer: EMPA: EidgenössischeMaterialprüfungs-und Forschungsanstalt. Schlussbericht 30. Juni 2014. 

Werner, F., Althaus, H.-J., Künniger, T., Richter K., Jungbluth, N., (2007). Life Cycle Inventories of Wood as Fuel and Construction Material. Final report ecoinvent data v2.0 No. 9. Dübendorf: Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories. Accessible in the Reports section of version 2. of the ecoinvent database.