Mapping study on the cascading use of wood products

IEEP and Nova-Institute were asked by WWF and Mondi to undertake a mapping study to understand and interpret concepts of cascading use of wood products and investigate the related policy frameworks in place in different countries. The objective of the study was to identify regulations that either hinder or promote the cascading use of wood.

The study covers five European countries (Finland, Germany, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom) and the US. The policy frameworks of the European countries have been analysed in detail whereas the US has been limited to one policy example, the BioPreferred Program. The research was carried out through desk research and interviews with relevant experts (including industry and NGO representatives and policy makers) in the respective countries from March to September 2015.

The results of the study reveal that none of the investigated countries have dedicated policies for cascading use of wood. However, a multitude of policies and legislative measures influence cascading use and the wood sector in general (e.g. bioeconomy strategies, forestry management, waste policy, bioenergy policy and building regulations). The study also reveals that each country analysed is in a unique situation concerning wood availability and utilisation. These circumstances need to be taken into consideration in order to find the best solutions to increase resource efficiency in the future.

The study concludes that for further consideration and development of cascading use it is important to look at a wide sweep of policies that historically have been developed in isolation, aiming to increase harmonisation of these policies. At the same time, it is important to allow room for each unique country situation in terms of wood availability and utilisation.

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