Sustainability criteria and life cycle assessment for forestry

The project created common tools and data for reliable and objective communication on the sustainability of bio‐based products made from (Swedish) forest raw material. This is a prerequisite for the bioeconomy to gain acceptance and grow both inside and outside of Sweden. With reliable sustainability information, customers and consumers will be more willing to invest in bio‐based products. The producers can, with the developed tools, more easily submit sustainability information and LCA data.

European standards for bio‐based products (developed on a mandate from the European Commission) were used as a basis. Building on them, the project provided guidance and support in how to apply SS‐EN 16751 to Swedish forestry.

The project also developed methodology and suggested improved assumptions in models to create product category rules (PCR) and generated updated environmental impact data (LCI). All in an inclusive and consensus‐based process with 20 stakeholders who represented the entire forestry value chain.


Bergvik skog, BillerudKorsnäs, Domsjö AdityaBirla, Swedenergy – Energiföretagen Sverige, Essity, Holmen, IVL, LRF, Mondi, Riksbyggen, RISE, SCA, Sekab, Setra, SIS, Skogforsk, Swedish Forest Industries, Sveaskog, Södra skogsägarna and The National Agency for Public Procurement.

The project was coordinated by the Swedish Institute for Standards (SIS), and the different subprojects were led by IVL, RISE, Skogforsk and SIS.


The project had a total budget of approximately SEK 9 million (of which approximately SEK 4.5 million was public funds).

Deliverables from the project

The project has three main deliverables:

  1. A handbook (in Swedish) providing guidance to EN 16751:2016 Bio-based products – Sustainability criteria for Swedish forest raw material. The handbook can be obtained via SIS, both printed and as an e-book.

  1. Product category rules (PCR) for the basic assortments from the forest have been developed; Basic products from forestry. Right now the content is being review by the Technical Committee within The International EPD System, publication expected during Q4 2020.
  2. LCI data set have been developed for four basic products from the forest; sawn wood, pulpwood, fuelwood and tops and branches. Further subdivision has been made based on four Swedish regions as well as species (pine, fir and broad leaf). This means that there is data for 48 products. As the data needs further verification before they are made public, the data sets are so far only available to the project partners. A plan for this verification is currently being developed.