Wood CO2ts Less

Forestry and CO2

Forestry Fact 1:

Trees capture CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it as carbon.


Each 1m3 of wood grown by a tree holds 0.9 tonnes of CO2 ‘sequestered’ from the atmosphere.

Between 2005 and 2015 the average annual sequestration of carbon in forest biomass reached 719 million tonnes in the European region and 414 million tonnes in the EU-28. This corresponds to about 9% of the net greenhouse gas emissions for the European region and the EU-28.

Forestry Fact 2:

Mature trees are harvested and their carbon is captured in buildings and other wood products.


The volume of wood in use and being processed in Europe currently stores 38.2 million tonne equivalents of CO2, making a key contribution to reducing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Forestry Fact 3:

More trees are planted and the size of the european forest carbon sink continues to grow.


Europe’s forest area expanded by 17.5 m hectares in the last 25 years.

90% of EU wood consumption is supplied from EU forests.

Since 1993, Europe’s forests have been subject to Forest Europe’s guidelines, criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management.

Forestry Fact 4:

Timber contributes to reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere in three ways:

  • by carbon capture in the growing forest carbon sink
  • by carbon capture in the increasing wood product carbon store
  • and by substitution for CO2-intensive materials.


A research study in southern Scotland concluded that a modern productive forest locks up more carbon each year per hectare – 7.3 tonnes – than is emitted annually by the average person. A major element of this is from carbon locked up in wood products and used in place of less carbon-positive materials like steel, concrete and plastic.

Over 70% of UK-produced softwood goes to sawmills or wood-based panel manufacturers for use in long-life products like construction.

Forestry Fact 5:

UK forestry is an important part of the uk economy


The UK forestry and wood-processing sector has grown hugely since the 1980s; it now employs over 50,000 people and is worth over £2 billion a year to the UK economy.

UK forests are managed sustainably in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard, which brings together the expertise of environmental, recreational and forestry interests.