Renewable natural resource processing industry an important employer in Europe

News |

The forest sector directly employs about 90,000 people in Finland. Over three quarters of them work in the forest industry and the rest are engaged in forestry. If indirect employment effects in, for example, the technology and chemical industries as well as the transport and energy supply sectors are taken into account, the forest sector creates an estimated 200,000 jobs in Finland.

The paper industry is an important industrial sector for Europe. In all, it employs about 275,000 people in Europe; indirectly, the amount of jobs created reaches 1.9 million. In 2004, the paper industry generated an aggregate turnover of €75 billion. There are some 860 forest industry companies in Europe and over 1,200 factories and mills. A total of 94 million tonnes of paper and paperboard were produced in Western Europe.

Finland produces over 12 million tonnes of paper and paperboard annually, making it the second-largest manufacturer country in Europe. Finland accounts for some 15% of total European output; only Germany produces more paper and paperboard than us.

The wood industry encompasses sawmilling, planing and impregnation operations, the manufacture of wood-based panels, the joinery and construction carpentry industries as well as the manufacture of transport pallets, packaging and furniture. A total of 91 million m3 of softwood sawn timber and 4 million m3 of plywood were produced in EU25. The wood products industry employs 1.6 million Europeans directly and an additional 1.9 million indirectly. Companies operating in this sector generated an aggregate turnover of €154 billion in 2004.

In 2005, 12.2 million cubic metres of sawn timber were produced in Finland. About 1.9 million cubic metres of wood panels – plywood, particleboard and fibreboard – were produced.

Wood and wood products account for almost 2% of the value added input in production in EU15. The wood sector is one of the three most important economic branches in Finland, Austria, Portugal and Sweden. The wood industry’s production facilities are often located in development areas, which have not industrialised much; this makes them central to the development of rural areas.