We demonstrate optimization pathways of forest management to mitigate climate change.

Esther Türig

Dr. Esther Thürig



Currently, only a portion of the domestic wood resources is used sustainably in Switzerland. The wood processing industry has been shrinking substantially, and much of the harvested wood is exported or directly burned for energy supply. Although currently economically reasonable, this is not the best solution from a climate point of view.

Favoring "material before energy" seems to be a promising alternative, which optimizes the role of wood as long-term carbon sink.

The aims of this Action Area are to analyze, quantify and compare the effects of different forest management, wood use, and substitution scenarios on the greenhouse gas balance and investigate their associated impacts on climate change.

The goals of this Action Area include the following:

  • Provide evidence-based recommendations for optimizing forest management, applying advanced wood technologies, and using innovative wood-based and wood-derived products.
  • Identify economic, political, and societal opportunities and obstacles to a transformation towards a carbon-neutral future.
  • Quantify substitution effects from using wood-based and wood-derived products as alternatives to more traditional material uses and fossil energy.
  • Develop forest and wood use scenarios in cooperation with stakeholders and simulate associated climate impacts.
  • Develop measures for fostering net-zero across all scales and sectors from our socio-economic analysis of lock-in effects and risks of transformations.