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Special Issue "Sustainable Timber Consumption"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Meghan O’Brien

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Research Unit Circular Economy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bioeconomy; circular economy; resource efficiency; eco-innovation; land use targets; forest footprints
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stefan Bringezu

Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel
Website | E-Mail
Interests: socio-industrial metabolism; global land use; indicators and targets for sustainable development; integrated sustainability scenarios; economy-wide resource management; environmental and resource policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

What makes the consumption of timber and timber products sustainable? What are the criteria, how can sustainability be measured, monitored and evaluated from the forest through production and consumption to final disposal, and how can a sustainable supply of timber – from within and beyond national borders – be ensured well into the future? These are questions that the Special Issue “Sustainable Timber Consumption” shall tackle. Researchers are invited to submit articles addressing the multi-faceted challenges and “solutions” related to timber consumption across supply chains and at multiple levels of analysis. 

In particular, contributions addressing how timber consumption contributes and / or competes with the goals of a circular economy and renewable energy transitions in national economies and across the world are welcome. Such submissions may focus on different aspects of the challenge, such as re-use, recycling, cascades, regional supply chains, durability and longevity, innovation, structural change and future scenarios. Reflections on how national economies perform as regards timber consumption, in light of e.g. the Sustainable Development Goals as well as criteria for sustainable forest management are also encouraged. Articles spanning multiple disciplines, employing a range of tools and approaches and concentrated on the micro to the macro level of analysis are welcome.

Dr. Meghan O’Brien
Prof. Dr. Stefan Bringezu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Bioeconomy
  • Forest product innovation
  • Cascades
  • Circular economy
  • Scenarios and modeling
  • Monitoring
  • Sustainable forest management
  • Renewable energy
  • Targets
  • Certification
  • Supply chains
  • Sustainable consumption and production

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Chain-of-Custody Certification in the Czech and Slovak Republic
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1898; doi:10.3390/su9101898
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Forest certification is a voluntary verification tool that has been gaining importance within the global sustainability issues as an independent verification tool for sustainable forest management and wood processing industry and as an influencer in private and public purchasing policies and a component
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Forest certification is a voluntary verification tool that has been gaining importance within the global sustainability issues as an independent verification tool for sustainable forest management and wood processing industry and as an influencer in private and public purchasing policies and a component of emerging wood harvesting and trade legality schemes. This study focuses on the chain-of-custody (CoC) component of forest certification. A survey of CoC certified companies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia was carried out to explore the understanding of the concept and role of forest and CoC certification as an environmental, economic, and social tool. It aimed to determine expectations following from the implementation of CoC certification by companies and to identify difficulties in existing certified wood product supply chains and costs related to purchase and sales of certified forest products, respectively. Results indicate that respondents demonstrated a high level of understanding of the CoC concept and that they link forest certification mainly to the issues of legality, tracing the origin source of supply and promotion of sustainable utilisation of wood. The main expected benefits are linked to the improvement of an external company image followed by penetration of new markets and increase of sales volume. CoC is not considered a tool to improve internal company performance and efficiency. The key problems connected to certified supply chains relate to the sufficient quantity of certified forest products, low margins and overpriced certified material inputs. Respondents reported none or minimum price premiums for their certified products over non-certified alternatives. Several differences related to the understanding of the sustainable forest management concept and the level of price premium paid for certified inputs were identified between the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified companies as well as between the different forest products sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Timber Consumption)
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