Wood is a renewable product, but for the supply of wood non-renewable materials are also necessary, which can have negative environmental impacts. The objective of this study was to analyze the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by the forest supply chain in Austria using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods. The forest supply chain consists of several processes like site preparation and tending, harvesting, and transport. In total, 30 relevant forest processes from seedling production until delivery of wood to the plant gate were considered. Results show that in the year 2018, a total of 492,096 t of CO2
eq. were emitted in Austria for harvesting and transportation of 19.2 hm3
of timber. This corresponds to 25.63 kg CO2
eq. per m3
. At 77%, transport accounts for the largest share of emissions within the supply chain. Extraction causes 14% of emissions, felling and processing cause 5%, and chipping causes 4%. GHG emissions for felling, delimbing, and crosscutting are much lower when using a chainsaw compared to harvester. The high numbers for the transport can be explained by the high transportation distances. Especially for the transportation of wood, it is necessary to find more climate-friendly solutions from a technical and organizational point of view. The provision of wood is climate-friendly, and its use enables the substitution of fossil fuels or materials with higher negative effects on climate change such as aluminum, steel, or concrete.
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