Forestry and Timber Industry in Austria

WIFO Studies Show Economic Importance
The forestry and timber industry cluster is of great importance to the national and regional economy, as statistical evaluations of value added and employment in two recent WIFO studies by Franz Sinabell und Gerhard Streicher show. The studies were presented together with the commissioner and Federal Minister for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger.

"With the Forest Fund, we have put together the largest investment package in the Austrian history. From reforestation and measures for biodiversity to the timber construction offensive or the production of wood gas and wood diesel, we are generating regional added value", says Köstinger.

Forestry and timber industry plays a central role in the energy transition and the transformation to a sustainable and climate-neutral economy. "The Austrian federal government is aiming for climate neutrality in 2040. The cluster can contribute to this in several ways. Wood used for construction can absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the long term and thus supports efforts to reach a climate-neutral economy", explains Franz Sinabell.

Elements of the forest fund are taken up in a study and examined quantitatively. Renewable fuels and other substances made from wood can also provide consumer goods that were previously obtained from fossil raw materials. The results of the present study show that the increased use of wood can be accompanied by an increase in value-added and an expansion of employment despite displacement effects. The transformation of the economic system towards renewable raw materials and climate neutrality has a direct positive effect on value-added and employment and improves Austria's greenhouse gas balance.

In addition, a second WIFO study presents statistical key figures on the value chain of the forestry and wood industry cluster in Austria. The focus is on the statistics of employment at the regional level. For the first time, the number of actively employed persons residing in Austria in the forestry and wood industries cluster was determined at the district level. In addition, the number of persons working in administration, research and education in the forestry and wood cluster was surveyed.