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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Indicators of Sustainable Forestry: Methodological Approaches for Impact Assessments across Swedish Forestry

Mattsson, Eskil; Karlsson, Per Erik; Erlandsson, Martin; Nilsson, Asa; Holmstrom, Hampus


Approaches for evaluating integrated sustainability impacts in forest management enable the harmonization of environmental, social, and economic considerations. Here, we present a methodological framework for quantifying and balancing impacts on widely different aspects of sustainability of different future scenarios for forestry in managed forests in Sweden. The method includes indicators for impacts on climate change, biodiversity, and social and economic values. The indicators were normalized to a standardized scale using reference scenarios and target values. The proposed method was applied for three different future scenarios for forestry over a 100-year period in two different counties in southern and northern Sweden, respectively. The results show the importance of evaluating indicator performance in forestry across diverse regions of the country and tailoring assessments of individual forest owners to their specific local conditions. Long-term assessments are also crucial due to the varying impacts of indicators over time. The methodology requires continuous refinement and can be used as a basis for disclosing the environmental performance of a product based on forest raw materials. It also facilitates the assessment of sustainability in alternative future forestry scenarios and is adaptable to other countries with comparable forestry and forest characteristics.


forestry; sustainability; indicators; biodiversity; climate change; life-cycle assessment; wood production; bioeconomy

Published in

2024, Volume: 16, number: 8, article number: 3331
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science
    Environmental Sciences

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