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Review article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Sustainable Forest Operations (SFO): A new paradigm in a changing world and climate

Marchi, Enrico; Chung, Woodam; Visser, Rien; Abbas, Dalia; Nordfjell, Tomas; Mederski, Piotr S.; McEwan, Andrew; Brink, Michal; Laschi, Andrea


The effective implementation of sustainable forest management depends largely on carrying out forest operations in a sustainable manner. Climate change, as well as the increasing demand for forest products, requires a re-thinking of forest operations in terms of sustainability. In this context, it is important to understand the major driving factors for the future development of forest operations that promote economic, environmental and social well-being. The main objective of this paper is to identify important issues concerning forest operations and to propose a new paradigm towards sustainability in a changing climate, work and environmental conditions. Previously developed concepts of forest operations are reviewed, and a newly developed concept Sustainable Forest Operations (SFO), is presented. Five key performance areas to ensure the sustainability of forest operations include: (i) environment; (ii) ergonomics; (iii) economics; (iv) quality optimization of products and production; and (v) people and society. Practical field examples are presented to demonstrate how these five interconnected principles are relevant to achieving sustainability, namely profit and wood quality maximization, ecological benefits, climate change mitigation, carbon sequestration, and forest workers' health and safety. The new concept of SFO provides integrated perspectives and approaches to effectively address ongoing and foreseeable challenges the global forest communities face, while balancing forest operations performance across economic, environmental and social sustainability. In this new concept, we emphasize the role of wood as a renewable and environmentally friendly material, and forest workers' safety and utilization efficiency and waste management as additional key elements of sustainability. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sustainability; Equipment; Logging; Ecosystem services; Forest workers

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2018, Volume: 634, pages: 1385-1397

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


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