Life Cycle Assessment of a coniferous wood supply chain for pallet production in Catalonia, Spain

Lucía García-Durañona, Ramon Farreny, Pere Navarro, Jesús Boschmonart-Rives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Ltd In Catalonia, northwest of Spain, the forest and timber industry are an active part of the economy. About 63.5% of the territory is forested area (more than 2 million Ha), from which 60.5% is wooded land. The main activity of the timber industry is the manufacture of wood packaging using 85% of the sawnwood to manufacture pallets, which is the most common wood product manufactured in the region. In the case of Europe, around 20% of all sawnwood consumption is used for wooden pallets and packaging. This research analyzes the impact of the conifers wood supply chain for the sawnwood and pallet production, from forest operations to the gate of the production facility. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was applied to both products (sawnwood and pallet) using primary data provided by the industry in order to identify the most impactful points of the life cycle. Six midpoint impact categories using Recipe methodology were assessed: Climate change, Ozone depletion, Terrestrial acidification, Freshwater eutrophication, Human toxicity; Agricultural land occupation and Water depletion. Also, Cumulative Energy Demand was assessed. It was found that electricity consumption is the most impacting input in the sawnwood and pallet production, followed by pesticide used in the production. For pallet case, steel plays a key role. Possible improvements were identified with a big potential of impacts reduction. LCA results from this research can be applied for the assessment of other wood products and also to increase the knowledge and debate about the biogenic carbon sequestration of wooden products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-188
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2016


  • Biogenic carbon
  • Climate change
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Pallet
  • Wood products
  • Wood value chain


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