Swedish Forest Industries

New Study Highlights Europeans Priorities: Economy and Climate Change in top


Personal finances is the single most important issue for Europeans, followed by climate change. A majority believes it is vital to replace fossil fuels with bio-based products in order to meet global sustainability goals. These are just some of the key findings of a major new European consumer survey carried out on behalf of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation (SFIF).  

10,000 consumers in 10 European countries have shared their views on topics such as climate change, purchasing and sustainability
10,000 consumers in 10 European countries have shared their views on topics such as climate change, purchasing and sustainability Photo: Emil Nordin / the Swedish Forest Industries Federation

Market research company Opticom recently conducted the survey on European consumers’ attitudes towards a variety of sustainability issues. More than 10,000 people in 10 countries participated in the survey. People’s financial outlook is currently the most pressing issue, according to the survey, with 62 per cent citing the cost of living as one of the three most important issues at the moment. Climate change was the second most important issue, with 36 per cent saying that it is one of their three most important issues.

“Tough economic conditions combined with global climate challenges underline the importance of the EU focusing on both sustainability and competitiveness. I am convinced that countries and regions that use their resource advantages sustainably will be able to cope with climate change and build prosperity. Through forest-based products, the EU have excellent opportunities going forward to develop a circular bio-based economy,” says Viveka Beckeman, Director General of tSFIF.

A large percentage of those surveyed, 74 per cent, believe that it is important to switch from fossil-based to bio-based products to meet UN sustainability goals. The Swedes are most positive about the climate benefits of bio-based products – with 56 per cent believing that such products have a positive impact.

“If we’re to shape a truly sustainable future, politicians, business and other actors must work together. From the forest industry’s side, we have chosen to raise our ambitions in the area of sustainability through our Future Agenda. This extends to 2040 with promises for increased climate benefit, viable forests and circular economy. But there is also a need for policies that promote competitiveness and the climate,” says Beckeman.

The survey also shows that knowledge of Europe’s forest natural resources is limited. As many as 65 per cent of respondents say that the amount of forest land in Europe is decreasing – when the trend is in fact going in the opposite direction, according to statistics from Eurostat. Only 23 per cent of respondents know that products made of wood continue to store carbon throughout their lifetime.

Survey details

The survey was conducted among 10,000 people in 10 European countries. Various background variables such as gender, age, family status, place of residence, education and employment were taken into account to ensure as representative a cross-section of the inhabitants of these countries as possible. The survey was conducted in online panels in the autumn of 2023. The countries in the survey together account for 78 per cent of the EU’s population. Its demographic coverage is further broadened with the inclusion of the UK.






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EU Climate Commissioner in Sweden for talks on climate benefits of forests11.6.2024 17:03:35 CEST | Pressmeddelande

The role of forests in the green transition topped the agenda when the EU Commission's Climate Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra visited Sweden on Tuesday. Along with Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari, Director General of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation (SFIF) Viveka Beckeman, and representatives from environmental and forest owner organizations, Hoekstra made a field visit to a forestry site and discussed a range of issues, including how the Swedish forest industry can contribute to achieving the EU's climate goals.

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