Feedback on the Symposium organized by ENSP and SNCF "Timber: A Sustainable Resource"


From October 23rd to 25th, the Potager du Roi in Versailles was the venue for the colloquium titled "Wood: Sustainable Resource," organized by SNCF Réseau and the National School of Landscape Architecture (ENSP) in partnership with LCB, ATIBT, ETIC, Malvaux, Bouygues Construction. This colloquium brought together experts and enthusiasts in the fields of wood, landscape, and linear railway infrastructure to discuss the environmental and social challenges related to this valuable resource.

AF Bois

The resource issue

The first part of the colloquium focused on the fundamental issue of wood as a resource. Speakers highlighted the need for a reasoned and sustainable production system, taking into account biodiversity and the social uses associated with forests. This approach aims to encourage constructive dialogue between wood producers, transformers, and end users.

Wood production was addressed, considering different social and economic realities in Europe and other production areas. Biodiversity protection and the consideration of multiple forest-related uses were also major themes.

Caroline Duhesme (ATIBT) and Alessandra Negri (LCB) emphasized the importance of sustainable forest management certification to preserve forests while recognizing their significance on social and economic levels.


Timber Transformation and Uses

The colloquium also explored the challenges related to wood transformation and its final use. Discussions revolved around the delicate balance between wood as an energy source and as a construction material. Participants pondered how to preserve the resource while meeting the evolving needs of societies. Philippe Denavit, President of the Malvaux Group and the FBIE, shared his expertise on the future of wood and its market share. He explored wood applications to address current needs while safeguarding the resource for the long term.

Circularity in wood utilization was at the heart of the debates, highlighting the advantages and limitations of this approach. Furthermore, climate instability was identified as a major challenge for the wood sector, demanding reflection on adaptation to environmental changes.

Frédéric Anquetil (AF Bois) emphasized the urgency of a "more advanced wood circularity" by advocating for an optimized cascading wood use that "prioritizes the highest environmental and material added value," while stressing the importance of continuing to sequester carbon in wood materials through the circular economy.


Timber in the Landscape

The colloquium underscored the significance of wood in shaping our landscapes. The railway sector, in particular, was mentioned for its substantial use of wood, from railway ties to the forest as a resource. The SNCF Group was recognized for its commitment to responsible forest management by imposing strict standards on the wood it uses. The role of forests in the evolution of the French landscape was also explored, especially their impact on France's transition from a predominantly rural society to an urban one at the turn of the 20th century.


Towards a Sustainable Future with Wood

The colloquium "Wood: Sustainable Resource" provided a thorough exploration of the complexities surrounding wood, from resource to final use. It encouraged reflection on biodiversity preservation, anticipation of climate challenges, and the promotion of responsible forest management. The event also highlighted the crucial role of wood in shaping our landscapes and in developing a comprehensive circular economy. We thank all the participants, speakers, partners, and organizers for their contributions to making this colloquium a success. It enriched our knowledge and inspired future actions in support of the preservation of this precious and renewable resource, wood.