Research article

Assessing the forest-wood chain at local level: A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) based on the circular bioeconomy principles

Elisa Pieratti, Alessandro Paletto , Isabella De Meo, Claudio Fagarazzi, Matteo Giovanni Rillo Migliorini

Elisa Pieratti
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria (CREA)
Alessandro Paletto
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria (CREA). Email: alessandro.paletto@gmail.com
Isabella De Meo
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria (CREA)
Claudio Fagarazzi
University of Florence
Matteo Giovanni Rillo Migliorini
University of Florence

Online First: July 12, 2019
Pieratti, E., Paletto, A., De Meo, I., Fagarazzi, C., Rillo Migliorini, M. 2019. Assessing the forest-wood chain at local level: A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) based on the circular bioeconomy principles. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2018.1238


In the last years, the circular bioeconomy has been recognized as key approach to increase the competitiveness of enterprises and economic growth in the European Union (EU) member countries. In the circular bioeconomy context, forest-based sector can play a key role. The aim of the present study is to analyze the forest-wood chain at local level following the circular bioeconomy approach. In this study, a set of indicators to quantify the 4R ("Reduce", "Reuse", "Recycle", "Recover") of circular economy has been defined and tested in a study area in Italy (Monte Morello forest, Tuscany region). The indicators that have been identified are: improving production process efficiency; reuse and life-span of wood products; optimization of potential wood assortments and energy recover from the wood products. By means of the indicators and a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), the current forest management strategy applied in the study area has been compared with other possible forest management scenarios, to evaluate the optimum solution. The results showed that, up to now, current forest management strategy did not optimize the commercial wood assortments because the timber harvested is wholly allocated for bioenergy production. The economic side can be improved, and the life-span of wood products increased by means of the valorization of the timber collected. Anyway, the results showed a favorable balance with regard to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission – considering the fossil fuel substitution effect – and for the energy enhancement of deadwood stock of the study area.

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