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Normandy's wood and forest sector employs 14,150 people. A surface area of 201,000 ha, i.e. 11% of total regional territory (53% of forests are located in Orne)
3,040 companies, including 720 small-scale businesses

Normandy's woods and forests cover a surface area of 201,000 hectares, with an afforestation rate of 11%. 53% of forests are located in Orne. 81% of forests are on private land. 14,000 land owners with over 1 hectare of forest collectively own a total of 146,000 hectares. 60,000 land owners own less than 1 hectare of forest. Forests comprise a vast majority of deciduous trees (77% in terms of surface area). Oak largely predominates (45% of total volume), followed by beech (14%) and Douglas-fir (7%). 60% of forests over 4 hectares are covered by a sustainable management report. 49% of forests are eco-certified.
An industry that counts in Normandy
Normandy's forest and wood sector employs 14,510 people. It represents 2.8% of regional employment. With a total turnover estimated at over 2.0 billion Euros, the industry's economic weight is midway between metallurgy and the nuclear power sector, two of the region's industrial heavyweights. Comprised of a group of essentially traditional activities, the wood and forest sector ressembles neither traditional industries, nor new service-related activities. In fact, the sector is changing far more than its modest reduction in employment suggests.
A changing industry
Within the wood and forest sector, construction - involving woodwork - is indeed currently booming (6,690 jobs). The wood construction sector alone represent's 43% of the industry's added value.
Upstream of construction, a variety of situations have emerged. In sawmills, concentrated activity has led to job losses; however, constant activity has brought increased productivity (sawed volume per job: 340m3). The decline in the wooden panel and packaging manaufacturing sector dates back to the early 2000s.
Upstream again, forestry concentrates 800 jobs. Due to the region's relatively modest forest surface area, Normandy's related businesses also develop their activity in neighbouring regions where they produce around half of their total wood. 47% of produced wood is eco-certified, a proportion which is rapidly progressing.
The situation in the wood transformation sector is highly contrasting. Employment in the production of wooden roof structures, frames and carpentry, a sector which is also sustained by the building industry, has remained stable. In contrast, furniture manufacturing has reduced its employment (1,600 jobs). Office furniture manufacturing is also on the decline.
In turn, the paper and cardboard industry is stable with 1,000 regional jobs. And the last link in the chain, the bulk trade, is also stable with around 500 jobs.
Highly integrated regional activities
The wood and forest industry essentially concentrates a number of small companies. Among the 3,040 active firms throughout Normandy, 1,720 (57%) are small-scale businesses with no salaried workforce. The region is also home to 1,030 (34%) very small companies (1 – 9 salaried workers). Two hundred and sixty small comanies (10 to 99 salaried workers) represent half of the sector's salaried workforce, whereas only thirty companies with over 100 salaried workers are established in Normandy.
Non-salaried employment represents an important share of the sector's total employment. Hence, alongside the sector's 12,080 salaried employees, 2,430 self-employed workers, craftsmen or small business leaders also earn their living from the forest and wood production.
The challenge of sustainable development
Thanks to its environmental qualities and to technological progress, wood is increasingly used in construction. Furthermore, as a source of energy, wood consumption in collective boiler rooms has also increased. As such, Normandy is one of the most dynamic French regions in the wood energy field. Eco-certification, which enables sustainable forest management, is a further challenge. With 49% of its total woodland eco-certified, Normandy is above the national average of 30%.

  • Manutention de bois par des chariots élévateurs
  • Recyclage du bois