The Sonian Forest is a unique peri-urban ecosystem covering approximately 5,000 hectares just outside Brussels. The forest is home to spectacular expanses of deciduous trees, mainly beeches, but also oaks, maples, pines and chestnut trees. The Sonian Forest is managed in a sustainable way, according to the Forêt de Sonian Management Plan adopted by the Brussels government in 2019. Every year, a rigorous selection of trees is felled and replaced by new ones in order to adapt the forest to climate change and increase biodiversity. Unfortunately,
More than 75% of the wood from the Sonian forest is exported to Asia for processing.
In order to create a local alternative to exporting wood from the Sonian Forest to Asia, Sonian Wood Coop was launched in 2019. Sonian Wood Coop’s mission is to relocate the processing of wood from the Sonian Forest. They work closely with various commercial partners and not only with the local communities.
commercially along the value chain and organise the sustainable production of high-quality local wood. From the sale of standing trees to end use in architectural or design projects, their job is to ensure that every step along the way is as sustainable, local and fair as possible.
Sonian Wood Coop therefore works with forest owners, sawmills, carpenters and other partners to keep the wood from the Sonian Forest as local as possible. They look at each tree individually and decide with their forest, sawmill and bench partners to
the most appropriate use, taking into account the unique characteristics of the different trees. The overall objective is to conserve all the wood in the Forest of
Sonian in Belgium and to treat it locally. From the sawing of the trees to the finished products, Sonian Wood Coop will sustainably organise the production and processing of this high quality local wood. This will stimulate craftsmanship and local employment. This level of cooperation along the value chain is rare in the wood sector and is a major asset in their local approach to wood.
Sonian Wood Coop’s activity contributes to the objectives 12 “Responsible consumption and production” and 15 “Earth Life” of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.