History of INFRO

The beginnings and the later development

The company has been researching the raw material use (e.g. forest wood, residues, recycled materials) and end-use sectors (e.g. construction, furniture, packaging, paper) of the wood economic sector since 1990.

Wood is becoming increasingly important in the current context of economic change towards renewable raw materials, bio-economy and circular economy processes. Changes require a new view on reality. With the raw material monitoring, INFRO has created data bases that have brought the wood sector in its many facets to a new level of understanding for politics, the economy and society.

New views lead to new methods. INFRO developed a system of wood raw material balances that make the wood market more transparent, while at the same time expanding the data basis and testing it for consistency. The work culminates in a representation of circular economy processes in terms of wood material flows from forest wood to material and energy use, carbon storage and back to reuse and recycling.

The owner of INFRO (Udo Mantau) was a professor of economics of wood and forestry at the University of Hamburg's Center for Wood Economics from 1991 to 2017. Mantau led the project raw material monitoring (1999-2022), developed the model of wood raw material balancing that has also significantly shaped the understanding on the wood market in Europe (EUwood project, Forest Sector Outlook Study (EFSOS II, ISPRA wood resource balances). In continuation, the Wood-Flow-Analysis formed the basis for an empirical circular economy analysis of the EU Commission (Cascade-Project), which for the first time enabled the quantification of cascade uses of wood in structural depth and temporal development.