Finland's 22 million hectares of forests are the number one source of raw material for Stora Enso's operations – since almost 40% of all the wood we use today originates from a Finnish forest. The majority of the country's forests are owned by private persons and families. Numbering more than 700 000, Finland's forest-owners form one of Stora Enso's largest stakeholder groups.
In addition to their economic value as raw material for the forest industry, Nordic forests also have important recreational and ecological values, related to leisure activities, landscapes and biodiversity conservation, for instance. To support these multiple uses and the voluntary protection of forests Stora Enso is providing Finnish forest-owners with a new service, known as MetsäPolku (Forest Path).
The new service actively promotes various values among forest-owners and offers alternative harvesting practices for their forests. Forest-owners may choose to designate ecologically valuable areas of forest for conservation, while still enabling other parts of their property to be utilised commercially with carefully planned felling and regeneration. Stora Enso additionally provides FSC and PEFC certification services for all such forest areas.
Partnering with WWF Finland
To underline the increasing importance of the alternative uses of forests Stora Enso has signed a unique partnership with WWF Finland.
"Stora Enso's way of working is a fresh way to acknowledge the various objectives that forest-owners may have with regard to their forests," says Liisa Rohweder, WWF Finland's Secretary General. "This sends a great message that Stora Enso also wants to support private forest-owners' ecological values."
"Sustainable forestry is a fundamental element of Stora Enso's operations throughout the world – and a value that we share with WWF Finland," adds Pekka Kallio-Mannila, Head of Sustainability at Stora Enso's Wood Supply Finland. "We are glad to provide landowners with an easy way to voluntarily protect forests with high biodiversity values."