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Stora Enso engages and collaborates with governments, regulators, legislators, businesses, and industry associations to achieve a stable policy environment that helps secure a more sustainable future.
With a presence in more than 50 countries, we aim to be a constructive partner to policy makers globally, in the EU, and in national governments to promote the much-needed green transition.
We work through relevant national, regional, and international trade associations and membership organisations. We continuously monitor, evaluate, and anticipate political decisions, public policy direction, and amended regulations in the areas that are of particular importance to our business and operations.
Stora Enso’s public affairs team also works more directly with stakeholders to craft regulatory and public policy that drives this transition through innovation and economic growth. A regulatory framework that contributes to sustainable solutions is key to our business, and environmental issues are high on our agenda. The key areas we engage on are climate change, biodiversity, and circularity.
The climate cannot wait. As a significant forest owner and wood purchaser, combatting climate change is at the core of Stora Enso’s renewable business: growing trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and their fibers store carbon in wood-based products. These products substitute for fossil-based alternatives, such as plastic. This is called the substitution effect which refers to emissions that can be avoided because a renewable material originating from a sustainably managed source was chosen instead of a fossil-based one. That is, when Stora Enso’s renewable products are chosen to replace fossil-based or other non-renewable alternatives, CO2 from fossil sources is prevented from entering the atmosphere annually.
Stora Enso fully supports the Paris agreement and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We also welcome and support the EU’s ambition to reduce EU emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Related policy should acknowledge the role of the substitution effect in combatting climate change.
Through active and sustainable forest management we always grow more than we harvest. We need healthy forests to ensure that our renewable raw material grows back and that they remain resilient to negative impacts, such as those of climate change. Climate change is a threat to, for example, biodiversity, which is vital for the humankind: it is the variety of life in genes, species, and in entire ecosystems. By tackling climate change, we can protect biodiversity. It is crucial to acknowledge that wood-based products are part of the solution to climate change through the substitution effect, carbon storage, and renewability.
We welcome the world’s efforts to ensure the sustainable use of forests. We support the EU’s ambition to protect at least 30% of EU land and sea area by 2030. We agree that efforts should be taken to restore degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems. At the same time, it is crucial to acknowledge that forest protection, wood production, and other ecosystem services are not in contradiction. We believe our experience in sustainable forestry – where biodiversity concerns are high on the agenda – can be an inspiration both within industry and in policymaking. But we are not claiming that we have all answers already today. We fund and support research in this area, so we and the industry at large can ensure that forest practices are scientifically proven to promote biodiversity – and are not just based on beliefs and tradition.
We believe that a circular economy is only truly possible when raw materials are also circular – materials that are renewable and grow back, such as wood. Wood grows back in sustainably managed forests that are duly regenerated after harvesting, and where forest health, biodiversity, and productivity are safeguarded.
We welcome and support the world’s ambition to transition to a circular economy, including minimizing waste and ensuring circular design. In particular for our packaging divisions, two themes are critical in the push for packaging progress: recyclability and renewability. In order to make packaging more circular, recyclability must be advanced, while the renewability of raw materials leads to carbon neutrality. But it is also important to acknowledge that prioritising reuse is not necessarily always the most sustainable choice. For example, there is evidence that single-use paper-based packaging in fast food restaurants is better for the environment than reusable tableware. In addition, circular economy policies should acknowledge the benefits of renewable materials compared to fossil-based and other non-renewable alternatives.
Stora Enso is part of the European Union’s Transparency Register (Register ID: 269853831446-79), which is available to the public. Our position papers and responses are uploaded and available by searching for Stora Enso Oyj or through this link: Transparency Register (europa.eu). We also regularly update the financial disclosure for Group Public Affairs, which includes our global, national and EU related costs. Information in regard to main trade association memberships, as well as some basic material on interest, which main EU legislative proposals or policies are targeted by us, as well as communication activities related to the EU policies can also be found in this register.