Stream in a forest

Diverse indicators help gain valuable data on forest biodiversity

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Committed to achieving a net positive impact on biodiversity, Stora Enso is focused on developing forest management actions and metrics that can lead to and verify positive impacts on biodiversity. As part of this work, we have selected a number of biodiversity indicators and targets to disclose on our performance.

Biodiversity is complex as it is defined by variation on genetic, species and ecosystem levels. When selecting biodiversity indicators, it’s crucial to understand the operating environment and choose indicators that reflect different aspects of biodiversity, are science-based, and can be monitored over time. In forestry, impacts on biodiversity happen both short-term in harvesting and long-term throughout forest generations.

To get a grasp on this complexity, we have set three different groups of indicators to monitor our biodiversity progress on different levels in the forests where we operate:

Biodiversity impact indicators monitor harvesting operations in Northern forests

Six biodiversity impact indicators monitor the quality of harvesting operations in Finland, Sweden, and the Baltics. These indicators portray how well we are able to mitigate negative impacts as well as maintain and promote important biodiversity values in harvesting. Thus, the indicators provide feedback for continuous operational development. The data is collected from the Northern forests where we operate: both from private forest owners’ land and from our own forests.

  • High stump creation
  • Ground deadwood preservation
  • Soil and water protection
  • Prioritised habitat preservation
  • Tree retention
  • Buffer zone preservation

Read more about biodiversity impact indicators

Long-term biodiversity indicators follow developments in own forests in Sweden

Whereas impact indicators monitor the direct biodiversity impact in harvesting, long-term biodiversity indicators monitor the conditions for biodiversity and their long-term developments across forest landscapes. These indicators are monitored on Stora Enso’s own forestland in Sweden, where we can make faster decisions and have long-term visibility into the developments in the forest. However, we are also evaluating opportunities to help private forest owners to gain visibility into biodiversity in their forests.

Currently there are five indicators for Stora Enso’s forests, and more are under evaluation

  • Share of broadleaved forests
  • Volume of all deadwood
  • Number of nature value trees
  • Old forest distribution across the landscapes
  • Share of voluntary set-asides

Read more about long-term biodiversity indicators

Biodiversity indicators in tree plantations monitor developments in mosaic landscapes

In South America, Stora Enso manages plantations in joint ventures: Veracel with Suzano in Brazil and Montes del Plata with Arauco in Uruguay. South American plantations consist of a mosaic of areas for wood production and biodiversity conservation. This means biodiversity is preserved in dedicated set-aside areas that exist side-by-side with areas for wood production. Biodiversity in plantations is currently monitored with four indicators.

  • Protected areas
  • Restored areas
  • Water quality in plantations
  • Vulnerable, endangered, and endemic species

Read more about biodiversity indicators in plantations


All these indicators have been used for years, but recently Stora Enso has started to report them externally on the company’s website to increase transparency.  The reported indicators have been selected based on their value for forest biodiversity according to science. In addition to these key indicators, we also work with other metrics to evaluate and improve our impact on nature. The indicators and their reporting are continuously assessed and developed in light of new knowledge and research: we work actively with researchers to find new reliable indicators or assess the effect of the indicators we use.

The indicators are part of Stora Enso’s comprehensive, company-wide biodiversity work, leading the way towards a net positive impact on biodiversity. For this, we ambitiously develop digital tools and biodiversity modelling to enable predictions of future biodiversity based on how we manage the forest today.