Deadwood and hand

#PartofthePlan: From biodiversity commitments to concrete actions - together

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As an environmental challenge, biodiversity loss is as urgent as climate change. But until recent years, the discussion and public action around it has lacked the same urgency and intensity. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – an ambitious and ground-breaking plan set in 2022 – provided the needed push to bring global leaders together to solve these common challenges. Although several actions fall on states, businesses have a crucial role to play.

Many businesses transcend national borders, which is why corporate action has the potential to achieve wide-ranging impacts and address biodiversity globally. There is a critical need for all organisations to identify their effects – whether local or global, whether direct or in their value chain. In Stora Enso, biodiversity considerations are closely integrated in our forestry operations. Take a look at how we are #PartofthePlan, in honor of International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May.

1. We are committed to a net-positive impact on biodiversity.

Societies need wood for biobased products, while at the same time forests form a crucial habitat for many species. In 2021, Stora Enso committed to achieving a net-positive impact on biodiversity in its forests and plantations through active biodiversity management. This is an ambitious goal, and its complexity cannot easily be depicted by simple metrics. Our work towards the goal is based on actions, indicators, technology, and partnerships.

2. We strive towards the goal with active management on landscape, habitat, and species levels.

Our biodiversity actions take place in two arenas: in our own forests (Sweden) and plantations (South America) as well as in forests owned by private forest owners in Northern Europe. The actions acknowledge the landscape, habitat, and species levels of biodiversity. In harvesting we aim to minimize negative impacts and enhance positive ones, and in the long term our aim is to promote biodiversity across forest generations. For instance, actions in boreal forests are adapted based on monitoring our progress and fall under various focus areas, such as:

  • creating and preserving deadwood
  • restoring and preserving selected environments, such as wetlands and old forests
  • management actions, such as controlled burning, to promote special biodiversity values
  • leaving retention trees, nature value trees, and thickets
  • protecting waters and their surrounding environments
  • increasing the share of broadleaved trees and mixed forests
  • protecting and promoting habitats for selected species

3. We monitor progress and adapt actions with biodiversity indicators.

Actions are crucial, but to know how we progress, we need to monitor the outcomes as well and use science-based metrics that portray different aspects of biodiversity over time. In forestry, impacts on biodiversity happen both short-term in harvesting and long-term throughout forest generations. We have selected three types of biodiversity indicators to disclose our performance and adapt our actions accordingly.

  • Biodiversity impact indicators monitor harvesting operations in Northern forests
  • Long-term biodiversity indicators follow developments in own forests in Sweden
  • Biodiversity indicators for tree plantations monitor developments in mosaic landscapes

4. We have developed a framework to model biodiversity actions and their future impact.

To deliver on a net-positive impact on biodiversity, we have developed a pioneering framework to measure the impact. The framework is being finalized with IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). It is built on forest data, captured by remote sensing and other sources, that can be used to build a detailed digital twin of a forest. This helps to identify areas with the most biodiversity values: key habitats for threatened species. Based on this information, we can model forestry actions and forecast how they may impact habitats and related species.

5. The framework enables us to manage biodiversity and wood production side-by-side.

In a managed forest, biodiversity and wood production co-exist but most of the current forestry planning tools have been optimized for wood production. Forestry is always a balancing act between production and biodiversity. By using our framework to model the optimal locations for biodiversity and basing our decisions on science, we can take actions where they matter the most. We can simultaneously model how they affect wood production and thereby enhance production and biodiversity in parallel.

6. We collaborate with researchers and nature organisations to leverage the latest research.

We cannot do all this alone: businesses, organisations, and academia need to come together to truly have an impact beyond the borders of one business. In 2024, we partnered with IUCN to further develop our framework for biodiversity. Since 2020, we have collaborated with SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) in a large-scale research programme on biodiversity, forest growth, and forest technologies. We are also involved in restoration initiatives with WWF Finland. Collaborations with such leading organizations are integral to ensure our actions are backed up by the latest knowledge and external expertise that support us on our journey towards a net-positive impact.