Biodiversity means the variety of life in genes, species, and in entire ecosystems and it is vital for the humankind.


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Biodiversity means the variety of life in genes, species, and in entire ecosystems. It is vital for the humankind. Sustainable forest management safeguards forest health and productivity, and protects biodiversity – whilst securing the long-term availability of our renewable resources. Our wood comes from European forests and eucalyptus plantations in Uruguay, Brazil, and China. Read more about our own forest holdings. At Stora Enso, we are determined to place biodiversity at the top of the forest management agenda. We are working hard to become the industry leaders in biodiversity, and letting this mindset lead how we manage our forests. 

Biodiversity is fundamental to both planet and people; it provides functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air, water and food. Biodiversity has been decreasing globally for decades, and more action is needed to reverse this development. At Stora Enso, biodiversity management is an integral part of our forest management practices.

Stora Enso has a solid track record of achievements in safeguarding biodiversity in its forests and tree plantations since the 1990s, for example by pioneering forest certification, restoration and various forest management practices. In 2021, we raised our ambition to safeguard and enhance biodiversity with a new programme together with our customers, academia, environmental organisations and other partners. By adopting a regenerative stance, we are shifting our sustainability goals from minimising negative environmental impacts to becoming a net positive contributor towards biodiversity. We commit to achieving a net-positive impact on biodiversity in our own forests and plantations by 2050 through active biodiversity management and contributing to processes and standards defining the concept in forestry.

Digitalisation, remote sensing technology, and artificial intelligence enable us to take a step forward in the way we operate in forests, in the wood supply chain and in the protection and restoration of biodiversity. We support and encourage our partners to move in the same direction and we also aim to improve biodiversity globally, even beyond the forest sector, through knowledge-sharing and active participation in formulating new policies and standards.

We have developed and initiated a set of actions for the period until 2030 to improve biodiversity on the species, habitat and landscape levels. We use our own forest in Sweden as a development platform for enhancing biodiversity. Our work will be supported by a science-based monitoring programme and continuous research.

Read more about our biodiversity indicators here.

Sustainable forest management

Sustainable forest and plantation management secures the long-term availability of wood. We ensure that our forests grow more than they are harvested, and that biodiversity is promoted as an integral part of everyday forest management practices. The climate benefit and economic value from growing forests are gained while promoting biodiversity and other sustainability aspects. Our biological assets consist of standing trees to be used as raw material in pulp and mechanical wood production. Wood residues are used as biofuels in our own operations.

In addition to the wood supply from own forests and tree plantations, Stora Enso purchased wood from over 21,000 private forest owners during the year. In 2021, 88% of Stora Enso’s wood came from managed semi-natural forests in Europe, most of which are privately owned. In these forests, biodiversity is maintained and enhanced across forest landscapes to enhance biodiversity in our own forests and in forests owned by private owners.

We follow our progress in responsible forestry with a key performance indicator (KPI) that measures the proportion of land in wood production and harvesting owned or managed by Stora Enso that is covered by forest certification schemes. Biodiversity is an integral part of forest certifications including protection of valuable ecosystems. As part of its new sustainability ambition, Stora Enso commits to achieving a net-positive impact on biodiversity in its own forests and plantations by 2050 through active biodiversity management. A set of actions towards 2030 has been developed and initiated to improve biodiversity on species, habitat and landscape levels. We preserve biodiversity in our own forests and in cooperation with private forest owners through sustainable forest management.

We promote biodiversity in everyday forest management on three spatial scales:

  • Forest landscape level to identify areas for active forest management, set aside areas and adapted forest management
  • Forest habitat level to identify and increase elements important for forest biodiversity, such as deadwood, deciduous trees, valuable habitats
  • Forest species level to improve and create habitats with adaptive forest management, such as controlled burning

Latest news

Oct 20, 2021 Jun 10, 2021 May 20, 2021 Apr 22, 2021

Find out how we work


Protecting the vulnerable sand lizard in Sweden

The sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) is a species of lizard that is classified as endangered even though it can be found in most of Europe, including in Stora Enso’s forests in central Sweden.
Read more
Pine tree

New standards for forest biodiversity – striking for a good balance

We aim to produce renewable resources, enhance biodiversity, and help combat global warming – all while maintaining forest health.
Read more
Dead wood

Stora Enso aims to double the number of high stumps

More dead wood will be left in the harvesting areas than before, and additional high stumps are made from standing trees to promote forest biodiversity.
Read more

20 years of cooperation with WWF-Russia

The Pskov Model Forest project is one of the landmarks of the joint efforts to improve sustainable forestry. Why was that project established and what have we learned?
Read more

Podcast: Responsible tree plantations and biodiversity

Much of the raw material to the paper industry comes from tree plantations. Does that mean that biodiversity is at risk or can actually the biodiversity benefit from responsible and sustainable tree plantations?
Listen here
Dead wood

Podcast: The future of biodiversity in Nordic forests

Biodiversity loss at global level is considered potentially catastrophic. What does biodiversity mean and why is it important? How serious a problem is biodiversity loss and what is being done in the forest sector?
Listen here
Bioparque M’Bopicuá in Uruguay

Safeguarding biodiversity in Uruguay

Montes del Plata, Stora Enso’s 50/50 joint operation in Uruguay, provides our production units with eucalyptus pulp. Protecting the environment and biodiversity is a top priority. 
Read more
plantation, biotope

Twenty years of biodiversity protection by Veracel

The Veracel Station centre, in the middle of an area of preserved rainforest habitat, conducts research and conserves native and endangered ecosystems while raising environmental awareness.

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Forest road

The future of our forests

Global warming, forest degradation, and biodiversity loss are some of the most important challenges in the world at the moment. Could sustainable forestry help reduce the impacts?
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Bugging for forest biodiversity

Beetles, birds, and insects – decaying wood provides habitats for a variety of small decomposers and larger animals in the forest. Stora Enso is committed to increasing the amount of decaying wood in Finnish forests for the benefit of biodiversity.
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Planning is essential

As trees take many years or decades to mature, long-term forestry planning is essential. Such planning involves ecological landscape plans and biodiversity assessments to identify, conserve and restore vital ecosystems. Stora Enso invests in conservation efforts by protecting and restoring significant areas of land. For more information, see our Sustainability 2020 listing our owned and managed lands.

We know the origin of all the wood we use: 100% comes from sustainable sources. We use various tools to ensure this, including forest certification and third-party traceability systems such as the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC*) Chain of Custody/Controlled Wood scheme, the Chain of Custody/Due Diligence System of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. We follow our progress on responsible forestry with a key performance indicator measuring the proportion of land in wood production and harvesting owned and managed by Stora Enso that is covered by forest certification schemes. Our target is to maintain the high level of 96%. In 2020, coverage amounted to 98%. The proportion of third-party certified wood in our total wood supply was 78% in 2020.

We always ensure that the forests we harvest from are regenerated.

* Stora Enso Communications’ FSC® trademark license number is FSC-N001919.

SDG 15 – Life on land

Stora Enso supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Our work with forest, plantations and land-use directly contributes to SDG 15.

Read more

Protecting biodiversity in forestry operations

Compliance with national legislation is only the starting point for our work. We actively support and implement voluntary forest conservation and restoration measures on lands owned, leased, and managed by Stora Enso, and in other areas where we purchase wood.

Forest planning involves finding ways to optimise wood production and conservation. We work together with forest owners to identify sensitive forest areas in need of protection. Our experts are trained to identify such areas and we regularly consult the authorities on these matters.

Around ¾ of the wood we use is purchased from European markets and ¼ originates from forests and tree plantations owned and managed by Stora Enso. Regardless of the origin, we ensure that all wood comes from sustainable sources where biodiversity values are secured. Stora Enso closely monitors the management of the forests and plantations from which it sources wood.

Biodiversity and tree plantations

About 13% of our wood comes from tree plantations. Stora Enso never establishes plantations in natural forests, protected areas, or water-sensitive locations. We only use land with low biodiversity value, such as former pastureland.

In Brazil, our joint operation Veracel goes beyond regeneration by conserving and restoring areas of natural Atlantic Rainforest. Since the plantations were established, Veracel has worked systematically to protect and restore local biodiversity. Approximately half of Veracel’s 213 000 hectares of land are dedicated to rainforest preservation and restoration. In total, 7 200 hectares of forest has been restored between 1994 and the end of 2020. This work is part of a regional restoration programme that helps connect the remaining areas of valuable natural habitat to each other with forest corridors that enable wildlife to move more freely from one area to another. Veracel is the first tree plantation company in Brazil to receive FSC recognition for preserving and responsibly managing ecosystem services. Visit Veracel's website here.

Click here for a description of Stora Enso's biodiversity management practices in plantations.

Sustainable forestry

We follow sustainable forestry best practices, including the protection of key biotopes and leaving additional voluntary set-aside areas, restoring endangered species’ habitats and leaving decaying wood in final felling areas.

Forests contain the majority of life on Earth. Did you know that 80% of the species found on land live in forests.
protecting biodiversity
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Sustainable forestry maintains productivity, biodiversity and regeneration capacity of the forests. In commercial forests, biodiversity is primarily preserved by protecting key biotopes and maintaining structural variability and tree species diversity of the managed forest stands.
biodiversity, savings trees
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A retention tree is a living tree that is left in a harvested site to grow, die, and decay. Such trees might be seed trees for forest regeneration but more often they are trees for increasing forest biodiversity. When such trees die in one location but at different times, they provide the area with continuum of decaying wood for forest species, such as birds who need it for nesting.
dead wood, biodiversity, decaying wood
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Decaying wood provides a habitat for a wide variety of forest species. In forestry operations, the amount of decaying wood and deadwood is increased by leaving decaying trees untouched and avoiding the removal of forest floor deadwood.
biodiversity, high stumps
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For example, in Finland and Sweden, Stora Enso leaves more deadwood in its harvesting areas and makes artificial snags, i.e. stumps of 2 to 5 metres to protect forest biodiversity. During harvesting, we make at least two high stumps per hectare with forest owner approval. The aim is for 150 000 new high stumps per year in Finland.
Protecting biodiversity, employees, forestry operations
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Our employees and forestry contractors are given on-the-job training in ecological management and we monitor our operational impact on biodiversity, soil, and water resources. When harvesting, we map valuable habitats, set-aside areas, retention trees and other special features of the forest. We frequently seek advice from authorities or independent experts to decide how to adapt our forestry to minimize any negative consequences.
controlled burning, biodiversity
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Fire is a natural part of boreal forest ecosystems. Nowadays, natural forest fires are rare in Finland and Sweden, which has led to decrease in the abundance and diversity of fire-dependent species. Controlled burning, meaning that the surface of the felling area and the logging residues are burned, creates suitable habitats for many fire-dependent species and also enhances forest regeneration.
forest owners, biodiversity, certification
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Biodiversity protection is an integral part of forest certification. Stora Enso promotes and participates in the development of forest certification systems. In 2020, 98% of land in wood production and harvesting owned and managed by Stora Enso was covered by forest certification schemes.
water pines, biodiversity
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In harvesting and silvicultural operations, waters are protected by leaving buffer zones around watercourses and applying specific measures in ground water areas. These measures reduce the flow of solid materials, such as humus and nutrients, into watercourses and thus decrease their eutrophication.
sand lizard, biodiversity
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Sand lizard is classified as vulnerable on the species database's red list in Sweden. Stora Enso has established several areas to protect sand lizard on its Swedish forest holdings land. The work has contributed to a significant increase in the sand lizard population in the area. In addition to the sand lizard, a number of other threatened species benefit from the efforts.
protecting biodiversitybiodiversity, savings treesdead wood, biodiversity, decaying woodbiodiversity, high stumpsProtecting biodiversity, employees, forestry operationscontrolled burning, biodiversityforest owners, biodiversity, certificationwater pines, biodiversitysand lizard, biodiversity

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