Stora Enso uses science-based indicators to monitor how well our operations follow our instructions on avoiding negative impacts on biodiversity. Based on annual assessments carried out in 2021, Stora Enso reports operational indicators for its wood procurement in Finland, Sweden, and the Baltics. More data will be shared as our work progresses. In 2022, our target is 90% compliance for each indicator. Our target is eventually to reach 100% compliance.
The monitoring showed that there was at least one high stump per hectare, and usually the number was 1–3 high stumps. High stump creation has therefore not yet reached the target. Our target is to significantly increase the number of high stumps so that there are at least four high stumps per hectare at every harvesting site.
About the data: 505 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored. A total of 308 sites (56%) had at least one high stump per hectare.
The monitoring examined how much deadwood is left at harvesting sites and whether damage to deadwood is avoided.
About the data: In total, 505 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored. At 137 sites, there was originally no deadwood to be preserved. At the remaining 368 sites, nearly all of them (97%) had adequately preserved the deadwood.
The impact of harvesting machinery on soil and water is continuously monitored. Our report shows how well crossings over watercourses have been carried out.
About the data: In total, 505 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored, and 132 of these had wet areas. The reported data show how well damage to soil and water was avoided in the crossing of water courses on sites with wet areas. At 120 sites (91%), water courses had been crossed without any soil damage.
Prioritised habitats are defined according to Article 10 of the Finnish Forest Act. Examples of these are: immediate environments for springs and streams, natural peatland environments, groves, sand-fields, ravines and gorges, and rocky ground.
About the data: 505 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored, and 75 prioritised habitats were identified. Out of these habitats, 88% had been completely preserved, 8% were almost unchanged and the remaining 4% had changed slightly.
The monitoring examined whether at least 10 trees per hectare were left at harvesting sites.
About the data: 505 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored. At 449 sites (89%) the appropriate number of trees was retained.
High stump creation has been part of standard forest management practice since the 1990s. Currently, the target is to make at least three high stumps per hectare at final harvesting.
About the data: 60 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored. A total of 55 sites (90%) had at least three high stumps per hectare.
All deadwood with a diameter of at least 15 cm that has been dead for more than one year is preserved in harvesting operations.
About the data: In total, 60 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored. A total of 323 logs of deadwood (85% of all monitored deadwood) were evaluated as adequately preserved.
The impacts of harvesting machinery on soil and water is continuously monitored. Our report shows how well crossings over watercourses have been carried out.
About the data: In total, 119 randomly selected harvesting sites were evaluated, and stream crossings had been carried out in 39 of these. A total of 32 crossings (80%) were performed without any soil damage.
In Sweden, all retention patches are included in prioritised habitats. These include, for instance, forest habitats with high biodiversity values, riparian buffer zones, swamp forests, patches to preserve red-listed species or other retention patches that will develop high biodiversity values in the future.
About the data: 119 randomly selected harvesting sites were evaluated. A total of 417 prioritised habitats were recorded. Out of these, 372 (90%) were approved without damage.
Tree retention is both retention of single trees and the retention of patches with high biodiversity or restoration potential. On average at least 10 trees per hectare should be left at final harvesting.
About the data: 60 randomly selected harvesting sites were evaluated. At 53 sites (90%) the appropriate number of trees was retained.
High stump creation is not included in standard forest management practice. Natural high stumps are left in the forest during logging operations. The target is to leave five dead trees per hectare. If there are fewer than the required number, more retention trees are left.
Deadwood should amount to at least five trees per hectare of standing or lying deadwood. In the absence of the required amount, more retention trees are left.
About the data: 42 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored, out of 674 sites in total. 37 sites (88%) had at least five pieces per hectare.
A high proportion of soft soils and long forwarding distances make it difficult to avoid soil damage. Planning and using logging residues on strip roads are the most common ways of reducing impact.
About the data: 42 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored, out of 674 sites in total. The results show that 74% of harvesting sites were approved with respect to soil and water.
In addition to the official Woodland Key Habitats, Stora Enso also prioritises potential areas listed by the Estonian Fund for Nature. Both are checked during forest audits.
No deviations were found in 2021 forest audits.
Retention trees are selected from the trees of the upper layer of various tree species with the largest diameter. Broad-leaved species of beech, oak, ash, elm, pine and aspen are preferred, as well as trees with marks from fire, cavities or large branches. An average of 7–10 retention trees should be left in the final felling.
About the data: 42 randomly selected harvesting sites were monitored, out of 674 sites in total. At 79% of the sites, the appropriate number of living trees were left after harvesting.
This data is based on annual assessments carried out in 2021, Stora Enso reports operational indicators for its wood procurement in Finland, Sweden, and the Baltics. More data will be shared as our work progresses.
High stumps increase the amount of deadwood and thereby contribute to restoring more natural forest-like conditions in managed landscapes.
Harvesting machines can create high stumps, and high stumps are also created by naturally fallen trees. In harvested areas, high stumps enhance biodiversity by providing standing deadwood that is exposed to sunlight for a long time. As the bark loosens and the high stump rots, various species of insects follow each other in inhabiting the high stumps. It is therefore important that high stumps are left in place as the new forest becomes established and ages. Different species of insects and birds, for example, prefer the high stumps of different tree species.
The red-listed beetle Peltis grossa is an example of a species that can frequently be found in artificial high stumps of spruce or birch. This beetle normally relies on deadwood that has been damaged by spruce bark beetles. When such wood is removed from forests to protect it from further bark beetle attacks, Peltis grossa loses a potential habitat, which can be replaced by artificial high stumps.
Many species in boreal forests depend on deadwood. Active forestry measures are used to increase the amount of deadwood in production forests.
These measures include careful preservation of existing deadwood and creating new deadwood (e.g. high stumps). Deadwood-dependent beetles are a group of species that benefits from forest harvesting, as most species (c. 65%) prefer sun-exposed environments. In particular, many beetle species on the deadwood of aspen prefer open habitats. Only 5% of these beetles can thrive in shadowy environments inside the forest. This is in contrast to beetles on the deadwood of spruce, 40% of which prefer shadowy environments. When creating new deadwood in a harvested area, it is important to consider which tree species are the most valuable for creating deadwood, in order to ensure beetle habitats at that specific site. Instead of having deadwood from many different tree species, it can be more effective to create more deadwood from just one selected tree species.
The driving of harvesting machines in the forest requires careful planning to avoid damaging the soil and water.
Crossing watercourses is avoided, as well as driving on wet soil. If driving cannot be avoided, temporary bridges are used to cross watercourses and the soil is protected with mats of wood and branches. No damage is allowed that leads to increased discharge of sediment into watercourses and lakes is unacceptable. The same applies to changing the stretching of a watercourse, or swamping or damming near it. Driving must not damage peatlands, impact elements of value to nature, such as deadwood or retention trees, impair the accessibility of frequently used paths and trails, or damage ancient monuments or other valuable cultural relics.
The natural variation of the forest is considered in harvesting operations, and precautions are taken to preserve prioritised habitats properly.
These can be riparian buffer zones, sites sensitive to soil damage (e.g. wetland forest or steep slopes in the terrain), or patches of forest with high biodiversity values, such as sites inhabited by endangered species. Broad-leaved trees, such as aspen, rowan, willow and alder are considered to be elements of value to nature that should be retained at the time of harvest. Large-diameter pine and spruce trees, particularly if damaged, are valuable for biodiversity, as is all standing and lying deadwood. Also, all trees retained during harvesting should be left undamaged.
Trees that are left on site after harvesting are called retention trees. They can be left as single standing trees or in groups.
The trees can support biodiversity over the forest regeneration phase. Species that depend on living trees inhabit these until the new trees have matured enough. Groups of retention trees have been shown to increase the survival of spiders and red-listed mosses and lichens, for example. Retention trees that eventually die serve as natural deadwood. Retention trees that live to become part of the new forest contribute to structural variation as they are much older than the other trees in the stand.