Forests, plantations, and land use

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Sustainable forest management safeguards forest health and productivity, and protects and enhances biodiversity – whilst securing the long-term availability of renewable resources.

As a renewable natural resource, wood represents a favourable alternative to fossil-based and other non-renewable materials. Growing trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and, together with wood-based products, act as carbon storage. Sustainable forest management promotes vital and growing forests while ensuring the preservation of biodiversity, which is also key to the resilience of forests. We continuously analyse the future impacts of climate change and work to increase the resilience of forests to diseases, storms and other physical risks related to the changing climate.

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 2023, coverage amounted to 99%.

How we work

The role of sustainable management of forests is emphasised in the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Forest Strategy. For us sustainable forest management has always been the way we operate. Sustainable forest management is a holistic approach, which takes into account the economic, social, and environmental aspects of sustainability and by definition preserves the forest resource. We do not harvest more than forests grow and do not convert natural forests, protected areas or areas currently undergoing official processes of designation for protection into tree plantations. We use various tools, such as forest certification and traceability to ensure that our operations contribute to zero-deforestation in the supply chain. More information on Stora Enso’s strategy and approach towards sustainable forest management is included in our Annual report and disclosure through CDP Forest.

As part of setting ambitious biodiversity goals and new sustainability targets in 2021, Stora Enso is committed to achieving a net-positive impact on biodiversity in its own forests and plantations by 2050 through active biodiversity management. Stora Enso’s comprehensive biodiversity programme includes an action plan for 2021–2030 with measures to improve biodiversity on the species, habitat and landscape levels. Read more on biodiversity here.

Stora Enso is analysing the future impacts of climate change and works to increase the resilience of forests in the face of diseases, storms and other physical risks related to the changing climate. The key role of sustainably managed forests in combatting climate change and harbouring biodiversity has been broadly recognised.

We use various tools to ensure that the wood we use comes from sustainable, certified sources. This includes forest certification and third-party traceability systems such as the Forest Stewardship Council's1 (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 always ensure that the forests and plantations we harvest wood from are duly regenerated.

We are an active member of numerous local and global forestry associations, networks, and programmes, including the Forest Solutions Group (FSG) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The Forests Dialogue (TFD), and WWF’s Forests Forward programme.

1Trademark license number (Stora Enso Communications) FSC-N001919.

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