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Sustainable forestry and biodiversity are at the center of the wider global sustainable development agenda, and deforestation continues to be a global concern. Stora Enso is committed to sustainable forest management.
Our wood comes from European forests and eucalyptus plantations in Uruguay, Brazil, and China. 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 2021, coverage amounted to 99%.
The proportion of third-party certified wood in our total wood supply was 77% in 2021.
We actively work to increase the use of forest certification in areas where we purchase wood. In Finland and Sweden, for example, we promote group certification to encourage more suppliers and farmers to join these systems.
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 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'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.
In 2021, 88% of Stora Enso's wood came from managed semi-natural forests in Europe, while 12% originated from tree plantations.
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.
As a renewable natural resource, wood represents a favourable alternative to fossil-based and other non-renewable materials. Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and, together with wood-based products, act as carbon storage.
Climate change entails both physical challenges and opportunities in relation to forests and plantations, due to changing patterns of temperature, wind, and rainfall. Well-managed forests can make entire ecosystems more resilient to negative impacts, and benefit from positive ones. Forest health and growth must be ensured by managing forests sustainably throughout the forest life cycle.
1Trademark license number (Stora Enso Communications) FSC-N001919.