Metsä Group’s Sustainability Report 2021

Read more about our sustainability performance in 2021..

Transparent sustainability reporting

Metsä Group has sustainability in its DNA. We communicate about our sustainability work comprehensively, transparently and openly. The content of Sustainability Report 2020 reflects Metsä Group's performance towards achieving our strategic sustainability 2030 objectives. On this site, we have collected additional information related to our sustainability work and reporting.

Metsä Group's Sustainability Report 2020 has been prepared according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards (2016) at the Comprehensive level. Our GRI content index includes also our Communication on Progress (COP) in implementing the principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

Metsä Group's annual reporting consists of the following reports: Brochure, Annual Review, including the Corporate Governance statement, and Sustainability Report. Click below for the PDFs.

Sustainability Report 2021

Annual review 2021


For Metsä Group's previous sustainability reports and other annual reporting please go here.

Order printed copies

Order a free printed copy of the Sustainability Report 2021  here. Deliveries of the printed reports start in April 2022.



Materiality – topics with the greatest impact


Sustainability at Metsä Group is driven by our values, strategy as a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy and a focused sustainability approach based on a comprehensive assessment of the most important sustainability topics from our business areas’ as well as our stakeholders’ points of view.

Our principle is to revise our key sustainability topics in three-year-cycles. Metsä Group’s material topics were defined in 2011 and the first re-evaluation was done in 2014. In 2017, we started a new revision assessment. Within the analysis, a particular emphasis was given to social responsibility topics, global supply chains, forests and geographical differences. The revised material topics were defined in an internal management and expert workshop. The results of the new materiality assessment will guide our sustainability work and reporting from 2018 onwards.


Metsä Group's material topics

Safety at work ​Sustainable supply chain​
​Sustainable forest management ​​Emissions to water and air
​Product safety ​Circular economy
​Innovations ​New bioproducts
​Resource-efficiency ​​Supporting local livelihoods and society
​​Renewable energy​Water use

Principles and policies guiding our work

Sustainability is based on Metsä Group's mission, vision and values. Ethical business is ensured by sustainability principles and Codes of Conduct for employees and suppliers guide our day-to-day responsibility work. In addition to public principles and policies listed on the right, we have also set policies for agreements communications, competition, information security, investments, legal, purchasing, risk management, security and treasury.

Human rights and anti-corruption

Metsä Group’s Code of Conduct forms the basis of our ethical business practices. Metsä Group Sustainability Principles supplement our Code of Conduct and set out the guidelines for our sustainability management. All forms of corruption and bribery are prohibited in the Group's Code of Conduct. We train our employees on anti-corruption, which is included in the Code of Conduct training.

We are committed to respecting internationally recognised human rights and continuously develop our operations in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Metsä Group is also a member of the UN’s Global Compact sustainability initiative and supports its ten principles regarding human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Metsä Group has, for example,  a zero-tolerance on forced and child labour, and the prohibition of using those forms of labour, including modern slavery in any form, is included in our Code of Conduct for Suppliers. We also respect and follow the legal reporting requirements of the UK Modern Slavery Act and aim to develop our operations accordingly.

Sponsorships and donations

Metsä Group’s sponsorship and donation strategy focuses mainly on improving the well-being of children and young people. Support of political activities is subject to a separate approval by the Board of Directors. In 2018, Metsä Group did not give material support to political parties.

Long-term risk mitigation

Metsä Group’s risk management’s purpose is to ensure continuity of operations in the short and long term. At Metsä Group, risk management covers all levels of the value chain from securing wood supply to production units and customer deliveries up to preparedness in the event of any possible product liability cases. Under are listed the most important sustainability risks.

Debate on the sustainable use of forests is developing hand in hand with bioeconomy discussion. In northern Europe, the forests are a vast resource: in Finland, for example, currently some 40% of the annual growth of wood is left unused. Employing and using sustainable practices  in forest management for a long time, our forests are growing healthily, providing wood today more than ever before.

Preserving biodiversity is ensured with the PEFC™ and FSC® forest certification schemes in our wood supply areas. Both schemes aim to manage the risks related to the well-being of forests as well as protect waters and other natural values. In Finland and Sweden, the practice of mapping the status of endangered species is exceptionally comprehensive. Additionally, the renewal and biodiversity aspects are taken into account under the Finnish Forest Act, originating from 1886, that requires the renewal of the forest and comprehensive forest risk management. The legislation also requires measures when procuring coniferous wood to restrain the potential damages caused by bark beetles for the growing stock.

Regular in-time thinning and careful planning of loggings are tools that can both prevent and minimise storm damage. The dense road network in our forests enables access to repair storm damages. Most of the forest roads are open for public and recreational use.

Pests pose a potential risk for forestry all around the world. The phytosanitary risk assessments are carried out by the authorities who regulate the plant health legislation and are responsible for controlling that no new pests are introduced.

We work to identify the existing and potential risks related to our entire supply chain, such as risks related to social responsibility and human rights. Metsä Group’s own operations are located in European countries where societal circumstances are relatively stable. Nevertheless, we have recognised that there are actual and potential risks relating to adverse human rights impacts in our own operations, as well as in our supply chain. According to our current knowledge, for example, logistics and construction sites have been identified as some of the operations carrying the biggest actual or potential adverse human rights impacts in our supply chain. 

The management of the tax affairs  is conducted by the Group-level tax team. The tax team monitors tax risks involved in business transactions and advises the Group companies in implementing the tax principles in their daily business as well as in business restructurings.

Enterprise risk management consists of internal risk assessments through the value chain, cooperation with insurance companies as well as systematic loss prevention work to mitigate risks. Major risks, such as fire, machine breakdowns and environmental damages, are covered by Group-wide insurance programme. Read more from Financial Statements. 

Owned or leased main forest areas


Forest certification is a comprehensive tool that covers sustainability issues from safety at work to nature values and future growth of the forest, and makes it a good way to measure sustainability of wood origin. Main forest areas owned or leased by Metsä Group have been certified by both PEFC™ and FSC©. 

In addition to the areas presented in the table, Metsä Group owns small forest estates in Finland and in Estonia (altogether 173 ha ). Further, Metsä Group owns shares (<50%) in the Finnish forest-owning entities Finsilva Oyj and Suomen Metsäsijoitus Oy.

Country​Forest owner/
​Total area, hectares 1)​Of which protected areas, hectares​Certification
Finland​Metsäliitto Cooperative​961​217 2)​PEFC
​Russia​OOO Metsä Forest Podporozhye​271,865​95,900 3)​PEFC and FSC

1) Including forestry land and other land within the forest estate / area.
2) Including Nature Conservation Areas, Natura 2000 areas and Conservation Programme areas. Small-scale valuable forest habitats and the buffer zones of watercourses are not included in the figures.
3) Including forests with a protective function (e.g. forests along watercourses); those with special limitations of the utilisation regime; and biologically valuable forests that have been excluded from commercial use by the company. Strictly protected areas are excluded from the lease areas in Russia. Small-scale valuable forest habitats are not included in the figures.

FSC Licence Code FSC-C014476