Nature and forestry management are an important part of forest professional expertise. During the summer of 2016 some 50 Metsä Group's forest specialists took a course to receive Nature Management Cards. Also, we take a look at our environmental impacts annually and set up environmental programmes to find ways to minimise our impacts. Both have been a part of our operations for over 20 years.
Employees’ and contractors’ know-how is the key to maintaining a high level quality of environmental management. Nature Management Card has been created for this purpose – already in 1997 – as card-holders’ know the most important regulations and recommendations concerning nature management, can take into account their varying working conditions and are able to justify the nature management measures. Metsä Group’s goal is that that everyone working in the forests completes the course.
The studies in the course are extensive: it includes valuable forest sites and structural characteristics, water conservation, energy harvesting, landscaping, ancient monuments, as well as the conditions for multiple use of forests. An important part of the course is identification of tree species, bushes and plants because it is needed for example in the identification of valuable sites.
"Passing the test is no easy task as it calls for knowledge in different aspects of nature management”, says forest service specialist Markku Salmela.
20 years of environmental programmes
Also for 20 years, diversity and environmental know-how have been the main themes of Metsä Group’s environmental programmes. Some years ago, Metsä Group repeated the analysis of the possible environmental impacts of its actions as forestry practices have changed over time," explains environmental manager Janne Soimasuo. "At the same time the assessment was harmonised in our wood supply area because generally we talk about the same things: from regular tire tracks to possible damage situations such as oil spills."
Once the environmental effects have been identified, their minimising is planned with the annually updated environmental programmes. Valuable information can be obtained from results of the previous environmental programme and from external and internal inspection reports. Numerical, measurable targets are more easy to follow, but also verbally set targets are used.
"Active monitoring of the implementation of the programme is important so that at the end of the year you have reached the targets. Mostly we achieved our targets in 2016 so that we can start the year 2017 from a clean slate.
The programme for 2017 highlights biodiversity and more specifically the use of decayed wood. In water conservation, classification of soft soils and harvesting machinery in emphasised.