Sustainable use of forests

The sustainable use of forests takes account of all three criteria for sustainability: ecological, social and economic. The sustainable use of forests creates well-being, mitigates climate change, maintains biodiversity and prevents deforestation.

The raw material provided by forests, wood fibre, is an important alternative to fossil-oil based raw materials, and forest industry products are significant in terms of the national economy of Metsä Board’s home market: the forest industry generates roughly a fifth of Finland’s export income.

Of Metsä Board’s eight mills, seven are in Finland and one is in Sweden. Forests cover roughly 75% of Finland’s and 70% of Sweden’s land area. In both countries, at least half of the forests are owned privately by ordinary families, meaning that forests are a source of income for many people. This is why it is important to forest owners that their forests remain viable for future generations. The both countries have a long history in sustainable forest management, and their forest reserves increase continuously because forest growth is greater than the volume of harvested wood.

Metsä Board is part of Metsä Group, whose internal value chain helps us to ensure the origin and quality of the wood fibre we use. Metsä Group's wood supply and forest services is responsible for all our wood procurement. In recognition of our sustainable forest use, Metsä Board has achieved a rating of A in CDP's forest assessment. 

Finnish forest owner Mikko Leikola tells what forest means to him:

FAQ

  1. 1

    What does sustainable forest management mean?

    Sustainable forestry supports the growth of forests, safeguards biodiversity and allows the recreational use of forest areas where the trees are used as raw material for bioproducts.

    Forest certification guarantees that a forest will be managed sustainably. Forest certification serves as proof of responsible operations throughout the value chain for both the forest owner and the customer who purchases the wood.

  2. 2

    What does deforestation mean?

    Deforestation means that the total area of forests is decreasing due to the permanent removal of trees to make room for something else besides forest.

    The main driver of deforestation is agricultural expansion. Forestry does not cause deforestation in any of the areas where Metsä Board sources wood. Rather, it is other forms of land use including infrastructure building and clearing land for agricultural use that result in the permanent felling of trees.



  3. 3

    What does reforestation mean?

    Reforestation typically means that the total area of forests is increasing because new forests are being established in areas that had no previous forest cover. Reforestation can also mean that new trees are being planted to replace those that have been harvested.

    Metsä Group supplies more than 30 million seedlings to Finnish forest owners every year.

  4. 4

    How is the biodiversity of forests secured?

    Increasing the amount of decaying wood in forests and favouring mixed forests are especially important considerations for biodiversity. Biodiversity is secured, for example, through establishing mixed forests of pine and spruce and by leaving retention trees, high biodiversity stumps, protective thickets and existing decaying trees in forest areas.

    It is important to preserve valuable habitats and establish protected areas in certain forests. Biodiversity is also advanced through buffer zones along water bodies, which also prevent the run-off of soil and nutrients. Forest certifications define precise criteria for conserving biodiversity.