Tomorrow is made of sustainably grown wood

Sustainable forest management and use help improve the ability of forests to absorb carbon and reduce the use of fossil resources harmful to the climate.

Forests cover three fourths of Finland’s surface, and thanks to good forest management, our forests continue to grow more wood than is used.


The carbon sink of our forests has tripled

“The growth of our forests has more than doubled over the past century, and the volume of wood has increased from 1.4 billion cubic metres to 2.5 billion cubic metres,” says Kari T. Korhonen, Principal Scientist at Natural Resources Institute Finland, who has led the National Forest Inventory (NFI) for 15 years.

According to the NFI’s measurements, the doubling of forest growth has also affected the carbon sink of our forests, which now absorb approximately three times the amount of carbon they did a century ago – despite forest use having increased over the same period.

Kari T Korhonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Kari T. Korhonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Growth and removal of Finnish forests

“Our measurements indicate that good, sustainable forest management enables carbon storage to be increased while also increasing the use of forests,” Korhonen explains.

Good, sustainable forest management enables carbon storage to be increased while also increasing the use of forests

Kari T. Korhonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland

Cleaner everyday

Forest use based on research

For more than 100 years, the growth and development of Finnish forests has been monitored with regularly performed forest inventories.

“The NFI provides research-based, objective statistics on the state of our forests. This information gives us greater insight into our forests and helps us ensure their sustainable use,” says Korhonen

According to Korhonen, the statistics on Finnish forests indicate that our forest management and use have been, by and large, appropriate.

Forest services

“We have good forest management to thank for the growth of forest resources and the carbon sink in Finland,” says Korhonen.

“By making smart use of forests, we offer a solution to the carbon question instead of causing a problem, since it enables us to reduce the use of raw materials harmful to the climate,” he adds.

A growing forest absorbs more carbon dioxide

Active and timely forest management measures help ensure the availability of Finnish wood raw material, prevent deforestation, improve the wellbeing of forests and increase the growth of forest resources – as well as carbon storage.

“Sustainable forest use benefits the economy, recreational use and the climate, since a well-growing forest absorbs more carbon dioxide than an old forest nearing the end of its growth,” says Vesa Junnikkala, Sustainability Director for Metsä Group’s Wood Supply and Forest Services.


Room for new growth

To ensure the wellbeing and growth of forests, it is important to quickly initiate reforestation after regeneration felling and to leave suitable domestic tree species in place in favour of mixed forests.

“In addition, timely young stand management and thinning of dense forests provide adequate space for trees to grow strong,” Junnikkala says.

Thus the remaining trees receive enough light and nutrients to grow into big logwood trees that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during their growth so that one day they can be used as wood products offering long-term carbon storage in construction, for example.

“The wood obtained from thinning and the treetops from regeneration felling go to pulp mills, where they are used as raw material for products such as tissue paper and many other items that enhance consumers’ daily life and wellbeing,” Junnikkala explains.

A well-growing forest absorbs more carbon dioxide than an old forest nearing the end of its growth.

Vesa Junnikkala, Metsä Group

Vesa Junnikkala
Vesa Junnikkala, Metsä Group
Forest management

Best resources for life in the forest

Forestry also supports biodiversity, for example, by leaving retention trees, protective thickets and decaying trees in the forest to provide a home and nutrition for various forest species.

In this way, all forest management measures ensure that the new forest generation receives the best possible resources for life and good growth.

“Meanwhile, harvested wood continues its cycle as wood-based products that allow us to replace products made from fossil resources,” says Junnikkala.