Biodiversity is profoundly vital for the planet and humankind, and the global biodiversity loss is a critical challenge for the future of our planet. With sustainable forest management, we can promote biodiversity and safeguard forest health – whilst securing the long-term availability of renewable resources. We develop our actions continuously and treat all forests according to their ecological characteristics, striving for forest ecosystems, where biodiversity, nature values, protected areas, as well as growth and carbon sink forests are all in balance.
New biodiversity ambition
In 2021, Stora Enso announced new sustainability ambition to safeguard and enhance biodiversity to achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity in our own forests and plantations through active biodiversity management. We also contribute to related processes and standards globally in collaboration with customers, academia, environmental organisations, and other partners. This work is driven by our cross-organizational Biodiversity Leadership Programme.
Active biodiversity management
Safeguarding biodiversity is essential for having healthy forests and hence also a prerequisite for our business. Compliance with national legislation and FSC® (FSC-C020565) and PEFC certifications requirements are only the starting points for our work, and we continuously develop our practices to safeguard biodiversity.
We protect and enhance biodiversity in production forests through active and adaptive biodiversity management. Biodiversity management preserves specific structural features throughout the forest lifecycle from planting to harvesting and regeneration. All our forestry operations are planned according to approved biodiversity management practices, and we implement actions that have proven positive impacts on biodiversity.
Protecting biodiversity is part of our daily forest and nature management practices in our own forests and in the forests where we source wood. Our actions include but are not limited to
- increasing the amount of broadleaved trees
- preserving ground deadwood and create high stumps to increase deadwood
- leaving living retention trees in harvesting to provide habitats for various species
- creating protective thickets as shelter for game
- protecting waters, valuable sites, and endangered species
By measuring our performance as well as utilizing data and analytics, we can monitor the impact of our actions and adapt accordingly.
Targeted biodiversity action programmes
Recognising regional and local perspectives is important, as we get the best results when biodiversity management is adapted to the conditions of each forest site.
In our own forests in Sweden, we implement active biodiversity management in areas for wood production and set-aside areas. Own forest land provides us with a great platform to make sustainable choices and test best practices for biodiversity. In Finland, the Baltics, and Sweden, we focus on enhancing biodiversity in commercial forests together with forest owners.
Targeted biodiversity programmes for these define our actions to enhance biodiversity and go beyond legislation and certification requirements. The programmes are based on science and continuously developed internally and together with external partners.
Biodiversity programme for own forests in Sweden
Combined with the ongoing biodiversity work, the biodiversity programme strives to increase nature values and strengthen biodiversity across Stora Enso’s land holdings in Sweden. Selected areas are used to test and develop biodiversity management methods and capabilities in close collaboration with universities, environmental organisations, NGOs and authorities to share knowledge and foster joint innovation and development.
Read more about the program in Swedish.
The programme contains over 30 actions in five focus areas. Main actions and targets for 2030:
- Active biodiversity management: actions in this focus area include veteranization of trees and increasing prescribed burnings by 20% annually
- Water: Many species depend on water for different life stages. We identify four major water landscapes for restoration and remove migration barriers in all identified valuable watercourses
- Broadleaved trees: Broadleaved trees provide critical habitats for many species. We will double the number of broadleaved trees in young forests and plant 700,000 birch trees annually
- Deadwood: Over 40% of red-listed forest species depend on deadwood. Stora Enso aims to increase the amount of deadwood on its land holdings by 40%.
- Habitats and species: We focus on protecting selected umbrella species: animals or plants the presence of which benefit hundreds of other red-listed species in the area.
In addition to these targets, we measure our performance annually with impact indicators that measure our operational performance in harvesting as well as state indicators that monitor biodiversity in the long term. State indicators include:
- Forest age class distribution
- Streams with high nature quality
- Dispersal barriers in streams
- Stands with high age
- Prioritized habitats
- Deciduous dominated stands
- Mixed species stands
- Nature value trees
- Amount of dead wood
- Vertical layering
- Abundance of selected keystone species
Biodiversity programme for Forest Finland
Stora Enso’s biodiversity action programme in Finland aims at supporting forest owners in sustainable forest management and increasing biodiversity in their forests. We generate awareness and offer services regarding biodiversity, valuable habitats as well as restoration and protection opportunities. We encourage forest owners to certify their forests, and treat all forests according to certifications nonetheless.
The programme brings together nature management measures that have proven positive impacts on biodiversity and benefit habitats for endangered species and water protection. Research and NGO collaborations are important for taking latest insights to the field, and regular trainings for our personnel and partners are important elements in taking the actions forward. Our goal includes having more living and sturdy retention trees, decaying wood, thickets, and mixed tree cover with broad-leaved trees. Performance is measured, for instance, annually with impact indicators that measure our operational performance in harvesting.