Forest biodiversity

Biodiversity means the variety of life in genes, species, and in entire ecosystems. Biodiversity is profoundly vital for the planet and humankind. Sustainable forest management safeguards forest health and productivity and protects forest biodiversity – whilst securing the long-term availability of our renewable resources.

At Stora Enso, biodiversity management is an integral part of our forest management practices. We have a solid track record of achievements in safeguarding biodiversity in our forests and tree plantations since the 1990s, for example by pioneering forest certification, restoration and various forest management practices.

Safeguarding biodiversity is essential for having healthy forests and hence also a prerequisite for our business. Compliance with national legislation and FSC/PEFC certification requirements are only the starting points for our work and we continuously develop our practices to safeguard biodiversity.

New biodiversity ambition for 2050

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 by 2050 through active biodiversity management. We also contribute to related processes and standards globally in collaboration with customers, academia, environmental organisations and other partners.

Active biodiversity management

We believe that active biodiversity management is the best way to protect and enhance biodiversity, while at the same time using forests for commercial purposes. All our forestry operations are planned according to approved biodiversity management practices. Biodiversity management in commercial forests preserves specific structural features throughout the forest lifecycle from planting to harvesting and regeneration.

Recognising regional and local perspectives is important as “one-size fits all” solutions cannot be used in improving biodiversity – biodiversity management must always be 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. We also collaborate with forest owners in all countries we source wood from and promote our biodiversity management practices.

Examples of biodiversity management practices in Stora Enso’s Northern forests

examples of biodiversity management

New biodiversity programmes

Our biodiversity programmes are based on science and continuously developed internally and together with external partners. To this end, we foster close collaboration with customers, suppliers, environmental NGOs, the authorities and academia. 

Stora Enso uses its own forest in Sweden as development platform to test and implement active biodiversity management methods both in commercial forests and set-aside areas. In Finland, Stora Enso focuses on enhancing biodiversity in commercial forests together with forest owners.

Protecting biodiversity is part of our daily forest and nature management practices in our own forests and in the forests we source wood from. To safeguard biodiversity we, for example,
 
increase the amount of broadleaved trees
preserve and create high stumps to increase the amount of dead wood
leave retention trees to provide habitats for various species
create protective thickets as shelter for game and 
protect waterways, valuable sites and endangered species.

Science-based indicators track progress

Our goal is to measure biodiversity holistically to balance forest growth and biodiversity. Biodiversity must be adaptively managed and monitored on landscape, habitat and species levels to ensure a holistic approach due to biodiversity’s inherent complexity. 

Together with researchers, we are continuously developing new methods to improve biodiversity as part of everyday forest management and wood sourcing. Stora Enso has initiated a holistic, science-based monitoring programme with academia to track progress and enable us to further develop our practices. As part of this work we have developed 15 science-based indicators to monitor both the state of forest biodiversity as well as the impacts of our forestry operations in order to minimize our impact on nature and biodiversity.

Our biodiversity indicators:

Operational indicators
 Soil damage close to water (crossings + damage to edge/buffer zones)
 Damages to retention trees, prioritized habitats or their edge zones during harvesting
 Damage to dead wood
 Retention at felling
 Creation of new deadwood as high stamps
 State of biodiversity
 Forest age class distribution
 Streams with high nature quality
 Dispersal barriers in streams
 Stands with high age
 Prioritized habitats 
 Deciduous rich/dominated stands 
 Mixed species stands 
 Nature value trees 
 Amount of dead wood
 Vertical layering
 Abundance of selected keystone species
Active biodiversity management

State indicators only apply to own forest in Sweden.
Indicators measuring the quality of our work apply to all our operations independent on who owns the land. 

More information about Stora Enso’s biodiversity indicators and results for 2021 can be read here.

Meet the Forest team

Our approach to biodiversity

Case RaggbockenĀ 

Case ArchesĀ