Tuesday, January 2, 2024
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Biodiverse nature and climate-friendly wood supply form the basis of Stora Enso’s renewable business, from forest to products. In its company-wide sustainability targets, Stora Enso is committed to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to have a net positive impact on biodiversity by improving the diversity of species, habitats, and landscapes. Here are some of the highlighted concrete actions in forests and wood supply in Finland and Sweden in 2023 –
Stora Enso continued wetland restoration in Finland and started new projects in Sweden. In Finland, Stora Enso aims to restore 1,000 hectares of peatland together with Tornator by 2027, and this work continued in 2023. Currently, 600 hectares of peatlands are in different stages of restoration, meaning that Stora Enso is over halfway to the 1,000 restoration target in Finland. In Sweden, the company launched a new project to restore wetlands on own forest land: in 2023, focus was put on careful selection of the first sites and establishment of partnerships to ensure positive impact of the restoration. In 2024, the work continues with more targeted restoration plans.
Stora Enso piloted a biodiversity premium for forest owners in Finland. In this offering, forest owners were paid a biodiversity premium for actions that help to enhance biodiversity in their forests. The offering is a part of Stora Enso’s biodiversity action programme in Finland.
Stora Enso started floating pulp wood in Finland after a 14-year break. The company transports wood in bundles to its board mill in southern Finland. Floating is an effective way to reduce the company’s carbon footprint in wood transport. According to studies, floating reduces carbon dioxide emissions from transport even up to 75% compared to railway and ship transport. Floating pulp wood also reduces the risk of potential insect damage.
Stora Enso took steps to increase mixed forests by decreasing spruce density in Finland. In practice, this is done by reducing the density of planted spruce from 1,800 seedlings per hectare to 1,600 seedlings per hectare. This will increase mixed-species forests, which is one of the overarching objectives of Stora Enso’s biodiversity programme and part of the actions both in Finland and Sweden. In Finland, Stora Enso sources wood from private forest owners and starts to offer the new spruce planting model for new forest service contracts. This means that the model will take place on planting sites from spring 2025 onwards.
Stora Enso continued controlled burnings on its forest land in Sweden to promote habitats for various species that prefer or are dependent on forest fires. The target is to increase controlled burnings by 20% annually over a five-year period, and in 2023 Stora Enso came close to this target despite the rainy summer. Controlled burning is a forest management method where a selected part of a forest is burned intentionally to simulate natural forest fires. It’s an important way to enhance biodiversity, and as such, it’s also one of Stora Enso’s targets in the biodiversity action programme for own forests in Sweden.
Stora Enso, Tornator and WWF continued their cooperation for forest streams. During 2023, the organizations joined forces to build 30 spawning grounds for endangered trout and restored hundreds of meters of freshwater habitats. Almost 90 volunteers took part in the communal work sessions, which were held in four different locations in Finland. The collaboration is part of Stora Enso’s biodiversity action programme in Finland and covers some of the key focus areas, such as restoration and water protection.
Stora Enso’s effort to protect the endangered sand lizard broke records. In 2023, over 300 egg laying pits made by sand lizards were identified on the company’s land in Sweden. This is a new record and a remarkable 600% increase compared to 20 years ago. The sand lizard is an endangered species that Stora Enso has protected over the years. The actions have included restoration of crucial habitats: sandy heaths and dunes. To reproduce the lizard needs sun-exposed sand areas in the forest where they lay their eggs to develop in the warmth of the sun. The new record tells us that the lizards are starting to thrive and the protection measures have an effect.
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