31 Jan 2019, 9:00 CET

A day in the forest with Joakim – The corporate lumberjack

In order to produce our amazing packaging material, we need to provide our production facilities with raw materials. These raw materials happen to be prime virgin fibers from forests in the Northern Hemisphere, most of which is sourced from trees in our surrounding forests here in Sweden.

Just to get you all on board before we continue: in addition to all the production facilities, BillerudKorsnäs also has a large forestry department with various functions that supply our mills with a portion of the raw material needed to start off the paper making process… This is where my role at BillerudKorsnäs comes into the picture – it all starts in the forest!

Hello from a snowy forest in Uppland!

My name is Joakim and I am the Forestry Trainee in the 2018 edition of the Graduate Trainee Program at BillerudKorsnäs. I am based at the Forestry HQ in Gävle. When I’m not out and about with my trainee friends/colleagues, my main role at my home department is as a Forest Production Manager in Uppland (concentrated around the region south of Gävle). As a Forest Production Manager, I make sure that we get the right volumes and assortments of raw material (wood) from designated forest areas to the production mills and other stakeholders. Currently, I am responsible for two forestry-contractors with whom I work closely with to reach our production goals and make sure that we act responsibly in the forests.

Visiting a forest contractor, very high-tech machinery involved

One aspect I enjoy with this job is that it allows me to be out in the forest from time to time to meet contractors and make sure that the tree felling is carried out according to our directives and in a sustainable manner. The combination of office and field work, together with the opportunity to work with different kinds of people on a regular basis is challenging (especially in the first couple of weeks) but rewarding. Now, almost halfway into this trainee year, I am starting to get the hang of things! Alongside my main role here at the forestry department, I am involved in several projects together with people with different backgrounds and expertise. At BillerudKorsnäs, we challenge the conventional in multiple ways, not only through the sustainable and renewable products we offer but also in the ways of working and getting together different people to create something great!

Inspection of regeneration area, looks good!

The forests are a hot topic today and will continue to be so even tomorrow, not only because of its role in the bio-economy and in the fight against climate change. Also, there’s something fascinating about the forestry industry, it is an old and traditional Swedish primary industry, yet it provides many innovations and solutions of the future. It is that combination, the old and the new, together with sustainable, long-term, forestry management that makes these times very exciting in the forestry industry!

Alright, I have to get back to the “clean up” of the fallen trees that the storm Alfrida left us with at the beginning of the year…

Looking for fallen trees in the forest that Alfrida left behind

…but stay tuned, because next we’ll head back to Gruvön and see what R&D trainee Christopher is up to!

Joakim Svahn
Forestry Trainee – Forest Production Manager