Responsible forestry the Swedish way
When consumers ask for more sustainable packaging it is good to know that the pulp in BillerudKorsnäs’ board comes from sustainably managed forests. In Sweden we have cared for our forests for decades.
Nearly 70 percent of Swedish land areas are covered by forests. A majority – 23 million hectares – are considered productive forest land. Swedish forests are an incredible and renewable resource. Besides providing the raw material for wood, pulp and energy, forest gives us clean water, fresh air and helps us slow down the global warming. That’s why we care so much about protecting our forest. For more than a hundred years Swedish forest owners and society has collaborated to ensure a healthy regrowth. The first Swedish Forestry Act was passed in 1903 to guarantee that what is cut down will be replaced with new strong-growing trees, adjusted to that particular environment while respecting the natural flora and fauna.
All wood that BillerudKorsnäs buys is controlled and managed with responsibility, to maintain biodiversity and to save the economic, social and environmental values of the forest. In spite of the traditionally sustainable viewpoint on forestry, some Swedish forest owners have also made sure they classify for the even stricter certificate of sustainable forest management, the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
Swedish forests grows slowly. It takes about 70 and up to 120 years for a Swedish tree to fully develop.
“Each year in Sweden the forest grow more than what is annually harvested so the standing stock is increasing each year. Since we started to monitor our forests at a national level through the Swedish National Forest Inventory in the 1920-ties the amount of forest stock has actually doubled”, says Per Funkquist, Sustainability and Communication manager at the BillerudKorsnäs’ Forestry department.
Actions for biodiversity
Many actions are taken to keep a strong biodiversity in the forests. The harvesting is strictly regulated and states how many and which trees to leave standing. There are directions for how the tree harvesting machines should be run to minimize soil and avoid damage of valuable land. Human made forest fires also take place in order to simulate the structure of a natural forest, for example to increase the amount of dead wood and to rejuvenate the land, which is important for many species to survive.
What is harvested is also efficiently used. Every part of a tree is used in many different applications. From one single tree you can get 12 pieces of construction wood, enough pulp to produce 1500 one litre milk cartons as well as wood chips for energy combustion.