BillerudKorsnäs is keen to see conversion to a bio-based society. We are powering this conversion by using renewable material to create smart packaging solutions that form a natural part of everyday life for many people. A long value chain lies behind the packaging products that finally wind up in your home before being sent for recycling – a chain that starts out in the forest. BillerudKorsnäs’ commitment also starts with the forest, where we collect our fundamental raw material.
Stable wood supply
2018 was challenging in terms of a lack of wood raw material caused by both strong demand and extreme weather. Ongoing work to secure stable access has therefore been supplemented by a number of additional concrete measures. These include improving information on each production unit’s supply of and need for wood raw materials, so as to be able to re-route transport much more efficiently. This year, the company will expand its own team of timber purchasers. The acquisition of Bergvik Skog Öst, which covers approximately 350 000 hectares of forest land, will also be an important element in securing BillerudKorsnäs’ longterm access to a competitive and stable flow of timber.
BillerudKorsnäs annually buys about 10 million cubic metres of wood raw material for the Swedish production plants. Three-quarters of raw materials are of Swedish origin. The remaining wood raw material is imported, mostly from Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Responsibly produced wood
It is natural for us to take responsibility for ensuring that the wood raw material we purchase and fell has been responsibly grown.
Biological diversity is one of the preconditions for sustainable forestry.We make high demands on our planners and timber buyers to ensure they can identify the high natural conservation value in the forest, and that they encourage increased environmental consideration among other forest owners with whom they come into contact. That is why we place particular emphasis on nature conservation in the context of skills development initiatives.
In sustainable forests, there is room for all interests: recreation, outdoor life, hunting, tourism and reindeer husbandry in combination with the wood supply for the products needed by the society. For us, close dialogue with nearby residents, property owners, Sami herders and other stakeholders is extremely important. We want to ensure that everyone with an interest can find out how we operate our forestry, and we are keen to hear your views and opinions about how we can work together to provide optimal care for the forests and countryside we use. In order to boost our own skills and contribute to the development of others, we maintain a close working relationship with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Forest Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk). This is a good way to spread new knowledge and valuable contacts through lectures, forest excursions and research partnerships.
Whenever BillerudKorsnäs fells a tree, we use it as effectively and intelligently as possible. Those parts of the trunk that feature the broadest diameter and highest quality are delivered to sawmills, while the slenderer parts are destined for our paper and board production facilities. ‘Left-overs’ from felling – such as tops and branches – are used as biofuel in CHP plants. Bark, recycled liquor and other by-products are used as fuel in the company’s installations.
BillerudKorsnäs naturally has and follows guidelines to ensure that no wood is purchased from illegal felling operations, from forests of such appreciable natural value that they need to be preserved, or in regions marked by serious social conflicts.
Swedish and European laws and regulations for forestry constitute the minimal level of requirements for BillerudKorsnäs, and we strive constantly to take responsibility more efficiently for our entire cycle – from forest to consumer to recycling. We are certified through the ISO 14001, ISO 9001 environmental management system and according to FSC® and PEFC™ standards. All raw wood material is acquired in line with FSC and PEFC requirements for controlled raw material. For additional information, see below.
Active forestry is best for the climate
BillerudKorsnäs believes that forests must be utilised sustainably, and that wood, biofuel and other forest products should replace fossil-based alternatives. Forests and forestry play a key role in the work to combat climate change, and research indicates that active forestry with good growth produces the best climate benefit, in combination with replacing fossil and resource-intensive raw materials with renewable wood raw material. Occasionally, it is claimed in the debate that the best way to protect the climate it to leave all forests untouched, but if we want to generate climate benefits, it is actually a matter of felling trees when they have grown to their optimal volume. Forests displaying strong growth capture much more carbon dioxide than old forests, where the pace of growth has slowed.
From 2018, BillerudKorsnäs has been part of a consortium which works with education establishments and research institutes to make Swedish forestry more digital. For the consortium, which comprises several major forest companies, the research programme opens up opportunities to add value from forest to customer. It is hoped that digitalisation will see the forest managed more effectively, with an eye to conservation and the right products, so as to play a part in a carbon-neutral Sweden.
The capacity of trees to capture carbon dioxide changes over time. When newly planted, trees assimilate only small volumes of carbon dioxide – but their capacity then starts to increase dramatically. When the forest has finished growing, the net uptake of carbon dioxide is zero until the new forest has started to grow.
FSC – Forest Stewardship Council® – is an independent, international, membership organisation that works to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable use of the world’s forests.
PEFC – The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes – is an international system for sustainable forestry. PEFC Sweden covers standards for forestry, contractors and timber traceability.
The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) was adopted by the EU Commission to eliminate the risk of wood and wood-based products from illegal felling entering the European markets. This legislation came into effect on 3 March 2013. Our letter to our customers describes in more detail what the legislation entails.