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.
Even though we at BillerudKorsnäs do not own significant areas of forest ourselves, it is only natural for us to take responsibility for ensuring that the wood raw material we purchase and fell has been responsibly grown. Most of the wood raw material we use comes from Swedish forests. In fact, three-quarters of our wood comes from Sweden, while the remainder stems primarily from Norway, Finland and the Baltics.
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 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.
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.