Responsible fiber harvesting and sustainable forest management are crucial for fostering forest growth and well-being. These practices involve various strategies to balance economic, social, and environmental considerations while efficiently managing forest resources. The overarching goal is to preserve or enhance the ecological and socio-economic functions of the forest ecosystem, ensuring sustainable resource utilization.
Recognizing the indisputable value of abundant and healthy forests, covering 30% of the Earth's land surface, is imperative. These vast forests serve as valuable resources, storing significant carbon, purifying water and air, promoting natural biodiversity, and providing livelihoods for millions of people. Since wood pulp is a primary ingredient in our paper solutions, we are dedicated to responsibly and transparently sourcing pulp.
We discussed the importance of sustainably managed forests and responsible fiber harvesting with Annica Ahlstedt Larsson (Head of Product Quality) and Anders Norén (Director of Sustainability) from Södra, along with Peter Donnabauer (Head of Fiber Procurement) from delfort.
Sustainable forest management and responsible fiber harvesting serves as a shield against major threats like over-exploitation, illegal logging, and deforestation, safeguarding the health and size of forests.
How do you ensure that forests stay healthy and are not depleted when collecting virgin fibers?
Mrs. Larsson Ahlstedt and Mr. Norén from Södra:
In Södra's vision for increased forest growth by 20% in 2050 compared to 2015, key focus areas include enhancing plant survival rates, promoting species suited to specific soil and weather conditions, forest tree breeding, and damage reduction. Achieving this goal demands continued investment in research and development.
Biodiversity is actively promoted through initiatives like the nature preservation premium introduced in 2022, offering bonuses to Södra members and forest owners prioritizing greater biodiversity. The commitment is rooted in a desire to pass on forests with enhanced value, fostering sustainable operations and delivering products with high sustainability performance. This involves fostering forest growth, conserving biodiversity, and nurturing social values.
Södra boasts a significant share of certified forests with green forestry plans outlining long-term strategies for each forest stand. These plans contribute to a balanced approach, considering timber production, biological diversity, cultural heritage, and social values. Blue target classes prioritize watercourses, emphasizing considerations for the water environment.
Södra's follow-up Green statements play a crucial role in evaluating annual rejuvenation fellings, thinnings, nature preservation measures, and rejuvenation measures. Assessments include the handling of tops and branches, recognizing their significance as habitats for various species, especially insects and fungi. Rejuvenation measures are reviewed one to two years post-felling, covering land preparation, planting, cultural remains, edge zones, and sensitive biotopes.
Practices like selective logging, reforestation, and afforestation, under sustainable forest management, contribute to maintaining or increasing forest cover.
As a paper manufacturer delfort has a responsibility to protect forests and avoid sourcing from controversial sources. What steps does delfort take to manage due diligence?
Mr. Donnabauer from delfort:
At delfort, we meticulously conduct due diligence to assess all our suppliers, ensuring their compliance with local, national, and international laws, including EUTR and the Lacey Act. We exclusively collaborate with wood pulp suppliers who hold FSC™ (C109921) and/or PEFC (06-33-163) certifications. Additionally, we actively support Canopy’s Pack4Good initiative, solidifying our commitment to source pulp solely from sustainable forests, avoiding Ancient or Endangered areas.
Our commitment to responsible sourcing extends to an annual review of all suppliers and consistent monitoring. Proactive measures, such as alerts, are in place to immediately notify us of any suspended certifications for a supplier. Regular third-party audits further ensure that our sustainability objectives and commitments are upheld. We engage exclusively with suppliers who align with our high ethical and environmental standards, substantiated through certifications and accreditations.
These certifications hold immense value for our customers, serving as a guarantee of responsible forestry practices. It not only adds value but also assures the legality and sustainability of our raw material sources. Deforestation and illegal logging are critical issues with severe consequences, and it is our responsibility to actively safeguard our forests and prevent deforestation.
In essence, sustainable forest management is pivotal in ensuring forests meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations. By championing forest health and size, it brings forth a host of benefits, encompassing economic, social, and environmental advantages such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and the provision of clean water.
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Peter Donnabauer, Head of Corporate Procurement Fiber Materials
Peter has been part of team delfort for more than 24 years. During this time, he has been responsible for fiber sourcing along with his team. Together, they improve our strict diligence systems for pulp sourcing, risk mitigation management, and implementation of forest certifications. Peter enforces our full commitment to zero deforestation and combatting illegal logging by procuring our fibers exclusively from sustainably managed sources.
Södra is a large forest industry group that creates products and services for a global market and contributes to the growth of the Swedish economy. They have control over the entire value chain, from seed to customer and promote sustainable development in all stages.
Thank you to Mrs. Larsson Ahlstedt and Mr. Norén for participating in this interview!
Annica Larsson Ahlstedt, Head of Product Quality at Södra
Annica has been working with Södra for more than 25 years in different areas reaching from Innovation to Production. She is now heading the work with Product Quality at Södra Cell´s three pulp mills and she is also responsible for the Technical Customer Service including Sustainability Information.
Anders Norén, Director of Sustainability at Södra
Anders has worked within the forest industry for the last 8 years and with Sustainability at Södra since 2021. He is overall responsible for sustainability at Södra, which includes sustainability ambition and strategy, long-term targets, improvement programs, and reporting.