In Finland, the wood comes mainly from 116,000 Finnish forest-owners that also own Metsä Group’s parent company Metsäliitto Cooperative. In Russia, the forest areas are leased by the Group companies and are covered by sustainable forest management certificates.
Whether the wood comes from Finland, Sweden, Baltics or Russia, an important factor is traceability.
“We know the origin of 100% of the wood we use and whether it comes from certified forests or forests that are otherwise controlled. A key point of traceability is that it helps ensure we know all our wood is legally supplied,” explains Hietanen.
Here technology helps: Modern information systems and digital maps are used during harvesting, enabling the whole wood chain to be traced back to the actual tree stump.
“All our mills have certified environmental management and quality management systems (ISO14001 and ISO9001), as well as PEFC and FSC chain of custody certification and FSC controlled wood status. Metsä Board also fulfils the obligations of the European Union Timber Regulation and the US Lacey Act, which both prohibit the marketing of illegally harvested timber and timber products”, states Hietanen.
Full use of a tree
“Even though here in the North we have plenty of wood, each harvested tree is used to the full. Trees are a valuable raw material which must be utilised efficiently. Each of Metsä Group’s five business areas contribute to maximising efficiency. Logs are utilised in the Group’s sawmills and plywood mills and sawmill by-products, like wood chips and sawdust, are used as raw material for pulp or for energy. Other by-products are utilised for soil improvement, while sawdust may also be used to surface jogging paths”, highlights Hietanen.
Pulp wood is utilised as the main raw material in the Group’s pulp, board and tissue paper mills. Residues such as bark and the black liquor produced as a by-product of the pulp-making process, can all be incinerated to produce bioenergy for use in our own production processes and in neighbouring communities. Finally, the wood-based products produced by Metsä Group can be reused and recycled and eventually burnt to generate energy at the end of their life cycle. “Our operations are a good example of a circular economy,” Hietanen points out.
Hietanen makes reference to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal about ‘life on land’. “The goal is about sustainably managed forests, combatting desertification and halting biodiversity loss. I feel that Metsä Board’s and Metsä Group’s work really helps to contribute towards achieving this goal.”
Coming back to the beginning of this article about delivering a tree seedling every second – how many did Metsä Group deliver while you were reading this article?