What is the role of forestry and the forest industry in the transition to a fossil-free and sustainable society?
The forestry – forest industry – forest products value chain could make a significant contribution to this transition. By applying active forest management, a high level of growth and production of valuable wood is maintained in our forests, meaning that the binding of carbon dioxide is kept at a high level. The forests provide renewable raw materials for the manufacture of products that replace those with a higher climate impact – wood instead of concrete and aluminum, paper instead of plastic, biofuel instead of fossil fuel. In this way, the fossil carbon can be kept in the ground.
How does SCA calculate the climate benefit from its forestry operations? Have the calculations been verified by an external party or is there a shared industry standard?
With the support of leading researchers in the area, SCA has developed a model to calculate the effect the company’s operations have on the climate. The model includes net sequestration of carbon in the company’s forests, the overall emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from the company’s operations, and the substitution effect generated by the company’s products. In 2020, this climate benefit amounted to 9.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, corresponding to the emissions from all passenger cars in Sweden.
SCA’s climate model has been audited and is also used by other Swedish forest companies, and applied throughout the industry in Sweden and Europe.
Read more about our climate model here.
How is SCA working toward fossil-free operations?
SCA’s objective is to make the entire value chain fossil-free. One interim target is to reduce fossil emissions in the value chain by 50% between 2019 and 2030, which is in line with the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C target. Through systematic work with efficiency enhancements and a transition to biofuels, emissions from SCA’s industries have halved since 2010 and industrial processes are currently 95% fossil-free. Emissions of greenhouse gases across the value chain fell during the year by 5% and amounted to 0.86 (0.91) million tonnes of CO2.
SCA is actively working to reduce the climate impact. This takes various forms: through reducing fossil-fuel emissions in the value chain, increasing forest uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere, and through the company’s products, which are renewable and replace fossil alternatives. SCA also supports the transition of others to freedom from fossil fuels by providing access to renewable energy in various forms.
SCA’s target is to “Increase climate benefit from 10 to 15 million tonnes of CO2” between 2019 and 2030. This will be achieved by net growth in SCA’s own forests that bind CO2, by reducing fossil-fuel emissions in the value chain by 50% by 2030, by increasing the volume of renewable products and by using innovation to develop products that offer greater climate benefits.
The company’s total climate benefit is calculated using the model published by SCA in 2019 and comprises three components:
- Uptake in SCA’s own forest, where 1 m3fo in net growth corresponds to an uptake of 1,375 tonnes/m3fo CO2 from the atmosphere and is the same factor as used in Sweden’s national reports.
- Fossil-fuel emissions in the value chain, meaning from the forest operations to the customers’ gate. Emissions are calculated using the GHG protocol and encompass Scope 1, 2 and 3.
- The climate benefit that arises when SCA’s products replace fossil materials and the equivalent amount of fossil carbon remains in the ground, is referred to as the substitution effect.