Nature considerations are a self-evident part of all of our forest operations. We also take the action required to combine productive and profitable forest management with effective nature conservation that preserves biodiversity.

In what way does SCA’s forestry management contribute to biodiversity?

The preservation of biodiversity is one of our most important sustainability targets. We work to achieve this target in all areas of our forest management. We have audited all of our forest assets to identify areas of high conservation value, but also to identify habitats that have become more rare in our managed forests, such as fire-marked forests or forests dominated by deciduous trees. Unspoiled areas that are an important prerequisite for conservation values, such as certain swamp forests, are exempt from forestry. In other cases, active efforts are required to ensure that conservation values are maintained in the landscape and they can then become subject to management using alternative methods.

Forest cultivated with normal nature considerations is carefully planned. Areas of particular conservation value are identified ahead of forestry measures and are managed based on their specific values. Finally, our forest machine operators are well-trained in nature conservation and nature considerations and choose, for example, which trees are to be left untouched for conservation reasons in conjunction with harvesting.

How does SCA plan to work in future to further promote biodiversity?

We have a project in progress to enhance the precision of our nature conservation. We have analyzed the species of flora and fauna that exist in the company’s forests and how these are impacted by forestry. The vast majority of species have ample habitats in forests managed with a normal level of nature conservation. Approximately 200 species are disadvantaged by forest management with a normal level of conservation. They either need more unspoiled environments – for example, shade, moisture and deadwood at varying degrees of decomposition – or they need a larger or different impact than that offered by forest management with a normal level of conservation, such as fire.

With the support of this analysis, we will increase the effectiveness of our nature conservation efforts. We will also carefully monitor the effects of the measures we take. SCA's initiative for biodiversity conservation

Has SCA conducted any analysis of physical climate risks to which the forest holding is exposed?

We have conducted such an analysis. The risks to which our forests are exposed are fire, wind, drought and more favorable conditions for such pests as insects, fungi and ungulates. Forestry is also subject to the short-term risks of ground frost, with the restrictions that this can entail, and drought, which could impact the conditions for soil scarification and planting. A changed climate will probably also yield benefits, such as an extended vegetation season and the resulting higher growth.

Many of the risks are offset by active forest management. Vigorous and flourishing forest better counteracts such risks as wind, fungi and insects. Fire can be prevented by good planning, reconnaissance and preparedness for rapid and early fire-fighting efforts.

What proportion of your forest land holding do you set aside for nature conservation?

8% of SCA’s productive forest land area is set aside from forestry in our ecological landscape plans. A further 5% of the productive forest land area is managed using alternative methods to create habitats for sensitive animal and plant species. 13-14% of the harvested area is exempt from forestry in the form of various types of conservation – groups of trees, buffer zones, etc.

Have you conducted an audit of the number of red-listed species on your land?

We have conducted an analysis of the biodiversity in our forests and established that about 200 species are disadvantaged by forest management using a normal level of nature conservation. This primarily involves insects, wood-decay fungi, mosses and lichen. We have identified the habitat requirements of these species and are now planning our forest management to ensure that these habitats continue to be available in the forest landscape in the future. This includes forest with certain natural values being set aside from forestry, as well as active measures required for species that need, for example, burnt wood or old, dying deciduous trees. Further information on our initiative to protect biodiversity in the forest can be found here.

What consideration does SCA assign to key habitats?

In respect of our own sustainability targets, but also in respect of the Swedish standards for FSC and PEFC certification, we have committed to protecting key habitats on our own land, as well as to refrain from the purchase of wood from forests of high conservation value. Land with key habitat qualities is included in the 8% of SCA’s productive forest land that we have set aside in our ecological landscape plans. We now refer to this as ecological landscape planning.

As a large forest owner, SCA is subject to thorough examination, particularly by nature conservation organizations. SCA has been reported for breaches of the certification standard and the Swedish Forest Agency has been reported for not making sufficient demands regarding red-listed species in the processing of SCA’s harvesting notifications. The company has thorough procedures to identify and appropriately manage conservation value on SCA’s land. Whenever nature conservation organizations have brought conservation values on our lands to the attention of the company, this information is analyzed and adjustments can be made to the company’s plans based on the analysis. The company may also conclude that adequate consideration has been taken of the conservation values found in the planned felling site.

How do we work with the environment and nature consideration?

  • The aim of our forest management is to have at least as much timber, biodiversity and nature experiences in our forests in the future, as we have today.

  • We work every day with responsible management of our forests. It creates a diversity of values for people and the environment.
    Read more about some good examples here.

  • We work primarily with consideration for nature and biodiversity in four ways: Voluntary set-asides, nature consideration in harvesting operations, adapted forms of forest management and targeted activities for promoting biodiversity.
    Read more about our environmental considerations here.

  • The work with nature consideration is performed by trained professionals and experts and takes into account different time horizons. From a centurey long perspective in our ecological landscape plans to inventories on site in the forest before harvesting.
    Read more about ecological landscape plans here.

  • The nature values present in a forest site guides the management of the forest. Forests with the highest nature values are excluded from harvesting in our voluntary set-asides. Forests where the nature values can be enhanced by adapted forest management are identified and managed accordingly. The remaining forests are responsibly managed for timber production. On this graph you can see the distribution in our forests.

  • We have five conservation parks in the northern part of Sweden to increase the availability for everyone to take part of our beautiful forests. Our ambition is to use a diverse range of measures and management methods to strengthen the existing values and create new ones.
    Read more here.

  • We have a map where you easily can find our voluntarily set asides and conservations parks.
    Read more here.


Share of non-renewable energy consumption and production

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.

Emissions to water and hazardous waste

SCA endeavors to reduce the use of fresh water and the occurrence of substances in process water that impact the environment and to improve the purification of water that is released back to nature. SCA’s plants are located in areas with plentiful supply of water and the supply of water is almost exclusively, 99%, from surface water. The remaining water is from municipal water systems. SCA monitors consumption, using inspection and control programs to monitor and improve the quality of effluent water. Almost 100% of all water used is returned to the recipient. The greatest share, 66%, is used as cooling water and has no contact with the process. In the production processes, water is mainly used to transport fiber and is reused several times before it is mechanically treated and undergoes biological treatment. Effluent water from pulp and paper mills is, after treatment, discharged into the Baltic Sea.

See pages 154 and 160 of SCA’s Annual and Sustainability Report 2020.

Hazardous waste

Minimizing waste is one of the interim targets of the Group target Zero waste 2030. SCA takes a life cycle approach and works proactively with resource efficiency. SCA’s industrial ecosystem utilizes by-products and waste streams insofar as this is possible. Solid waste is mainly recycled through use as raw material in other processes, construction materials or for energy recovery and is primarily bio ash, sludge, organic waste and plastic. SCA participates in or supports several projects to develop more value-creating uses for the company’s waste streams. Only a small quantity of material used, approximately 0.2% of the produced product, that cannot currently be reused, is sent to landfill or is hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is primarily waste oil. It also includes organic solvents, batteries and strip lights. Materials that are currently sent to landfill include “lime gravel”. SCA is striving to minimize these fractions.

See pages 155 and 160 of SCA’s Annual and Sustainability Report 2020.

Violations of the UN Global Compact principles and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational companies.

SCA supports the UN Global Compact and its principles. No known violations.