Limiting global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our time. As a forest company, we are one part of the solution. Firstly, as trees in our forests grow and capture and bind CO₂. Thereafter, as our sustainable raw materials are turned into products that replace those that leave a broader carbon footprint. In this way, oil and coal can remain underground.
As trees grow, they bind carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas affecting the Earth’s climate. Through photosynthesis, they use carbon dioxide to build wood fiber.
We manage our forests so the standing timber volume constantly increases. This means the trees bind more carbon each year and the forest thus helps to counteract climate change.
In this way, SCA’s forests bind four million tonnes of carbon dioxide, net, each year. This is roughly equal to all emissions from working machinery in Sweden over a year.
The strong growth is thanks to our active management of the forest. We have healthy forests that grow well due to, among other measures, the use of improved seedlings from our own plant nurseries, active forest management, fertilization and by planting contorta pine in certain soils.
However, the forest industry’s climate effect is not only due to the CO₂ that growing forests bind, but also from the reduction of fossil emissions that arises when forest products replace products made from fossil-based materials. For example, paper can replace plastic and wood can replace steel and concrete. This means oil and coal can remain in the ground and this is referred to as the substitution effect.
Here too, growth in the forest is important so our climate benefit can be as large as possible. Higher growth leads to increased substitution – renewable alternatives can replace more fossil-based products and more carbon can remain in the ground.
Our forest will grow and yield improved access to renewable raw materials through active and long-term management. Today the standing volume is estimated at around 260 million m³fo. We have never had so much forest as today, which is good both for our business and the climate.
In 2022, SCA contributed a climate benefit of 10.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, 5.4 million tonnes of which arise from the fact that products with a fossil footprint can be exchanged for products made from or based on biomass from the forest.
SCA's well-managed and growing forests bind carbon dioxide. Solid wood becomes products that in turn can replace fossil-based alternatives such as concrete, plastic and fossil fuels. The goal is for SCA's value chain to become fossil-free. Group target 2030: Increase SCA's climate benefit from 10 to 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.