Our responsible forestry combines high production of valuable renewable raw material with extensive consideration to the forest's other values – biodiversity, reindeer husbandry, ancient and cultural remains, experiences and much more.
Forest processes are long. It takes almost a century for a tree to become mature enough for harvesting and many processes in nature take even longer. Our forest management planning therefore extends across 100 years perspective or more.
A perpetual resource
The forests are managed long-term and carefully so that they provide higher growth and greater harvesting opportunities over time. For example, we plant at least two new trees for every tree that is harvested.
Since we began to systematically measure our forest at the end of the 1940s, standing volume – the volume of living, growing trees – has increased by more than 60% and growth has more than doubled. During these years, we have also harvested more timber than what is currently standing on our land. This development has taken place because SCA has spent many years managing its forest with a long-term and conscientious approach. Standing volume, growth and harvesting potential will continue to increase. Correctly managed, the forest is a perpetual resource.
SCA's forestry also has targets other than timber production, as our forests hold many different values. Developing and preserving the biodiversity in the company's forests is the most important sustainability target in SCA's forest management. All flora and fauna on our lands must have the conditions to continue to live there in the future. This require a variety of habitats in our forests.
Use and preserve
SCA’s entire forest holding has been subject to landscape ecological planning for many years. It helps us decide which forests we should use for timber production and which forests we should preserve or manage with a focus on benefiting biodiversity and other values. In some forests, we can combine forestry with measures that preserve or develop the forest’s conservation values.
Those forest where we focus on timber production are managed with basic environmental consideration, so called basic retention, where we always leave conservation patches, buffer zones and trees are left after all harvesting and other forestry measures. No harvesting takes place on non-productive land and land that is not classified as forest land.
SCA's forest management acquired FSC® certification (FSC®004466), Forest Stewardship Council®, in 1999. SCA's forest management was certified according to PEFC (PEFC/05-23-131), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, in November 2011. The certifications means that we comply with the FSC's and PEFC's guidelines for responsible forestry.
Nature conservation – in various scales
Since the early 1990s, nature conservation measurements has become and increasingly prioritized part of SCA’s forest management. We take various types of nature conservation measures in a range of geographic scales:
Landscape ecological planning applies for our entire forest holding and is a cornerstone of our approach to nature conservation. Here we identify high-conservation-value forests. These are either set aside or prioritized for nature conservation measures. Sometimes we combine management with measures to preserve and develop high conservation value.
We use alternative harvesting methods in areas where we don’t want to create clearcuts, and where tree continuity is important.
We designate landscapes with high conservation value at landscape level as ‘prioritized landscapes.’ Here, our nature conservation work is highly ambitious in order to preserve these high conservation values.
We plan and implement nature considerations in all harvesting sites. In this way, smaller areas with high conservation value, as well as social and culture values, are preserved.
We carry out targeted measures, such as prescribed burning and wetland restoration, in specific areas where the measures will promote high conservation values over time.
Environmental consideration is a natural part in all we do in our forests. It encompasses; nature conservation consideration, cultural heritage consideration, consideration to recreation and outdoor life together with consideration to reindeer operations.
The development and preservation of biodiversity is the most important sustainability target in our forest management. This means there must be a variety of different habitats in our forests and we therefore strive to develop, preserve and recreate habitats for species with special requirements.
It is vital that felling does not cause any damage to soil or water. SCA therefore works with its own SED (Swedish acronym for “Gentle Effective Logging”) method. This method helps to reduce wheel rutting and also to improve work efficiency.
Collaboration and dialogue with other parties is an important part of our business. In this way, we can contribute active to the development of the forestry industry, both at local and national level.
By managing the forest responsibly and producing climate-smart products, we contribute to the transition to a fossil-free society. This is a result of our growing forests that bind carbon dioxide and because the fossil emissions decrease when forest products can replace products based of oil and coal.
At our tree nurseries Bogrundet and Wifstamon, we lay the foundation for the next generation of forests. Every year we grow and deliver over 100 million forest seedlings with documented good plant vigor. The plants are used both in our own forest and by other forest owners.
SCA’s sources for raw materials are a balance between of raw materials from SCA’s forests, purchases from other forest owners and a smaller share of imports. Wood procurement is concentrated in northern Sweden. All wood raw materials SCA uses must come from responsibly managed forests.
Properly managed, the forest is an eternal resource. Today the standing volume in our forest is estimated at around 260 million m³fo. The forests are managed actively and long-term to increase growth.
Major difference between managed and unmanaged forests
The difference between a managed and an unmanaged forest can be almost unimaginably great. It becomes clear in this example where we show the development of a pine stand that has been actively managed, compared with the development of a stand that has not been managed at all.
24 high-conservation value species of soil fungi, including three new species. That was the result of this year’s follow-up of the sand pine forest at Pimptjärnsmon in SCA's conservation park Sörgraninge. “This year was a really good year.” says Mikael Berg, nature conservation expert at SCA.
Several rare insects that thrive on old hardwood have been discovered on SCA land in the municipalities of Boden and Luleå. The insects were registered in three areas that are rich in deciduous trees during an inventory carried out by the insect expert Lars-Ove Wikars at the request of SCA.
The forest forms the foundation for SCA’s operations. Our forests are managed with a long-term approach, and with an ambition to both produce more valuable raw materials and to preserve and develop the forest’s other assets. The aim is to have at least as much timber, biodiversity and nature experiences in our forests in the future as we have today. This means that our forests are managed in a resource-efficient manner and with environmental consideration in all of our actions.
Here you can find out more about how we work with SCA’s forest management and our wood supply. You will find questions and answers that pertain to forestry and management of our forests, the origin of the wood raw material and how much we consume. We also answer questions about the forest and the climate, biodiversity, nature conservation and much more.