Pioneering work in the forest recognised by PPI Awards
Södra’s ground-breaking work in digitalising the forest has been noticed: The IT team behind bringing iPads into the forest was named a finalist in the PPI Industry Awards 2017 under the category Internet of Things.
Reaching the final shortlist is an achievement we’re very proud of, especially since this award was open to all aspects of digitalisation in the industry. Södra is already a leader in process data in its mills, offering customers everything from benchmarking against an extensive database of pulps to virtual refining tools for predicting final paper sheet properties and optimising pulp recipes. But it is in the digitalisation of its forests that we can truly call ourselves pioneers.
The app Södra has developed to digitalise its forests will have far-reaching consequences for forest management and pulp optimisation in the future, giving the clearest understanding yet of the forest and its value. In fact, the app has proved so successful that it has even been sold to third parties in both Sweden and Norway. Today, all Södra’s field work is conducted via the app and its use has been expanded to include the contractors who harvest and thin Södra’s forests, as well as the members.
Working with the forestry research institute Skogforsk, Södra has also developed an algorithm which will be able to predict the outcome of an individual forest harvest with great accuracy. This could mean that in the future, Södra will be able to optimise the fibre on its estates to meet the market demands of the moment.
Södra’s IT Manager, Örjan Vorrei: “We have been working with digital solutions to improve our business for a decade now and I can honestly say that we have been at the cutting edge of digital technology for forestry for some years now,” he commented.
The technology has implications for the company, its members, and its customers. “We are really ahead of the game here,” says Vorrei.
“We want to empower our forest owners to give them a better understanding of their assets than they could have by standing in the forest itself. In turn, this understanding moves to the pulp mills where we can use it to predict the best use of each forest for each pulp grade. If we can see there is a surge in demand for a pulp that is best made from spruce grown on south-facing slopes, for example, we can be that detailed. The next step is to fully integrate our other business areas such as pulp and timber with the technology. This is only going to become more important for all of us.”