FOREWORD: The forest is a natural part of the future
Sustainable forestry is a vital tool for mitigating climate change. For Södra and our 53,000 members, sustainable forestry is a natural part of our operations. In the core of our family forestry, we have a shared desire to hand something over to the next generation that is of even greater value than today. Not just economically, but also in environmental, cultural, and social terms.
This not only generates long-term and sustainable value for Södra’s members and customers. It benefits us all. A high level of sustainable forest production makes forestry part of the solution of the climate transition and a natural part of the future, as it always has been.
Looking back, our forestry model in southern Sweden is a success story. Biodiversity in our forests has increased over the past 30 years and the volume of our standing stock is growing every year and has done since the beginning of the last century, with the exception of major storms. And this is, among other things, a result of the dedicated work from our family forestry.
Environmental considerations are part of our daily routine. Södra’s sustainable forestry uses methods that preserve forest ecosystem services and support biodiversity. Members set aside eight percent of their forest land voluntarily for nature conservation and general environmental considerations are applied, such as reserving sensitive habitats, buffer zones, high-conservation-value (HCV) trees and dead wood. Each year, we produce management plans which provide instructions to forest owners for measures that should and should not be taken. On top of this, Södra’s 53,000 members are mostly certified to both FSC and PEFC. It means their estates comply with some 250 conditions to ensure best practice.
Södra’s members live in a truly circular system like few others, investing in long-term forest management plans for future generations. The members’ individual estates may be small on their own, but together they are the largest private landowner in Southern Sweden. All members contribute to the business, influence the future, share the profits, and help create long-term values and conditions for Swedish forestry. It’s forestry where everyone wins.
It is also forestry where everyone is keen to keep on winning. By continuously striving to become more innovative and resource efficient, we develop new areas and functions. We see a cubic metre of fibre as a Russian doll; layer upon layer of potential as we unlock new applications within the tree. We waste nothing. In addition to pulp, timber, bioproducts, green energy, biofuels and textile recycling, we are even researching the potential for renewable fibre in batteries. The forest is a natural part of the future.
For our customers, this all adds up to peace of mind. By having sustainable forestry and innovation as natural parts of our operations, Södra is always adding as much value to your products as we can by optimising our own. But we are more than a premium pulp supplier. Södra is working towards the creation of a fossil-free future, by continually seeking to improve the possibilities for and practice of sustainable forestry. We know sustainable forestry is a powerful tool to help fulfill the UN’s sustainable development goals and we take that responsibility very seriously. The future is found within the forest.
Lena Ek, Chair, Södra