The EU’s deforestation regulation (EUDR) will be applied in January 2024
At the end of 2024, when the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) becomes applicable, it will become illegal to place any wood-derived product on the EU internal market that could be linked to forest degradation or deforestation. The aim of this far-reaching legislation, which encompasses not just wood but coffee, cocoa, palm oil, cattle, soy and rubber, is clearly well intentioned. It seeks to minimise the risk of products entering or being produced in the EU which could be contributing to climate change, and we applaud that intention.
At Södra we ourselves are working with the same aim across all our operations. We see ourselves as part of the climate solution, not part of the problem, both through our sustainable forest management, which means our forests are assimilating carbon dioxide as they grow, and through the substitution effect of renewable wood-based products that can replace fossil-based alternatives.
Together with our partners and competitors in the value chain, we are actively working to develop the most resource-efficient ways to comply with the EUDR, both at national and EU level.
This far-reaching legislation is not without challenge. The process ahead is long and complex. We are actively seeking engagement with the relevant authorities and stakeholders to find the best solutions.
It is a challenge for all of us to understand the level of detail that will be required as the proposal stands today in terms of traceability. It is significant and far beyond what we are used to. This is why we are in dialogue with the EU and Swedish authorities as well as customers and the forest industry.
The Swedish government has appointed a committee to evaluate the steps needed for us to comply. Södra is a member of the expert group advising that committee. The Swedish forest industry has a very competent common platform to oversee the traceability of wood but the EUDR’s requirements will extend beyond its current capabilities so here too, we are active members of a working group to develop the systems needed to comply by the end of 2024.
The EUDR will affect us all and it will be imperative that we find solutions to the challenges ahead. Over the coming months we will be devoting a considerable amount of time to the EUDR, and we will be here to support you with your own questions. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.