Metsä Board Magazine – Winter 2023


In Focus

Read more about regenerative forestry

Nature and economy thriving together Wellbeing shouldn’t be created at nature’s expense. This is the underlying idea of Metsä Group’s regenerative forestry principles, which help transfer forests to the next generation in an increasingly vibrant, diverse and climate-resilient condition.

Maria Latokartano, photos: Vesa Tyni

M etsä Board’s products are manufactured from pure, fresh wood fibre from sustainably managed northern forests. In future, these forests will be managed even better. Metsä Group, which also encompasses Metsä Board, adopted its re- generative forestry principles in the spring of 2023. The goal is to ensure forests are transferred from one generation to the next in a vibrant, diverse and cli- mate-resilient condition. According to Timo Lehesvirta , Metsä Group’s lead- ing nature expert, this involves a systemic change, which will enable the economy and biodiversity to grow and strengthen simultaneously. “Historically, economic systems have created well- being at nature’s expense. In many forms of land use, production is still based on first erasing the original ecosystem. Regenerative forestry is about produc- tion processes that verifiably do not harm the envi- ronment.” According to Lehesvirta, this is the first time any op- erator has carried out a large-scale change like this to the economic system. “I believe the regenerative forestry strategy and a production process that offers reliable verification of the overall impact of operations is also of interest to Metsä Board’s customers.” Strengthening biodiversity The goal of regenerative forestry is to strengthen for- est biodiversity while using forests.

“Finnish forest manage- ment is of high quality as it is. We’re not reinvent- ing the wheel but aiming to mainstream the best nature-boosting prac- tices in forestry.” The key practices in-

clude diversifying the tree species and struc- ture of forests, as well as increasing the amount of decaying trunk wood. “Simply by diversifying tree species and adding more decaying trunk wood, we can improve the living con- ditions of around 10,000 species living in commer- cial forests.” In addition, tailored action plans will be drawn up for the most endangered forest areas such as herb-rich forests and sunlit ridge slopes. Based on native tree species In regenerative forestry, production processes are based on tree species that are naturally found in the area, with no human intervention. There are approximately 30 native tree species in Finland, of which Metsä processes only five industrially. “At Metsä, we leave the other tree species during fell- ing to grow and boost biodiversity in the forest.”

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