Forest pluralism

16 May 2016

Within the same forest area, we can protect valuable forest habitats, pick blueberries and grow productive forest.

On a wintery and cold morning, the scenery, smells and noises delight the senses of any wanderer in Nuuksio National Park. It is hard to believe that we are in the second largest city of Finland and only tens of kilometres away from Helsinki, the capital of Finland. UPM’s environmental specialist Matti Maajärvi wants to include deadwood in the picture.

“It belongs to the scenery of a nature reserve – even though we are now talking about the importance of our environmental performance in forestry for UPM’s mills.”

Put simply, UPM has a responsibility for producing and using wood in a sustainable way as it is a consumer of natural resources and an operator within the forest industry. Biodiversity, clean water bodies and productivity walk hand in hand.

“We need to succeed in safeguarding the forest environment, so that UPM’s products are a valid choice for international customers and markets. Environmental matters are constantly highlighted within the industry,” says Maajärvi.

Still, a forest has value in itself. When we respect nature, forests prevail and provide well-being for future generations. Environmental concerns do not only include matters relating to biology. The recreational use of forests, as well as their other social value, are also taken into consideration.

For this reason, UPM’s mills need sustainably sourced wood that can be traced back to its origins. How are the responsibilities of the forestry industry measured?

“Forest certification is an essential and diverse tool when we wish to verify the sustainability of forest management and usage from environmental, social and economic viewpoints.”

However, these environmental aspects are not strictly standardised. The special features and properties of the forest must be considered whenever making plans or carrying out procedures. It is the forest professional’s duty to recognise which specific environmental aspects should be focused on at any given time.

“Taking the environment into consideration has an effect on everything. When we handle environmental issues well, we safeguard the operational preconditions for the forestry industry in the future.”

Lotta Vaija

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