UPM checks the origin of wood imports

Archive 26.3.2004 0:00 EET

UPM requires that its wood raw material is procured in accordance with the Group’s Environmental Policy. UPM Forest does not accept wood which originates from protected forests, sites which the authorities have notified are to be protected or illegal loggings. This is safeguarded through audits carried out by Forest Division on both domestic and imported wood suppliers.

In 2003, UPM imported 4 million cubic metres to Finland. Of this amount some 85% came from Russia. UPM has almost 150 foreign wood suppliers.

UPM has monitored the origin of imported wood from Russia since 1996. UPM’s tracing system requires that the wood supplier provides contract specific origin of wood information for the felling area down to map grid level prior to the start of deliveries. Forest Division staff check the information as part of field audits on selected sites in which the trustworthiness of the statement of origin and the legality of harvesting can be assessed and the suppliers overall responsibility in environmental and other matters can be evaluated. The boundaries of felling areas and felling licenses are checked as part of the site visit.

Last year, UPM carried out field audits on 145 felling sites in Russia. Half of the sites checked were given an overall evaluation of good and half were acceptable. Ten major non-conformities and fourteen minor non-conformities were discovered. The reasons for the non-conformities were discrepancies between the felling license and felling boundaries, location of felling site, harvesting imprint or poor work site management. As a result of the non-conformities, deliveries from 2 supply contracts have been terminated and 3 will continue subject to additional contract conditions. A written warning was given for 7 of the sites and a verbal warning for 12 sites.

Last year, UPM established its own wood procurement company, UPM-Kymmene Forest AS, for wood procurement in the Baltic States. The company’s wood deliveries from Estonia have begun, as have checks on the origin of wood.

UPM continues to develop its origin of wood tracing system to be even more accurate and to get to know the supply chain better. Achieving this objective will require development of information technologies and the availability of Russian forest maps and forest stock information in digital format.

A demo-version of UPM Forest’s origin of wood tracing system can be seen in the internet at www.upm-kymmene.com/tracingimports.

For further information please contact:
Ms. Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, Director, Environmental Forestry Affairs, tel. +358 204 16 3862
Mr. Pasi Poikonen, Environment Manager, UPM Forest, Import, tel. +358 204 15 3707

March 26, 2004