UPM, WWF and DNV receive Forest Leadership 2006 Partnership Award

Archive 14.3.2006 0:00 EET

(UPM, Helsinki, March 2, 2006) – Global forest products company UPM, global conservation organisation WWF and Norwegian-based foundation Det Norske Veritas (DNV) today were awarded the Forest Leadership 2006 Partnership Award for a joint project on forest certification. The Forest Leadership Partnership award recognizes commendable teamwork between different organisations such as conservation organisations and corporations to further sustainable forestry.

The project was the first time a forest company and global environmental organization worked together to field test different forest certification standards. "This cooperation is a good example of how the key issues facing the forest industry can be addressed jointly," said Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, Director, UPM Environmental Forestry Affairs.

Forest certification is a tool through which consumers can be sure the raw wood material in their paper and wood products comes from well-managed forests. UPM promotes all credible forest certification standards and is publicly committed to increasing the amount of certified wood used in its products, a position supported by WWF. Therefore it was easy to find a common basis for the "Parallel testing of forest certification standards" project. The aim of the parallel test was to promote sustainable forestry and the harmonious development of different forest certification schemes. The global auditing experience of Det Norske Veritas made it possible to carry out the testing in a structured way.

"The project was an interesting, challenging and positive process. The partners worked together, challenging each other, often from different viewpoints, to come up with consensus on the results," said Duncan Pollard, Director of WWF International's Forest Programme. "This field test was carried out in the forest and complimented the desktop analyses that have been done."

"The results highlighted real differences between certification standards on the ground, and also showed that there are issues of consistency within the different certification schemes," said Kimmo Haarala, Lead Auditor from Det Norske Veritas. "Five of the standards tested achieved a balanced approach to promoting the economic, social and environmental management of forests, but with some differences in emphasis."

UPM, WWF and DNV also believe that the test results identify ways of driving forward the discussion on certification. WWF has used the insights of the project to help it to revise its forest certification policy. UPM improved its own forest practices and developed a global generic chain of custody model that meets the forest management and chain of custody criteria of international forest certifications standards. The results of the project can also be used to further develop credible certification standards and UPM is willing to participate in those processes.

"This 2006 Partnership Award by Forest Leadership is a great honor for the three project partners," said Paul Orser, Director of UPM's Forestry and Wood Sourcing in North America. "It encourages the partners to continue this kind of multi-stakeholder cooperation and to consider further development projects together."

For further information please contact:
Ms Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, Director, UPM Environmental Forestry Affairs,
tel. +358 204 162 162
Mr Paul Orser, Director, UPM Forestry and Wood Sourcing, North America,
tel. +1 506 627 3412
Mr Duncan Pollard, Director of WWF International's Forest Programme, tel. +41 794 773 336
Mr Kimmo Haarala, Lead Auditor, Det Norske Veritas, tel. +358 9 681 691

Notes for editors:

UPM is one of the world’s leading producers of printing papers and the clear market leader in magazine papers. The Group's turnover in 2005 was EUR 9.3 billion, and it has 31,500 employees. UPM's main products include printing papers, converting materials and wood products. The company has production plants in 15 countries and its main market areas are Europe and North America. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki and New York stock exchanges. For more information please see: www.upm-kymmene.com or www.upm-kymmene.com/sustainableforestry

Established in 1961, WWF is one of the worlds largest and most experienced independent conservation organisations, with almost 5 million supporters around the world, and conservation projects in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
- conserving the world's biological diversity
- ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
- promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
For more information please see: www.panda.org

Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Established in 1864, DNV is an independent foundation with the objective of safeguarding life, property, and the environment and is a leading international provider of services for managing risk. DNV’s most important values are quality and integrity.
DNV is an international company with about 300 offices in 100 different countries. Headquartered in Oslo (Høvik), Norway, DNV’s global network is linked by efficient information technology enabling us to create value for our customers in a coherent and consistent manner worldwide. For further information please see www.dnv.com