(UPM, Helsinki, 22 May 2009, at 11.00) – UPM staff and its stakeholders are taking part in international plant a tree day events in China, Finland, Russia, the UK and USA. The day coincides with The United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity and supports UPM's key initiatives such as the global biodiversity program and the company's Business and Biodiversity leadership declaration.
The theme of the day will be native tree species and their importance
Many species of flora and fauna are dependent on native trees for habitat, shelter and food. UPM
is committed to maintain and increase the proportion of native tree species and their natural composition in company forests.
In the UK in Coed Llandegla Mountain Bike Centre and in Finland the trees will be planted on Friday, 22 May. In Finland the tree planting event is part of UPM's cooperation with ENO Environment Online, a global virtual school and network for sustainable development and environmental awareness. The students from schools participating ENO’s tree planting event are invited to UPM’s forests in Janakkala, Joensuu and Jyväskylä. In addition to planting native Finnish tree species students and UPM experts will discuss themes related to forest environment, forestry and wood as raw material.
Globally trees have great significance in safeguarding biodiversity, mitigating climate change and soil and flood protection
"Importance of forests and trees on biodiversity, mitigating climate change and soil and flood protection are the major subjects that we are discussing together with students as we plant these new young trees", tells Timo Lehesvirta, Environment Manager, UPM Forest, North Europe.
In Russia 90 UPM employees have planted about 16,500 seedlings of native pine trees in an area of 5.5 hectares near Novgorod in Northwest Russia on 15 May.
In USA almost 250 sixth-grade students from near-by planted a mini-forest at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Students also planted close to 1,000 red and jack pine seedlings on the fairgrounds hillside to help re-establish a forest to minimize soil erosion.
In China UPM will make a donation to China Green Fund for planting 10,000 trees in an area adjacent to the Great Wall near Beijing on the International Environment Day 5 June.
Growing trees captures carbon from the atmosphere, thus they play an essential role in mitigation climate change. Carbon is also stored in products made of wood. Wood is a renewable, recyclable raw material and which, finally in the end of its lifecycle can also be used as carbon-neutral biofuel in energy generation.
For further information, please contact:
Finland: Mr Timo Lehesvirta, Environment Manager, UPM Forest, North Europe, tel. +358 400 752212
Russia: Mr Anton Doroshin, Environment Manager, UPM Forest, Russia, tel. +7 812 9400930
UK: Mr Andrew Heald, Head of Assurance, UPM Tilhill, UK, tel. + 44 7771 844653
USA: Mr Jim Marshall, Forest Resources Manager, UPM Blandin Forestry, +1 218 2448552
UPM is one of the world's leading forest industry groups. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and Pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. Our competitiveness is based on cost leadership, change readiness and leading innovation. The Group employs around 24,000 people and it has production facilities in 14 countries. In 2008, UPM made sales of EUR 9.5 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange.
The company owns approximately 1 million hectares and manages some 1.7 million hectares of forests in Finland, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States. In Finland the company has its own nursery which produces about 14 million seedlings a year to be planted in company’s own and managed forests.
ENO Environment Online is a global virtual school and network for sustainable development and environmental awareness managed by the city of Joensuu.
The tree planting day is one of ENO’s annual events. On 22 May 2009 trees are planted in about hundred countries by 1000 schools. This event contributes to ENO’s aim is to plant hundred million trees by 2017.