Blog | 03/25/2019 07:19:35

Shared goals with UN

Sami Lundgren

Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, UPM Responsibility

We believe in the limitless opportunities of bioeconomy. There is only a limited amount of sustainably produced biomaterials available, but the number of innovations and solutions inspired by them is endless. In the best-case scenario, sustainable materials and innovations are combined in a completely new way, resulting in something that can benefit all of us when we need it most.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were approved by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, and the development programme will run until 2030. The UN believes that the world can be a better place if we acknowledge the environment, other people, human rights and economics equally. It is easy for us to agree with this notion.

Sustainable Development Goal 9 covers industry, innovation and infrastructure, while Goal 15 focuses on life on land. For UPM, it is natural to combine these two goals.

It is possible to increase the area of sustainably managed forests and the quantity of biomaterials sourced from these forests by acting responsibly. Since 1990, one million hectares of forest plantations have been established in degraded pastures in Uruguay. In practice, this means that a whole new source of wood biomass has been created. Out of the whole land area of Finland, the share of forests is still Europe’s highest, and the volume of annual growth has doubled since 1960. All of UPM’s forests are managed in accordance with the FSC® and/or PEFC™ certifications, and global wood sourcing is also based on the same certified policies. When forests are managed, and wood is sourced sustainably, and when the preservation of forest biodiversity and the growth of forests is ensured by implementing a goal-oriented programme, we can honestly and credibly say that we are enforcing the Sustainable Development Goal 15. 

Biodiversity is important in forests, but it is also important in medicine. Every human being is different, and each illness requires individual care. In the best-case scenario, each of us can be cured with a treatment tailored to our own individual needs. GrowDex® is a wood-based nanocellulose hydrogel developed for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. It is especially suitable for 3D cell cultures, and it can be used to develop better disease models and more effective drugs.

There are no limits to innovation, and in Finland we believe that all good things start from the forest. By combining sustainable forest management and innovation, we also promote the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so if you do not believe, have a look at the moving picture.  

See our video:


Sami Lundgren

Sami Lundgren

Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, UPM Responsibility |