Forest-based industries have a significant role in promoting sustainable development. Well-managed forests play an essential role in natural carbon and water cycles, biodiversity and wellbeing of local communities.
With sustainable forestry we can multiply benefits from forests
We are both a major forest owner and a purchaser of wood. Our land use and forestry planning are based on the comprehensive evaluation and preservation of ecosystem services. With sustainable forest management we can safeguard and increase multiple benefits that forests provide.
Our long-term view ensures that we plant more trees than we harvest. We plant at least one new tree to replace each one we harvest, which totals 55 million new saplings every year.
We have company-level commitments and rules in place for our wood sourcing, and we adhere to internationally accepted principles of sustainable forestry. We apply credible, third-party verified schemes such as forest certification to ensure full traceability and continuous improvement.
- The forests and plantations owned by UPM are 100% certified, or in the process of being certified if the site is new.
- All the fibre we use will be 100% certified by 2030.
- We know the origin of our wood, and our supply chain is 100% chain of custody certified.
- We do not harvest wood from tropical rainforests or plantations that were formerly rainforests.
- We do not harvest wood from areas where the rights of indigenous people are threatened.
- Our wood sourcing and forestry does not cause deforestation.
Responsibility starts from the forest
We source wood from our own forests, from private forest owners and from b-to-b partners such as governments and other forest industry companies. We monitor and verify the origin of all raw materials in our wood supply chains. Our suppliers are required to comply with responsible business practices specified under the UPM Supplier and Third Party Code and our company policies and rules. Specific criteria for wood sourcing are defined in the UPM requirements for wood suppliers.
Forest certification is a great tool for promoting sustainable forestry. We use and promote recognised forest certification schemes such as FSC and PEFC. We use certified chain of custody and controlled wood systems verified by independent external auditors to ensure that our wood is 100% responsibly sourced. Our target is to increase the use of certified wood so that all sourced wood will be certified by 2030. To reach this target we participate actively in the development of standards as well as offering forest certification to forest owners according to their needs.
All UPM-owned forests are certified, or in the process of being certified if the site is new. In Finland, they are certified by the PEFC™ and by the FSC®, and in the USA (Minnesota) by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), which is endorsed by the PEFC. Our eucalyptus plantations in Uruguay are certified by both the FSC and the PEFC. In addition, we manage our own FSC group certificates in Finland and Uruguay, which private forest owners are welcome to join. We are responsible for ensuring that the forests covered in the certificate are managed with the applied standards. Independent third-party auditors verify that our operations meet the standard requirements.
Our planning and management tools are based on the Geographic Information System (GIS), a geo-referenced database covering natural resources such as forests and water. All essential data and information are stored in the system, including information about existing statutory protection areas, habitats of high biodiversity and other sensitive areas. The GIS is continuously updated after harvesting or when we acquire new information on threatened species, important biotopes or protection areas.
Our policies and commitments
As defined in the UPM Code of Conduct and the Responsibility Statement, we aim to create long-term profitable business ethically and responsibly, supporting economic, social and environmental sustainability. We are committed to forestry practices based on internationally accepted principles of sustainable forest management. These include the forest certification schemes and certified chain of custody systems that we use to verify the responsible origins of our wood. We respect and comply with local legislation and statutory regulations in every country in which we are active. Social licence is a key element of sustainable forestry. We engage in a continuous dialogue with our local stakeholders and respect their needs and rights. We do not cause deforestation.
Everyone who works in our wood sourcing and forestry chain must be familiar with the UPM Code of Conduct and certification schemes. This also applies to our contractors and their employees. UPM has its own e-learning platform helping employees to complete the requisite courses.
Our forests and plantations
Our forests in Finland and the USA are open to the local community. We see them as providing limitless potential for new bioeconomy innovations and wood supply for our mills.
Our company forests are strategically important in several ways. They are an important source of wood for our mills, but their role extends far beyond this. Our forests and nurseries – one in Finland, three in Uruguay – play a key role in advancing modern, sustainable forest management practices. Our main research and stakeholder cooperation areas include biodiversity, silvicultural practices, regeneration, tree breeding, ecosystem services and forestry-related social issues. Furthermore, our company forests enable hands-on training of our employees and contractors, as well as serving as a laboratory for R&D projects.
We own a total of about 900 000 hectares of forestry land in Finland, Uruguay and Minnesota, USA. Most of this land is located in Finland, totalling roughly 520,000 hectares, followed by Uruguay (305,000) and the United States (76,000 hectares). We also lease about 160,000 hectares in Uruguay and manage around 1,3 million hectares of private forest.
The majority of our forests are mixed-stand forests with native tree species. Biogeographically, our forests in Finland are semi-natural boreal forests, while those in the USA are semi-natural northern temperate woodlands. Our forests in Uruguay are plantations established on grasslands planted with non-native Eucalyptus tree species. We do not convert natural forests into plantations.
Forestal Oriental (SP), our eucalyptus forestry company in Uruguay, is a centre of excellence for our plantation operations. We have three modern, technologically advanced nurseries in Uruguay with a combined annual production capacity of almost 40 million seedlings. Forestal Oriental owns approximately 305,000 hectares of land, approximately 60% of which is planted with eucalyptus. The rest of the land is protected, used for cattle grazing and forestry-related infrastructure.