We mitigate and adapt to climate change

 
 

Forests are often called the lungs of the Earth – for a good reason. Trees produce oxygen and bind carbon dioxide. Growing forests absorb carbon from the atmosphere, storing it in wood biomass. When trees are harvested, carbon is transferred to wood-based products. At the end of the product’s lifecycle, the carbon is released into the atmosphere for new generations of trees to absorb. In order to sustain this cycle, a new tree has to be planted to replace every harvested one. Sustainably managed forests act as a carbon sink while yielding raw material to replace fossil resources.

 
 

Our climate commitment

-65%

Reduction of our own CO2 emissions

 

-30%

Reduction of our supply chain CO2 emissions

 

Pioneer climate-positive products

Keep forests as carbon sinks

 
 

Sustainably managed forests are carbon sinks

We plant 55 million seedlings per year. On average, this means more than 100 trees every minute, year-round. Forest regeneration after harvesting is the cornerstone of our sustainable forest management approach. Our actions do not result in any deforestation.

We carefully plan our harvesting rates to ensure that our forestry practices are fully sustainable. In short, we plant more trees than we harvest, and safeguard valuable habitats. 

We manage our forests to help them serve as carbon sinks. We conduct ongoing research with expert partners to better understand and identify the climate impact of our forests.
 

Read more: UPM deepens the scientific knowledge on its products’ climate impacts

 
Country Annual carbon sink/source, Mt CO2 eq Scope of calculation
Finland -0.9 Trees + soil
Uruguay -1.6 Trees
USA +0.1 Trees

Finland: Sink = trees increment - drainage (harvesting and natural) + soil sink (using Yasso07). Uruguay: Sink = change in tree carbon stock + soil sink (using Yasso07). Soil is not included in the Uruguay 2022 calculations, due to ongoing updates in the method with researchers. USA: Source = change in tree carbon stock.

 

How forests can adapt to climate change and remain long-term carbon sinks

 

Carbon sink calculations in Finland,
the Unites States of America and Uruguay

The Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) calculates the carbon sink of our own and leased forests and tree plantations in Finland, the USA and Uruguay. The results are reported annually as a five-year average and the calculation is developed as best practice evolves.

Read more UPM Annual Report 2022

 
 

Forest Action: Carbon sink calculations in UPM forests in Finland

 
 

Forest Action: Growing climate resilience in Minnesota

 
 

Replacing fossils with wood-based products

Wood has enormous potential as a renewable, recyclable and carbon-neutral raw material. We foresee an exciting future for innovative wood-based products in the post-fossil era.

Sustainable wood-based products start with sound forestry practices. Our forests serve as carbon sinks thanks to our sustainable harvesting and systematic forest regeneration policy. A forest’s total carbon sequestering capacity also includes the carbon contained in the soil. Finland’s peatlands, for instance, are massive carbon storages. Protecting natural peatlands is therefore important both for the climate and for biodiversity. 

Reforestation and afforestation of degraded land is an effective way to increase the total carbon sequestration capacity of forests. Our plantations in Uruguay show a significant increase in carbon sequestration compared to modified natural grassland reference areas. 

The efficient use of wood raw material is an important factor affecting the carbon footprint of wood-based products. We maximize the usage of harvested wood by harnessing by-products and side streams. A great example is our renewable diesel made of crude tall oil, which is a by-product of pulp manufacturing.

Read more about our innovations: Innovation

 

When science meets purpose

 

Forestry sector has unique role in fighting climate change, says IPCC report

 
 
 

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