We have time until the end of the decade to meet the UN 2030 goals, to curb climate change and restore our ecosystems. For us, this is a call to action. At UPM, we see the coming years as ones of sustainable growth and restoration; a decade of pivotal action that paves the way for a future beyond fossils.
The UPM Forest Action programme outlines an ambitious agenda for us to maximize the positive impact of our forestry operations by the end of the decade. As an industry first, the programme takes a holistic, global view on the impact of forestry, combining measures on five factors: climate, biodiversity, soil, water and social contribution.
Net positive impact on biodiversity
Biodiversity is instrumental to maintaining healthy forest growth. Only by safeguarding robust and diverse forest ecosystems can we provide sustainable alternatives to fossil-based materials. Simply put: no biodiversity, no future beyond fossils.
At UPM, we have had our own biodiversity program since 1998. In 2018, we introduced a target of net positive impact on biodiversity (NPI), which means we take every action to ensure that our impact on biodiversity is positive.
|Protecting all valuable habitats in UPM-owned forests||Continuous|
|New species for Uruguay periodically registered in UPM´s conservation areas||Continuous|
|Restoring peatland habitat in Harviala forest estate in co-operation with our customer WEPA||2023|
|Increasing protected areas to cover 20% of UPM-owned land in Uruguay or 15% of own and leased land||2023|
Our biodiversity commitment
Double the number of broadleaf trees in
company-owned forests in Finland
Generate positive impact
Climate: Committed to 1.5°C
Climate change is a challenge of the utmost gravity. As carbon sinks and storages, or as bio-based innovations replacing fossil materials and products, forests play a vital role in the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
At UPM, we are committed to concrete, science-based actions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. In 2021, we became the first forest company to join The Climate Pledge, a group of sustainability leaders dedicated to meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s decarbonization targets ten years in advance.
|Calculating the carbon sink impact of company-owned forests in Finland||Yearly calculations|
|Reducing supply chain emissions with several point logistics||Continuous|
|Monitoring soil carbon in Uruguay plantations||Continuous|
|Cultivating rare broadleaf trees in nurseries in Finland||Continuous|
Our climate commitment
Reduction of our own CO2 emissions
Reduction of our supply chain CO2 emissions
Pioneer climate-positive products
Keep forests as carbon sinks
Protecting water systems
Today, one in three people globally lacks access to safe drinking water. This inequality puts an obligation on companies to use water responsibly – and to protect water systems wherever they operate.
As part of a complex hydrological cycle, forests play an integral role in purifying water and regulating its movement. At UPM, our sustainable forest management practices prevents negative impacts on water systems and maintains the important role of forests for water-regulation.
|Removing migration barriers to facilitate the movement of aquatic species||Continuous|
|Implementing a strategy to minimise the use of agrochemicals in Uruguay plantations||Continuous|
|Enhancing water use efficiency in tree nurseries in Uruguay||Continuous|
Our commitment to water systems
Transition to continuous-cover forestry in nutrient-rich spruce mires
Responsible use of fertilisers
Protect ground water quality
FSC™ & PEFC*
Adopt new FSC & PEFC FM standard to widen buffer zones
*FSC N003385, PEFC/02-44-41
Securing healthy soils
Discussions of atmospheric change rarely involve the ground beneath our feet. Soils, however, play a key role in the carbon cycle as the largest storage of terrestrial carbon and climate resilience of forests. Soil quality and health lay the groundwork for healthy forest growth. We secure healthy soils from the ground up: by matching the right tree species with the right soil type. Our sustainable forest management strategy promotes soil health and prevents damages.
|Compiling best practices for minimising erosion in ground preparations||2022|
|Strengthening Uruguay’s soil monitoring programme, adding new sampling points every year||Continuous|
|Calculating soil carbon sequestration in Uruguay||Continuous|
|Introducing elevation model to minimise soil erosion in forestry||2022|
Our commitment to healthy soils
Safeguard healthy soils
Pioneer innovative forestry practices to promote good soil conditions and prevent damages.
Social contribution: Creating value and opportunities
The transition to a post-fossil economy can generate economic wealth and well-being for millions. Together, companies, governments and societies alike must work to ensure that the transformation is just and equitable – that local communities and populations stand to gain from the green transition.
Whether it is forests in Finland or Eucalyptus plantations in Uruguay, the positive societal impact of our operations is immense. Today, UPM employs around 17,000 people, with 54 production plants spread out over 12 countries, creating significant value through employement and tax generation. By working with forest owners, suppliers, partners and vendors, we create value and wellbeing through employment and tax income everywhere we operate. We aim to be a good neighbour and trusted partner to all people, economies and environments affected, both directly and indirectly.
|Creating economic opportunities in rural Finland||Continuous|
|Conducting and documenting supplier audits to ensure decent work in supply chains||Continuous|
|Participating in development projects with various stakeholders||Continuous|