Forests are a source of livelihood, recreation and food. People benefit from forests in multiple ways. The sustainable use of forests and wood-based innovations create jobs that bring income to individuals, families and societies. Forests offer an inspiring setting for many kinds of recreation. They also yield various non-timber products such as berries, mushrooms and wild herbs. From a social point of view, forests are a resource with multiple benefits for various stakeholders. Modern, sustainable forestry and open stakeholder dialogue enable the diverse use of forests for mutual gain.
Wellbeing from forests
We put safety first
The health, safety and security of employees, visitors and all others impacted by our company is of paramount importance to UPM. We aim to be the industry leader in safety. We have company-wide safety principles in place and we follow strict safety procedures and practices. A zero-accident culture is our common goal. We provide comprehensive occupational health care and a healthy working environment.
Expertise and continuous learning
Employee development is a high priority for us. We firmly believe that forest know-how and expertise really make a difference. Our employees, contractors and suppliers are well educated and qualified with a degree in forestry or an equivalent field. The people working in our forests have additional expertise in fields such as ecology, water protection and wildlife management. We provide regular follow-up training to keep up with new issues and progress in these fields.
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.
The adage ‘think globally, act locally’ is particularly apt in terms of sustainable forest management. Success can only be achieved through broad-based co-operation and open dialogue between various stakeholders. We participate in a number of initiatives, forums and R&D projects around the world at local, national and international level.
Our dialogue with local communities is founded on decades of close co-operation. In many cases the local community has grown around our operations over a long period of time. Our key stakeholders in forestry-related issues are forest owners, employees, investors, suppliers, local communities, non-governmental organizations, research organizations, governments, regulators and the media.
We have a local presence both as a major forest owner and as a purchaser of wood. Stakeholder dialogue is integrated into our daily forest management practices. We carefully assess the impacts of harvesting, especially when planning wood harvests near settlements or other sensitive areas.
We seek out active dialogue and partnerships with non-governmental organizations both globally and at national and local level. Local environmental organizations perform hands-on conservation work at grassroots level. Our long-term target is to create a new local working culture with groups who share the same environmental interests. Our international and national partners include WWF International, IUCN, BirdLife Finland, FSC International, Aves Uruguay, Vida Silvestre, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, and The Osprey Foundation. Continuous stakeholder dialogue helps us to improve and foster transparency via participation.
International stakeholder forums
We participate in The Forests Dialogue (TFD), which is a civil society-driven, multi-stakeholder dialogue platform that aims to forge relationships and spur collaborative action on the highest priority issues facing the world’s forests. The goal of TFD is to reduce conflict among stakeholders over the use and protection of vital forest resources. The founders of TFD are the World Bank, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the World Resources Institute and the WWF.
We are one of the participants in WWF’s New Generation Plantations (NGP) platform. The NGP platform is a place for sharing knowledge about good plantation practices and learning from experience, through events such as study tours, workshops and conferences. While plantations can be controversial, the NGP concept suggests that well-managed plantations in the right places can take pressure off natural forests, work in harmony with natural ecosystems and improve the welfare of local communities.
We aer a signatory of the UN Business and Biodiversity Initiative and an active member of the Biodiversity in Good Company Initiative. Our biodiversity programme and development projects have been presented at UN conferences governed by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Read more from the latest progress report.
Co-operation with non-governmental organisations
UPM is looking for active dialogue and partnerships with non-governmental organisations: partners include WWF International, IUCN, BirdLife Finland, Aves Uruguay, Vida Silvestre, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, and The Osprey Foundation.
Our forests are open to all
Forests are a source of nutrition and an inspiring setting for many hobbies or just spending time in nature. Sustainable forestry recognises and safeguards the many ways in which forests are used. We make a dedicated effort to preserve the character of areas with special recreational or cultural value. We offer the free access to our forests; entry is restricted only for safety reasons during ongoing harvesting.
Non-timber forest products include edibles like berries, mushrooms and wild herbs commonly utilised by local communities all over the world. Hunting is linked to cultural heritage, while also being a popular hobby in the modern world.
In addition to their popular domestic use, many non-timber forest products have a big commercial market, thus adding to the economic benefits that forests provide. While the recreational use of forests is limited in certain countries, Finland adheres to the practice of “everyman’s right” to roam freely and pick berries and mushrooms in forests, even on privately owned land. The landowner’s permission is not required, but disturbing or damaging the natural environment is naturally prohibited.
Forest owners decide what we can do in their forests
We purchase wood from private forest owners and manage their forests in Finland. We listen to their needs and requests closely, taking them into account when preparing proposals for forest management. When discussing with them to support their decision making we are able to share our knowledge gathered over many years of managing UPM forests and from various joint projects with researchers and organisations. Feedback from our customers regarding our way of worging and the quality of our work is an essential part in developing our operations.