Sustainable wood supply
The raw material from the forest is essential for replacing finite resources with renewable materials and moving towards a circular, sustainable society. But to ensure that forests can provide this in the long-term and remain healthy, we need to manage and use them responsibly.
Renewable raw materials from forests are our most important resource. We strive to source our fiber raw material as close to our production units as possible. Our European operations source almost all wood raw material from the Nordic countries and from the Baltics, whereas our North American operations mainly source from the surrounding states and Canada.
The fiber must origin from forests managed by recognized sustainable forestry practices, including careful planning with a long-term perspective. Responsibly managed forests require active forest management with high growth rates, while also considering biodiversity and social values, as well as enhanced climate benefits.
Certifications guaranteeing sustainable forestry
More than three quarters of the wood raw material used by our Swedish industries comes from Swedish forests and almost all wood into our US mills originates from the USA and Canada. Billerud has procedures and guidelines to avoid wood being purchased from illegal felling operations, from forests with high preservation values, from regions with serious social conflicts and where felling leads to deforestation.
National laws and regulations for forestry are a minimum standard for Billerud. We are third-party certified to chain of custody standards set by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and in North America, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®).
Billerud’s due diligence system ensures that all purchases follow the procedures set out by FSC Controlled Wood, Controlled Sources in PEFC Chain of Custody and comply with the EUTR and US Lacey Act timber legislations.
The forest and the climate
Active forestry is good for the climate
Younger trees grow more and faster than older ones and therefore bind more carbon dioxide into the biomass. The forest produces renewable climate-smart raw materials that can replace fossil and finite raw materials. Active forestry is therefore climate efficient and good for a sustainable future.
Carbon dioxide storage and emissions during the forest cycle
Biodiversity in forestry today
Billerud takes measures to protect valuable habitats so that naturally occurring plants and animals can continue to live in the forest landscape. For our European wood supply we provide forest management services for Swedish forest owners. As part of this work, Billerud carefully follows up its work to protect, preserve and enhance biodiversity in forests. Some important actions are listed below:
- Forests grow slowly and trees are only felled when they are between 70 and 120 years old. For every tree felled, three new ones are planted.
- When felling, all the dead trees are left and high stumps are created to protect and resupply dead wood in the forest, which insects, fungi and small animals need in order to survive.
- Clearing and thinning operations are well-planned so that the trees that remain have more room to grow.
- To protect the ecology around watercourses and other sensitive biotopes, “buffer zones” are created and retained where necessary as a part of all such operations.
- Deciduous trees are encouraged, which assists animals and other wildlife, and can also help forests withstand storms better, for example.
- Individual endangered species are protected. Examples that we are working with include the lady's-slipper orchid, nests for northern goshawks and the creeping lady's-tresses.
- In FSC-certified forestry, at least 10% of the productive forest land area is set aside for conservation or social purposes.
- Conservation burning is carried out to promote fire-dependent biodiversity.
The table below shows some of the results of the monitoring of operational indicators for biodiversity in our own forest management in Sweden for 2022.
Result 2022 (2021)
|Well-handled buffer zones||90 % (100 %)|
|Sensitive habitats||94 % (96 %)|
|High stumps (< 3/ha)||92 % (97 %)|
|Nature conservation trees (>10/ha)||93 % (97 %)|
|Cultural relics||100 % (100 %)|
|Open areas||98 % (98 %)|
|No ground damage on site||90 % (88 %)|
What do we do with a tree?
Whenever Billerud fells a tree, we use it as effectively and intelligently as possible. Those parts of the trunk that have the broadest diameter and highest quality are delivered to the sawmill, while the thinner parts are sent to our paper and board production facilities. Bark and other bioproducts are used as fuel in the company’s plants.