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 fibre raw material as close to our production units as possible. Our Swedish/Nordic operations source almost all wood raw material from the Nordic countries and from the Baltics whereas our US Operations mainly source from the surrounding states. The fibre must origin from forests managed by recognised sustainable forestry practices, including careful planning with a long-term perspective. Responsibly managed forests require active forest management with high growth rates, while also taking into account biodiversity and social values, as well as enhanced climate benefits.

Purchasing according to standards

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 US. 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 certified by the FSC®, PEFC and SFI certification systems and wood is sourced in accordance with FSC and PEFC requirements for controlled wood or controlled sources. Our certificates and our forest management directive are available here. 

All wood entering Billerud is either delivered as certified wood, controlled wood or is subject to Billerud’s own control system.

Flowchart showing our control system for wood supply. If the wood comes from certified forests the product is certified and can be marked with the logo of FSC or the PEFC logo. If the wood does not come from certified forests risk analysis and mitigating activities are made to ensure that wood does not origin from illegal harvests, harvesting damaging hgh conservation values, conflict areas, genetically modified trees or forest land converted to other land use. If the control is ok the product is handled in accordance with our chain-of-custody certification and can be marked with the logo of FSC or the PEFC logo.
Flowchart showing our control system for wood supply. If the wood comes from certified forests the product is certified and can be marked with the logo of FSC or the PEFC logo. If the wood does not come from certified forests risk analysis and mitigating activities are made to ensure that wood does not origin from illegal harvests, harvesting damaging hgh conservation values, conflict areas, genetically modified trees or forest land converted to other land use. If the control is ok the product is handled in accordance with our chain-of-custody certification and can be marked with the logo of FSC or the PEFC logo.

The forest and the climate

Active forestry is good for the climate

Man går med röjsåg i skogen.

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

The principle of how forestry ecosystem takes up and releases carbon. The grey curve shows the annual growth in forest cubic metres and the green line the felling. The area shaded in green shows the carbon uptake and indicates that the forest is taking up more carbon than it releases. The area shaded in orange shows carbo release and indicates where the opposite is the case.
The principle of how forestry ecosystem takes up and releases carbon. The grey curve shows the annual growth in forest cubic metres and the green line the felling. The area shaded in green shows the carbon uptake and indicates that the forest is taking up more carbon than it releases. The area shaded in orange shows carbo release and indicates where the opposite is the case.

Biodiversity in forestry today

For our Swedish/Nordic/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 and preserve biodiversity in forests. Some important actions on which we are working to enhance biodiversity 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 2021.

Target 97% approved

Result 2021 (2020)

Well-handled buffer zones 100 % (77 %)
Extra sensitive biotops 96 % (56 %)
High stumps (< 3/ha) 97 % (97 %)
Nature conservation trees (>10/ha) 97 % (97 %)
Cultural remains 100 % (93 %)
No areas without any trees 98 % (97 %)
No ground damage on site 88 % (63 %)
No damage during crossings 77 %

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.

See also

Sustainability report

Billerud's sustainability report contains details on our sustainability work and results from the year.

Our Forestry site

Learn more about how we help forest owners to manage, certify and increase the value of their forest on our Forestry pages (in Swedish).

Responsible supply chain

Read about our sustainability criteria when we buy raw materials, transport, products, chemicals, energy and services.