The gifts of a healthy forest

27.5.2016 14:00 EEST

Sustainably managed forests don't only provide wood raw material for UPM products. They also deliver a great variety of benefits for the environment and society. A recent study conducted by UPM and with the support of the Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE, has demonstrated the positive benefits of a forest area dedicated to the production of wood for pulp.

The production of one tonne of pulp requires a quantity of wood equal to about 10 trees that would grow in a forest area the size of a tennis court, e.g. an area of about 275 m². During its lifecycle of about 80 years, this area of forest also provides the following eco-services*:

  • it binds 4.000 kg of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of a car driving more than 30 000 km.
  • it filters and purifies 8 million liters of water, e.g. enough clean water for 150 people for a year.
  • it preserves biodiversity: 800 species – mushrooms, insects, plants and animals- directly depend on pine and spruce, tree species typically used in paper making. The majority of Finland's 20.000 forest species inhabit areas used for wood production.
  • it provides more than 200 kg of fruit, berries, mushrooms and meat.

Sustainably managed forests also create thousands of jobs both directly or indirectly. They also have enormous recreational value and have a strong role to play in health and wellbeing.  Moreover, by-products and residues from pulp production (bark, black liquor or waste such as tall oil) are further utilized by UPM to produce energy, biochemicals or renewable diesel. 

The challenge of a growing population and the increasing pressure it places on the environment makes it necessary to use land in a way which brings multiple benefits and the most added value to society and environment. Sustainably managed commercial forests respond perfectly to this challenge.

In order that future generations can continue to enjoy all the gifts of a healthy forest, UPM continuously regenerates, replants and takes good care of its forests.

*Eco-services are benefits that human beings draw out of eco-systems, e.g. food, construction material, water purification, cultural and social services.