Sveaskog develops sustainable forestry in line with FSC[®]updates
Today marks the publication of the 2021 audit report of Sveaskog's FSC forest management commitment. The audit has found significant exceptions in terms of conservation value assessments and minor exceptions in terms of coordination with reindeer husbandry actors.
The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) forest management standard continuously evolves, which in turn steadily raises the bar for Sveaskog's sustainable forestry.
"Conservation value assessments and reindeer husbandry coordination are both very important to us. Naturally, we take these findings very seriously. It is now up to us to step up and adjust our routines," Erik Brandsma, CEO of Sveaskog, comments.
The audit report states that Sveaskog neglected to identify seven areas that are highly valuable in terms of nature and biodiversity. Each year, Sveaskog conducts approximately 5,000 conservation value assessments in preparation of its logging operations. There has been no logging in any of the aforementioned seven forests, however; while productive, they are currently marked as voluntary set-asides.
"We will correct the exceptions and make sure we correctly assess areas' conservation value going forward. It is our responsibility to keep up with FSC developments – I am forced to conclude we failed to do so last year," Brandsma continues.
As for the reindeer husbandry exceptions, those state that Sveaskog did not follow the correct dialogue procedure to liaise with the samebys (*a sameby is a geographic, financial and administrative district for a group of reindeer-herding Sámi) that have used the company's land in Härjedalen ever since a settlement agreement was signed years ago. They also reflect the fact that several of the samebys feel coordination efforts lacked goodwill.
"We will bring up the issue of incorrect dialogue proceedings in Härjedalen with FSC Sweden as a matter of interpretation. It is unfortunate that several samebys feel our coordination efforts lacked goodwill. We would like to proactively strengthen our dialogue with all samebys to plan our forestry operations in a way that allows reindeer herding to coexist alongside them," Brandsma says.
Sveaskog is now implementing several improvement processes, based on the results of the audit.
"We are undaunted by the higher standards that the sustainable forest management programme entails for Sveaskog. We actually see this FSC audit as a positive thing: it is both proof that we are on the right track and an incentive to keep improving our operations," Brandsma concludes.
About Sveaskog and FSC:
Sveaskog is Sweden's largest forest owner. Its forests have been FSC-certified since 1998. FSC is international non-governmental organisation that offers sustainable forest management certification –the goal being for forests to be managed in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible way. When a product bears the FSC logo, its forestry origins and production have been independently certified according to the rules of the FSC. The FSC standard was recently updated following a comprehensive review; a new version came into force on 1 October 2020.
Sveaskog's FSC licence number is (FSC-C012140)
For more information, contact:
Sveaskog's press unit, +46 8 655 90 50, firstname.lastname@example.org