Studying best practices and carrying them forward
The Forest Action programme covers the whole forest ecosystem. It has been created for the benefit of climate, biodiversity, water, soil, and social contribution. The programme takes a holistic approach on sustainability.
One of the countries, where the programme has been taken into action is UPM’s own home country, Finland.
— Forests have always been a source of well-being for Finns. They have brought us shelter and warmth – but also income. With the help of this income, we have been able to develop our society to the point it is today, says UPM’s Senior Vice President of Wood sourcing and Forestry, Sauli Brander, who has worked for the company for 25 years and in many roles.
Healthy forests and sustainable forest management are at the core of UPM’s business, and it is extremely important that forests will continue to thrive in a changing climate. Therefore, the Forest Action programme has been created and the themes outlined in the programme function as guidelines for all work that is done on the ground.
— The sustainable and responsible use of forests is crucial, as UPM is one of the largest forest owners in Finland. In the forests owned by our company, we have had the resources to study responsible forest management and think about the best practices and take them forward also to private forest owners, Brander explains.
Forests and Finnish identity are intertwined
It can be argued that forests are a crucial part of Finnish identity – not least because they cover 75% of the whole country. Forest have always played an important role also in Sauli Brander’s life, being born and raised in the Finnish countryside:
— The forest has always been an important element to me. It has acted as a setting for many of my childhood games. These days, my hobbies – orienteering, mountain biking and hunting – are related to the forest.
— Professionally, forest growth has always interested me. It is amazing how the forest business has been able to keep up with the times and renew itself, even though the raw material base has remained the same.
In recent years, UPM has invested substantially in innovations that provide renewable alternatives to fossil raw materials.
— In the future, we will develop more and more products that will help us move this world in the right direction. It is wonderful that our work has the right purpose and is part of a bigger whole, Brander sums up.