This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
forest, environment and industry
a story of new ways forward
Finnish Forest Industries Federation
I’m not sure about the purpose of life. But I do know that the world we leave for future generations should be better than the one we inherited. - taken from a Finnish schoolchild’s essay
WHAT DO YOU THINK? WE ARE LEARNING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT EUROPE’S FOREST RESERVES ARE GROWING FORESTS – THE WORLD’S CARBON SINK FOREST BIODIVERSITY PROTECTED FORESTS PROCURING WOOD AS RAW MATERIAL THE FOREST LANDSCAPE CERTIFICATION: A GUARANTEE OF GOOD FOREST MANAGEMENT OUR FOREST HERITAGE WELCOME TO THE FINNISH FOREST FINLAND LIVES OFF ITS FORESTS THE FOREST INDUSTRY IN FINLAND CLEANER AIR CLEANER WATER MORE FROM LESS CLEANER ENERGY DESIGN THE CHARM OF WOOD WOODEN HOUSES – A STATEMENT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT WOODEN HOUSES AND ECO-EFFICIENCY RENEWABLE BIOENERGY GREEN BIOENERGY PAPER RECYCLING IS GROWING THE FUTURE OF PAPER AND WOOD NEW TOOLS: BIOTECHNOLOGY AND ENZYMES ENVIRONMENT-RELATED RESEARCH AND EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT IS SELF-PERPETUATING WHERE IS FINLAND GOING? WEB PAGES WE’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU
3 4 5 6 8 10 14 16 19 20 24 26 28 30 34 38 42 43 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 66 68 70 71
What do you think?
This book is about Finland’s forest industry and environment. It explains how the forest industry carries its share of responsibility for the environment and forests in a country where it makes a major contribution to the economy and where forests are in constant use. In relative terms, more wood is harvested from forests in Finland than in any other country in Europe. Despite this, our forest reserves are growing. Natural growth exceeds removal by felling every single year. But this alone is not enough. Our forestry people are working hard to improve the well-being of our forests. Our mills and scientiﬁc organizations have come up with numerous innovations. Examples include making more efﬁcient use of raw material, preserving forest biodiversity, combating the greenhouse effect, keeping waterways clean and reducing the impact of waste. Taking ecological, economic and social values into account at the same time is not easy. Our forests are open for everyone to use. Many people in the countryside earn their living from the forest. Nature lovers, hikers, mushroom and berry pickers, and hunters all derive pleasure and relaxation from the forest. At the same time Finland’s forests are vital to the landscape and to the country’s ﬂora and fauna. We are learning all the time, and our aim is continuous improvement in everything we do. We believe we are on the right track. But what do you think? Is reconciling the interests of the forest with those of man and industry an impossible task? Tell us what you think. We’re listening.
we are learning
n terms of conservation, Finland has set an example for others to follow. At present, 7.2% of the country’s entire forest area is strictly protected. According to COST E4, the EU-funded research project, the corresponding ﬁgures (in 2000) were 2.5% in Sweden and 1.2% in Norway. In Germany, the ﬁgure was only 0.24%. Most of Finland’s forests, however, are in commercial use, and as such are not governed by strict conservation rules. Commercial forests are tended with special care. The needs and expectations of industry and other forest users are catered for in a way that minimizes the negative impact on the environment. In commercial forests, the aims of conservation must be to take greater care of the landscape and natural biodiversity and to secure the forest’s well-being. This is in everyone’s interest – from forest owners to nature lovers.
What is “sustainable development”?
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS A CHALLENGE FOR ALL
ustainable development requires industry to take on greater social responsibility and continuously to update its manufacturing practices. The latter includes making more efﬁcient use of raw materials, producing cleaner energy, and using renewable natural resources in place of non-renewable ones. In its product development work the industry seeks to minimize environmental impacts not just during production but also during the products’ life cycles. Other demands are openness, transparency and respect for ethical values.
Sustainable development concerns more than just industry. It also requires people to change their attitudes and consumer habits. It’s not difﬁcult. By observing the rules attached to sustainable development we will become European citizens of the third millennium: understanding the impact of our activities and making the appropriate choices. Here are the rules in a nutshell: Give preference to products that are eco-efﬁcient, have long life cycles and are made from renewable raw materials. Give more time to the content and quality of life rather than the acquisition of the frivolous and non-essential. Recycle wherever possible. Spend more time with outdoor and cultural pursuits instead of just shopping.
Finland is committed to the principles of sustainable development. In spring 2003, Finland signed the Johannesburg Summit’s action agenda, the aim of which is a gradual shift to sustainable consumption and production. Finland has also been actively involved in the global forest conservation process, which stemmed from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and which seeks to encourage the sustainable use and management of the world’s forests. In Europe, sustainable forest use and management are promoted at ministerial conferences on the protection of forests. These conferences decide on matters such as the ecological, cultural, social and economic criteria and indicators for sustainable forestry. Finland was involved in devising the principle adopted for these conferences: ‘Common beneﬁts, Shared responsibilities’. In practice, this means that all countries in the world must take responsibility for climate change and seek to increase their forest area. Finland is also committed to the EU’s energy strategy, which is aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil, as these contribute to the greenhouse effect. These fuels will gradually be replaced by renewable forms of bioenergy: sunlight, wind and biomass. As a heavily forested country, the renewable energy source that most interests Finland is biomass, which it has in abundance. The most important forms of biomass are the sawdust and bark resulting from forest industry processes, and logging waste from timber harvesting.
Forest in relation to total area
Per cent/km2 0–1 2–10 11–25 26–50 51–75 76–100 water
Schuck, A., Van Brusselen, J., Päivinen, R., Häme, T., Kennedy, P.and Folving, S. 2002. Compilation of a calibrated European forest map derived from NOAA-AVHRR data. European Forest Institute. EFI Internal Report 13, 44p. plus Annexes. This information is based on outputs from the project “Forest tree groupings database of the EU-15 and pan-European area derived from NOAA-AVHRR data”, which was awarded by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (Institute for Environment and Sustainability), to a consortium of organisations under the contract number: 17223-2000-12 F1SCISPFI. The information contained herein has been obtained from or is based upon sources believed by the authors to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. The information is supplied without obligation and on the understanding that any person who acts upon it or otherwise changes his/her position in reliance thereon does so entirely at his/her own risk. The European Commission nor the project consortium are responsible for its use in this publication and the content is at the sole responsibility of the publishers.
EUROPE ’S FOREST RESERVES ARE GROWING
he future of Europe’s forests is bright. Today, annual growth exceeds the wood removed by felling. Pekka Kauppi, professor in environmental conservation science, has this to say about Europe’s forests in general and Finland’s forests in particular: “The area covered by forest is likely to grow, which means greater wood reserves. The trees in Europe’s forests are getting older and sturdier.” Finland’s forest are also safe. We can all help to secure the future of our forests, because training, knowledge, research, information and industry’s awareness ensure a broad-based approach to this issue. “However, Finland’s forests are not what they were. In southern Finland there is very little forest that has not been utilized at some time or other. Once lost, virgin forest can only be restored by time. On the other hand, with today’s knowledge we can improve our commercial forests.” Professor Kauppi also points to a map showing the world’s remaining virgin coniferous forests. What remains of such forest in Finland’s north-east corner is so small that it barely merits the name. The world’s last untouched coniferous forests are in Canada and Siberia. These regions have such a harsh climate and are so far from habitation that their utilization is not economically worthwhile. Asked about the future of society and the environment, professor Kauppi has this to say: “The present trend seems to be towards lower and lower energy consumption in the production of different goods. The idea is to lighten our ‘ecological footprint’. More important, though, is for people to adopt more environmentfriendly consumer habits and to spend more time developing themselves.”
Forests – the world’s carbon sink
Forests as a carbon store
mill. tonnes of carbon
1,000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
1970 1980 1990
carbon stored/year carbon store carbon released/year
The diagram shows the carbon stored in trees in Finland’s commercial forests, and the amounts of carbon stored and released annually. The forecasts are based on the assumption that forest growth and wood utilization will continue unchanged. 1 tonne of carbon is equivalent to 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Source: Wahlström Erik, Hallanaro Eeva-Liisa & Manninen Sanni (1996). The future of Finland’s environment. Edita, Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki.
ou often hear it said that forests are the world’s lungs. The idea is right, but it would be more correct to say that forests act as a carbon sink. This means that growing forests take in carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and in this way counteract the negative impact of the greenhouse effect. Proper management of commercial forests promotes carbon uptake by growing trees. The greenhouse effect is caused by the fact that solar radiation reﬂected from the Earth’s surface as heat is prevented from escaping by gases present in the atmosphere. Without an atmosphere, of course, all this heat would escape and the Earth would become too cold for life to exist. The gases in the atmosphere that absorb and reﬂect back this heat are referred to as greenhouse gases. The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases cause temperatures on Earth to rise, which in turn results in more precipitation and melting of the polar ice-caps. Growing forests and products made from wood are therefore important in counteracting the greenhouse effect. Trees take up carbon dioxide as they grow and only release it when they decay or are burned to produce energy. But forests can only take up so much carbon dioxide. If growth diminishes, so does the uptake of carbon dioxide. Wooden buildings, furniture, etc. store carbon for an average of 40 years, in some cases for hundreds of years. The carbon present in paper may be ‘locked away’ for several years. By using products made from wood and paper we can lengthen the carbon cycle and ensure that more carbon is locked away. Most of the carbon dioxide that gets into the atmosphere comes from fossil fuels like coal and oil. So by burning less fossil fuel we can reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
At the Kyoto climate change conference in 1997, targets were set for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a schedule for this was drawn up for the industrialized nations. These targets must be reached during the period 2008–2012. The Kyoto Protocol was signed by 84 countries. Finland has undertaken to cut its emissions to 1990 levels in an internal burden sharing agreement among EU countries. It has also been agreed to introduce certain ﬂexibility mechanisms, one of which is emissions trading. This allows the countries concerned to trade carbon dioxide emission allowances. In the EU, the allocation of emission quotas begins in 2004 and emissions trading in 2005, three years earlier than required by the Kyoto Protocol.
IMPACT OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that Finland’s average temperature will rise by 4.4 degrees by the year 2100. This means that the climate in southern Finland will become as mild as that in Denmark today. Climate change could be good news – or bad news – for forests. Greater precipitation and increasing numbers of pests (which are normally kept in check by extreme winter cold) are the bad news. The good news is that forests would grow 40 per cent faster, possibly accompanied by more hardwood species in southern Finland.
CARBON DIOXIDE AND PHOTOSYNTHESIS
The uptake of carbon dioxide by green plants is one of Nature’s wonders and vital to life on Earth. Using the energy in sunlight, green plants make sugars from carbon dioxide and water. Oxygen is produced as a by-product. Sugars are used by the plant to produce fats, proteins and other essential compounds. In autumn, broadleaved trees change colour because the green chlorophyll in the leaves moves into the trunk, leaving red and gold pigments behind.
Safeguarding biodiversity on a daily basis
n densely populated and industrialized countries, nature has become impoverished. Finland has realized the danger in time and is promoting the diversity of life in its forests. The Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 made the protection of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources part of people’s everyday lives. During the 1990s Finland revised its forest legislation with the aim of securing ecologically, socially and economically sustainable forest management and utilization as well as forest biodiversity. The new legislation was accompanied by an action plan in the form of a National Forest Programme extending up to 2010. The programme involved a massive effort by hundreds of Finland’s top forest experts: researchers, forestry professionals and representatives of industry, forest owners and environmental organizations. It is based on the view that a competitive forest cluster, combined with the use of forests as a renewable natural resource, forms a sound basis for sustainable development. The programme seeks to promote domestic wood consumption and exports of wood products by the Finnish forest industry, to develop environmental management in commercial forests, to reduce the environmental impact of forestry, to monitor forest health and vitality, and to step up environment-related training. The main thrust of the programme has already gained public approval. It is a process of constant revision and re-focusing. Some parts still remain to be implemented. One example is the METSO forest biodiversity programme for southern Finland, which has only just got under way and will continue until 2007. Under Finland’s revised constitution, responsibility for the environment and for preserving natural diversity rests with everyone. Implementation of the new forest legislation and the National Forest Programme 2010 is overseen and directed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the 13 regional forestry centres.
griculture, clearing land for grazing, habitation, industry and other of man’s activities have put pressure on the natural environment in the West. The area unaffected by man’s intrusion is diminishing and in many places so is its biodiversity. Finland, with its abundance of forest, is not under threat because forest biodiversity is being encouraged in several ways. Forest in its natural state is protected, while in commercial forest environmental and nature management is practised. Commercial forests are of particular importance as they cover much more area than natural forests.
Biodiversity means three things:
1 2 3
Genetic diversity = genetic variations within living organisms. Species diversity = variations in the number and abundance of different species. Ecosystem diversity = variations in the features and abundance of habitats.
Today, we view forests as an entity where nature’s own cycle prevails. The modern approach to forest management tries to copy nature’s ways by taking account of the factors that affect forest growth: soil, undergrowth, micro-organisms, insects, fungi, food chains, and so on. The aim is to secure living conditions suitable for all living organisms. The protection of threatened and rare species is a key aim in safeguarding biodiversity. Finland has something like 43,000 different species of living organisms, and our knowledge of over half of these is incomplete. Only about 15,000 spe-
Regeneration of natural forest through forest ﬁres
Some parts survive the ﬁre – ancient/old pine Dead and rotting trees Pine from previous generation
Small-scale regeneration begins during ﬁnal stand stage
Forest ﬁre starts a new cycle
Broadleaved trees dominate in damp areas and pine in dry areas
Spruce comes later as undergrowth
Spruce begin to dominate
Rotting tree Old-growth trees left during felling Buffer zone along shore Rotting trees Dead and rotting trees left left during during thinning felling Old-growth tree from previous generation
Final stand stage
Regeneration felling starts a new cycle
Young stand stage: coniferous and broadleaved trees
Density and late cleaning/ thinning ensure good quality
Mixed forest with species distribution appropriate to site
cies are sufﬁciently well known for us to assess whether or not they are threatened. According to the latest estimate, made in 2000, Finland has some 1,500 threatened species, and almost half of these live in the forest. Species become threatened due to changes in the composition and age structure of tree species in the forest. Old-growth natural forests and numbers of rotting and burnt trees have diminished. Certain types of forest, such as old heathland forest and rich, grassy forest, which provide important habitats for many mosses, fungi and insects, have also diminished. In and around habitation, species are particularly threatened as more pastureland is left to become overgrown and because other traditional forms of land use are being discontinued. The building of roads, golf courses and holiday homes is also affecting natural habitats. Threatened species fall into three main groups in terms of how likely they are to become extinct: critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable. The near-threatened species are those that are rare and in decline but which cannot yet be classiﬁed as threatened. This also applies to poorly known species whose habitats are known to be threatened or in decline. Rare or threatened species often live in special habitats called ‘key biotopes’. These habitats are in their natural or semi-natural state and are clearly distinguished from their surroundings. The deﬁnition of key biotopes is included in forest and nature conservation legislation introduced in Finland in 1997. The Nature Conservation Act deﬁnes nine types of habitats whose essential features must be protected. These include natural or semi-natural hardwood stands, hazel woods, alder woods, juniper meadows, other wooded meadows, and large trees or groups of trees in an open landscape.
The Forest Act deﬁnes habitats of special importance whose features must not be altered. These include the immediate surroundings of streams, springs and small pools; patches of rich, grassy forest; grassy, fern-rich hardwood-spruce swamps; steep bluffs, gorges and ravines; and areas with sandy soils, exposed bedrock, boulder ﬁelds and ﬂood meadows, on all of which tree growth is slow. Plenty of information on these is available. The Forestry Development Centre Tapio has compiled recommendations for forest management. Metsähallitus and Finland’s forest products companies have published sets of guidelines covering silviculture and forest management. These place particular emphasis on identifying forest habitats of special importance, the establishment of broadleaved and mixed forest, and on consideration for smallscale habitat variations, landscape, game, and the multiple use of forests, including recreational use. There are several ways to safeguard biodiversity in a particular forest stand. Areas of forest earmarked for regeneration are kept small, and during felling a number of growing trees are left standing to give the new forest greater structural diversity. These older trees will later die and begin to decay, providing vital habitats for many species. Dead, but standing, trees together with logging waste are also left, because these will also eventually decay to provide nutrients for new growth. Controlled burning is sometimes used to produce more burnt trees. The aim of forest regeneration is to produce mixed forests wherever soil conditions allow. When forest trees are harvested, linear ‘corridors’ are left (e.g. along rivers) to allow both small and large animals to move from place to place and thus expand their population. All these individual measures and features help to enrich the land-
scape. The natural features of the forest are also considered when thinning is carried out. Birch and other broadleaved trees growing naturally in coniferous forest are retained as much as possible throughout the forest growth cycle. Junipers, willows, elms and other broadleaved trees are also left to grow. Bushes and undergrowth are not cleared unless necessary. Chemical agents are no longer used to combat destructive fungi and other pests. Forest management and biological methods are used instead. Take, for example, root rot: this fungus, which has caused immense tree damage, is now treated biologically using another fungus Phlebiopsis gigantea. When a tree has been felled, the stump is sprayed with a solution containing the fungus, thus preventing root rot from spreading. Fertilizer is used only in exceptional cases where peat and mineral soils lack sufﬁcient nutrients. Forest drainage is no longer practised because it adversely affects waterways. Instead, the condition of existing drainage systems is being improved. No drains are dug at all in forest sites of special natural importance. Drain improvement work is conducted according to a water pollution control programme, and all plans are approved by the region’s environment centre. Nature management in commercial forests is surveyed annually, irrespective of forest owner. The information gathered includes the occurrence of valuable habitats and their preservation during felling, the number of trees left standing to boost biodiversity, protection of watercourses, soil preparation, the standard of landscape management, and the cost of nature management. The last survey showed that the standard of nature management during felling, and the level of regeneration are now good.
Today, silvicultural work in commercial forests mimics nature’s own cycle, which means that commercial forests resemble forests growing in their natural state. Man’s intervention helps forests to grow faster.
In Finland, protected forests are classiﬁed as either strictly protected or protected. There are also forests were forestry work is subject to restrictions. In strictly protected forests all forestry work is prohibited. In the case of protected forests, careful logging is allowed, for example in the key biotopes speciﬁed in the Forest Act and Nature Conservation Act. Careful logging is also permitted in wilderness forests where nature management is practised. In those forests where forestry work is restricted, logging is not permitted if it conﬂicts with recreational and landscape values. Finland’s network of nature conservation areas is based on national conservation programmes. The ﬁrst national parks and strict nature reserves were established in 1938. Nature conservation programmes were developed during the 1970s, and today vast areas of mires, rich, grassy forest, shorelines, wilderness and old-growth forest are protected. Most of these conservation areas are now part of the EU’s Natura 2000 programme. A very small proportion of these Natura areas is actually new.
Protected forest and commercial forest subject to restrictions – areas and percentage of Finland’s total forest area
Class ha Strictly protected forest Protected forest Protected forest and commercial forest subject to restrictions 834,000 912,000
Forest % 4.1 4.5
Forest + poorly productive forest ha % 1,665,000 1,762,000 7.2 7.6
Source: Harmonization group for forest protection classiﬁcation and statistics (SUTI 2002), memorandum, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 2002:15.
The nature conservation debate in Finland has recently revolved around old-growth forests. The terms heard most frequently are ‘biodiversity’ and ‘virgin forest’. This is due to a growing understanding of biodiversity and to the international debate on nature conservation, which has focused speciﬁcally on oldgrowth forests. Old-growth forest, in which the trees are well past the recommended age for regeneration, is regarded as being of special conservation value. The trees in this type of forest are of different sizes and species, and there are several canopy layers. It may also be a forest dominated by old spruces. A forest of special conservation value may have old stumps or other minor traces of man’s activity. These do not detract from the area’s conservation value. Because of age or competition for growing space, some of the trees may be dead, yet still standing, fallen, or in some way damaged. Such forests are also often heavily overgrown. The programme for the protection of old-growth forests covers 344,000 hectares and is based on government decisions of principle between 1993 and 1996. Old-growth forests are also found in national parks and strict nature reserves as well as in conservation areas set up voluntarily by Metsähallitus and the Finnish Forest Research Institute. The deﬁnition of an old-growth forest varies, but a cautious estimate is that Finland has around one million hectares of such forest.
VOLUNTARY MEANS OF SAFEGUARDING DIVERSITY
The METSO forest biodiversity programme provides private forest owners with new voluntary means of protecting diversity. Among initiatives launched in 2003 were a scheme for trading in sites with special natural value, a tendering procedure for new sites meeting certain conservation and biological criteria, and forest biodiversity cooperation networks. Under the transaction of sites, forest owners are paid compensation for preserving or promoting natural values in their forests. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment are studying the possibility of setting up nature management areas.
Repovesi national park provides a good example of how attitudes are changing. It’s a wild, rugged area of high rocks, forests and lakes. It has Finland’s most spectacular rock-climbing in the form of a ridge rising sheer from the water. The land was owned by a major forest products company, who donated an area of 560 hectares to the state as a national park. The company designated another 1,200 hectares as a protected area – voluntarily and without compensation.
A BIOLOGIST’S WARNING
Impoverishment of natural diversity is a fate that awaits the industrial nations of the West. The situation in Finland is nowhere near as bad as in many densely populated countries. The well-known biologist and writer Edward O. Wilson has already sounded the alarm. In his book, ‘The Future of Life’, he says that what lies ahead is either an unprecedented collapse in the diversity of life on Earth, or else a coordinated effort on man’s part to secure a future based on damage limitation. Wilson believes that man must rectify his mistakes and use his knowledge and skill to help restore the diversity of nature.
as raw material
very year, Finland’s forests produce almost 80 million cubic metres of new wood, of which some 55 million cubic metres is harvested. Every year, forest growth exceeds removal by felling and natural loss. The forests, and the volume of wood in them, are growing all the time. About half of all timber harvested is obtained by thinning and the other half by felling prior to regeneration. The latter is aimed at either natural regeneration or regeneration by planting seeds or seedlings. Most forest is in private hands Of the wood raw material used by industry, 66% comes from private forests, 6% from state-owned forests, 5% from the forest products companies’ own forests and 23% from abroad. Over half of Finland’s forests are privately owned, a quarter is owned by the state and just under one-tenth by forest products companies. Most of the state-owned forests are located in eastern and northern Finland, while private and company-owned forests are largely in southern and central areas. There are some 300,000 private forest holdings covering more than ﬁve hectares. Their average size is just over 30 hectares.
Forest ownership in Finland
Forest, 20.0 million hectares
Private 61% State-owned 25% Forest products companies 9% Other 5%
Source: Finnish Forest Research Institute
The Forest Act requires that new forest be established after felling. This must be done either by natural regeneration or by planting seedlings or sowing seeds.
Finland’s forest balance 1960–2002
million cubic metres
Around 150,000 wood purchasing agreements are signed in Finland every year, providing private forest owners with income of something like 1.5 billion euros. Four-ﬁfths of these agreements concern sales on the stump, which means the seller gives the buyer the right to harvest trees marked in a particular area. The remainder are delivery contracts and cash sales, in which the seller does the felling at his own cost and supplies the buyer with the agreed amount of wood. Felling is carried out in some two per cent of Finland’s forests each year. The average age at which forest is regenerated is 80 years in southern Finland, but normally over 100 years in the north. The further north the forest, the slower is its growth. Under the Forest Act, new forest must be established after felling. The permitted methods are natural regeneration and the planting of seedlings or seeds. Some 200 million seedlings are planted in Finland’s forests each year. The species used are almost exclusively native to Finland: pine, spruce and birch. Thanks to modern timber harvesting and regeneration methods, forest regeneration in Finland is successful, even in very small areas. The average size of areas marked for regeneration is under two hectares in southern Finland and about ﬁve hectares in the north. Thinning is carried out when the young stand reaches the age of 10–20 years. More thinning is performed if necessary to ensure that the trees grow to be large and of good quality. Forest inventories since the 1920s A close watch is kept on forest growth and on the state and health of the forest. In fact Finland has pioneered the development of forest inventory methods. The results of forest resource inventories form a unique record from the 1920s to the present day. Forest inventories were ﬁrst performed using ﬁeld measurements. Although this traditional approach is still used, the multi-source inventory method is preferred today. This involves the use of geographic data systems and satellite pictures. A multi-source forest inventory uses a total of 150 variables to determine the state of the forest. Forest biodiversity and health, and changes in land use practices and ownership structure are also monitored.
40 Total removal Annual growth Industrial roundwood
0 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Source: Finnish Forest Research Institute
Origins of imported wood The Finnish forest industry imports around one-ﬁfth of its wood raw material, 90% of it from Russia and the rest from the Baltic countries. The environmental policy adopted by the industry in Finland requires that the origin of all purchased wood be known. This ensures that wood procurement is both sustainable and legal. Strict control is exercised. Information on wood origins is scrutinized both by the companies themselves and by outside bodies. Long-term conﬁdential contracts with selected partners help to boost local economies and provide employment in outlying areas. Most harvesting of industrial wood raw material worldwide is perfectly legal, but in some areas illegal felling is a serious problem. Felling in contravention of local regulations not just distorts competition but also presents a serious threat to the environment. The Finnish forest industry uses every means at its disposal to prevent illegal logging. One method that has proved useful is voluntary forest certiﬁcation, an idea that has been vigorously promoted.
hile walking or hiking in Finland’s forests you might meet a forest machine at work. City folk are often amazed at their size, and would prefer wood to be harvested in the good oldfashioned way by lumberjacks with horses and, in the winter, sledges. This, however, is just not realistic. Trees have been felled and brought to the roadside by machine for decades. Unlike in Finland, wood harvesting in most countries of the world still relies on methods in which the tree, without branches, is brought whole to a temporary stockpile or to the place where it will actually be processed. The method used in Finland and the rest of Europe is a cut-to-length logging system. Developed in Scandinavia, this employs a harvester to fell the trees, remove the branches and cut the stems to suitable length in the forest. Another machine, known as a forwarder, then carries these logs to the roadside to await transport to the mill. Traces left by machines in the forest are minimized by planning in advance a route that the machines then stick to. Because it is kinder to the forest, this Scandinavian logging method is becoming more common in the world’s more northerly forests. The felling head of the harvester contains an automatic measuring system, which suggests to the operator the best points at which to cross-cut the stem. The aim is to produce exactly the log lengths required for each mill’s process and at the same time ensure the forest owner gets the best price for his wood. At the end of each shift, the measuring system produces a report showing the volume and quality of the wood cut. This data is then sent by wireless communications to the machine contractor’s ofﬁce, road transport vehicles and to the wood’s ﬁnal destination, i.e. sawmill, pulp mill or paper mill. Forest machines and road transport vehicles are also ﬁtted with satellite positioning systems to assist navigation in the forest. Once cut, the wood does not stand long in stockpiles, as an order for it is usually waiting. Mills want their raw material while it is fresh. This also beneﬁts the forest, as any pests in the logs are unable to spread to living trees. A law is actually in force requiring softwood logs to be removed from the forest by certain dates in July–August.
the forest landscape
eople, particularly city-dwellers, rate the skill of forestry workers according to the forest landscape and the signs of harvesting work left behind – not on biological or economic grounds. Changes in the landscape draw criticism. The marks left by harvesting are especially noticeable during the ﬁrst summer following the work. But forests begin to grow again. Within two or three years, openings in the forest are covered with new seedlings and undergrowth. In fact bursting with new life. Special attention is given these days to the aesthetics of the forest landscape. Ex-
perts use the term ‘target landscape’. This means taking the regional features of the landscape into account when felling is planned. The aim is to keep the forest landscape attractive to the eye and in harmony with the wider landscape. There are several approaches. One is to ensure that areas marked for felling ﬁt the contours of the landscape. Another is to use buffer zones. The trees that are left standing are kept in clusters and include several species suitable for the landscape. Felling should be avoided or restricted where there are important landscape features such as hills, fells, forested shorelines, islands, ma-
jor trafﬁc routes, woodland close to population centres, or national heritage sites. It is recommended that seedlings should represent several tree species typical of that particular area. Taking care of the landscape is no simple matter. The aim is a balance between economic, aesthetic and ecological considerations. Someone once said that, “Forest landscaping is environmental art in practice. In artists’ circles it is not the practice to criticize work still in progress.” In other words, achieving a target landscape takes years. Nature has her own time scale, she doesn’t rush things like man does.
Regeneration felling takes into account not just biodiversity but also landscape values.
Finnish Forest Certiﬁcation System
Developed in 1997 to cater for Finnish conditions.
Canadian Standard Association
Developed by the Canadian authorities in consultation with several interest groups.
certiﬁcation: a guarantee of good forest management
Forest Stewardship Council
Introduced in 1993, originally to combat the destruction of tropical forests.
the early 1990s, it was thought that forest certiﬁcation would help to put an end to the destruction of tropical forests, which had been going on for a long time. In Finland, the destruction of forest has been prohibited by law for over 100 years. Because of the disappearance of tropical forests, more and more buyers of wood and paper products have become interested in the origins of the wood raw material. The result has been the introduction of several certiﬁcation systems designed to show that the raw material in question comes from forests that are sustainably managed. Certiﬁcation is therefore a guarantee of good forest management. Several certiﬁcation schemes are in use around the world. The most widely used is the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certiﬁcation Schemes (PEFC), to which belong over 20 countries from Europe and beyond, Finland included. Next comes the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The Finnish Forest Certiﬁcation System (FFCS), which has received PEFC approval, sets the criteria that must be met for forest management and use. The guiding principle is the ecologically, socially and economically sustainable use of forests. A key aim is continuous
improvement, which means keeping the criteria up to date. Certiﬁcates are granted by impartial organizations, who also oversee compliance. More than one-third of all Europe’s forests have been certiﬁed. In Finland, 95 per cent of forest has received FFCS certiﬁcation approved by PEFC. The variety of schemes in use is somewhat bewildering, particularly in view of the sometimes heated public debate over which is best. Creating a single global scheme, however, is difﬁcult because forests and forest ownership structures vary so much. There are currently moves in the international arena towards the mutual recognition of different schemes. Finland opted for PEFC certiﬁcation because its criteria correspond best with the rules approved by the different interest groups. PEFC certiﬁcation can be linked to the quality and environmental management systems used by the forest industry. And PEFC complies with the international standard ISO 14001 and with the EU’s environmental management scheme (EMAS). The key point, however, is that by favouring wood products bearing a credible certiﬁcate we are helping to promote sustainable forestry.
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certiﬁcation Schemes
A European framework for the mutual recognition of national forest certiﬁcation schemes.
Sustainable Forest Initiative
Developed by the American forest industry, mainly for management of American forests.
Tree Farm System
The world’s ﬁrst forest certiﬁcation system. Developed by private forest owners in the United States for their own forests.
Over 50 regional and national forest certiﬁcation schemes are in use around the world covering over 100 million hectares of forest.
GOALS OF FFCS Certiﬁcates are granted for a period of ﬁve years at a time. Compliance with the criteria is assessed annually, ensuring that forests are tended continuously. The aims of the criteria are to: • • • • • • maintain forest vitality and natural diversity protect soil and waterways preserve the forest’s social and cultural values safeguard the recreational value of forests secure the long-term proﬁtability of forestry ensure that no trees are felled commercially in protected forests
The world’s certiﬁed forests
PEFC (41%) FSC (27%) SFI (14%) TFS (12%) CSA (6%)
Source: Finnish Forest Foundation, 2002
Our forest heritage
“I want to carry on my father’s work of managing our forest. What he earned from the forest he used to educate his ﬁve children. He was still hard at work logging in the winter snow with a horse, sledge and chain saw when he was over 60.”
have a strong emotional attachment to the forest”, says Simo Helvilä. Simo is typical of today’s city-dwelling forest owners who have inherited their forest. He lives with his family in Espoo and works as a corporate telephone systems engineer. The forest he inherited from his father is two hours’ drive from his home. “Whatever spare time I have, I spend here in the forest. What brings me here is forest management, nature, hunting and childhood memories. It’s like being in the gym – I enjoy the physical challenge of cutting ﬁrewood.” “I want to carry on my father’s work of managing our forest. What he earned from the forest he used to educate his ﬁve children. He was still hard at work logging in the winter snow with a horse, sledge and chain saw when he was over 60.” Simo’s forest covers 22 hectares. Some of the forest is on ﬁelds where, as a boy, Simo helped his father cut hay and oats. “I’m disappointed I let the ﬁelds get overgrown. I should have cleared them, but I just hadn’t the time. There is one consolation though: the bushes provide cover for elk, and it’s a popular place with hunters during the season.” Simo is a member of the local forest management association, where he represents the views of a city-dwelling forest
owner. In this capacity he’s learned new things. What bothers him most is that his pine stands are badly overgrown. “My father was advised to plant pine here forty years ago, but the soil isn’t right for pine. When a storm blew down trees, I changed to spruce instead. My sons and I planted 4,000 spruce seedlings. And so far it looks promising.” Simo’s forests have been in use for three generations. At one time a road was made through them in winter to lake Päijänne. Along this road some 300 horses a day would pull sledges loaded with logs to the lake shore to be towed across when the ice melted. “Our neighbour’s wife served coffee from a stall, where the horse drivers would stop for a break. People here have lived off the forest in one way or another for centuries. Selling wood to industry isn’t that high on my list of priorities. My main concern is to get the forest to grow handsome-looking trees.” “I don’t underestimate the commercial value of forest. For farmers, forests have always been like a savings bank, providing them with a loan when they need it. We sold off our best spruces to industry when we were short of money. A visitor from the city was shocked at what he saw. That was three years ago, and now the area is populated by young spruce and birch. It was this that made the city-dweller realize: trees cut down are always replaced by new ones.”
eople in Finland enjoy what is known as ‘everyman’s right’. This gives everyone freedom of access to the countryside, private forests included. You can camp at the lakeside if there are no houses there. You are free to pick mushrooms and berries, but to make an open ﬁre you need the landowner’s permission. People’s gardens and their immediate surroundings must, of course, be respected: walking onto people’s jetties and over their gardens or areas under cultivation, let alone camping there, is not acceptable. You are not allowed to cut trees down or damage the natural environment. Hunting and ﬁshing are subject to permits, but simple rod-and-line ﬁshing is everyman’s right. Motor vehicles may only be driven on ofﬁcially designated roads. Marked hiking routes are there for people who don’t know the forest. Maps are available. Finland has plenty of companies who will arrange hiking trips, outings for bird and animal watching, canoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting and ﬁshing.
Welcome to the Finnish forest
The network of GR trails, which winds its way through the Alps, now extends north to Finland. Finland’s ﬁrst GR trail wends its way through Koli national park. As you sit by the campﬁre you begin to understand how the forest has become part of the Finns’ very soul. For thousands of years the forest has provided a place of refuge, a source of money and food, an energy bank, a storeroom, a place of solitude, a temple of healing and a veritable treasure chest of stories and legends. The ancient pantheistic religion of the Finns embraces a whole range of forest deities. The forest is embedded deep in the Finnish psyche. This is evident in culture, paintings, music, literature and even architecture. No wonder that many Finns still retreat to the depths of the forest to seek peace and to refresh their souls. Here the noise and bustle of the city and the pressure of work are forgotten. But it’s easy also to forget that forests have a commercial signiﬁcance. We must be constantly aware that for local people the forest is a source of livelihood.
wo decades ago, over half of our export earnings came from the forest industry. By the start of the new millennium, the electrical and electronics industries had caught up. The forest industry now accounts for a quarter of our exports, but this is a welcome trend. The economy of this small nation on the outskirts of Europe needs several legs to stand on in a changing global economy. The forest cluster in Finland employs about 200,000 people. The forest cluster is an interconnected network built around the forest and forest-related activities. It extends all the way from a forest worker pulling pine logs by motorized sledge in Lapland to a professor lecturing on global forest strategies in Helsinki. The forest cluster has an important impact on society. Almost 90 per cent of income from the sale of wood goes to private persons, usually to people living near the forests in question. Income from forests is important
to people living in the countryside. For many families the forest is a source of livelihood. Without the forests, more people would be leaving the countryside. The scale of the forest industry is shown by the fact that Finland is the world’s sixth biggest producer of paper and board. As a producer of softwood timber we are eighth, and in plywood production tenth. Despite the fact that Finland has only 0.5 per cent of the world’s forest. A high proportion of the input for production is domestic, and the impact percolates throughout the entire national economy. Forestry and the forest industry are still among the main sources of livelihood in most of Finland’s provinces. Primary production and processing have tended to move to more outlying areas, counteracting the ﬂow of population towards the already densely populated south. This further underscores the forest sector’s importance as an employer, strengthens rural economies, and boosts the nation’s domestic product.
Finland lives off its forests
Forests are Finland’s most precious natural resource. Our prosperity and well-being are founded on forestry and the forest industry.
The forest industry in Finland
In Finland, the forest cluster comprises forestry, the pulp, paper, board and wood products industries, manufacturers of the machinery, equipment, information technology, software and chemicals needed by them, the packaging and graphic industries, energy producers, logistics and consulting ﬁrms, and research institutes and universities. Board manufacturers work closely together with the food packaging industry. And the wood products industry is strongly geared to the building industry.
the forest cluster
THE FOREST INDUSTRY IN FINLAND
Industrial sector Production volume 2002 10.0 2.7 11.7 2.0 13.3 1,240 410 101 Exports, % of production 91 85 16 90 72 87 42 65 Number of production plants 28 14 43 14 170* 16 3 2
Paper, mill. t Board, mill. t Pulp, mill. t - market pulp Sawmilling, mill. cu.m Plywood, 1,000 cu.m Particleboard, 1,000 cu.m Fibreboard, 1,000 t *) industrial sawmills
Processing within the forest cluster is worth 12 billion euros a year. Turnover is roughly 35 billion euros. Annual spending on domestic research and development is 252 million euros. The forest cluster accounts for 10% of gross national product, 30% of industrial production and 30% of exports. The forest cluster is expected to remain Finland’s biggest cluster for at least several decades. Annual growth is forecast to reach as much as 3–4%.
importance to the national economy
pulp, paper and board industry
Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation
The pulp and paper industry exports 90% of its production. In 2002, exports were worth some 9 billion euros. Paper accounts for two-thirds of exports. The paper exported is largely highly processed printing and writing grades. The industry is heavily committed to product development into printability, the eco-papers of the future and intelligent packagings.
The wood products industry exports about half of its output. Exports are worth around 3 billion euros a year. The sawmilling and panel products sectors are seeking to raise the value added in processing through new processing and surface treatment methods and structural timber products for building. Product development work is directed towards the building industry, housing and design. Joinery, furniture industry and the manufacture of products for building systems are expected to show the fastest growth.
Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation
wood products industry
In terms of knowhow, the Finnish forest industry is a world leader. Some 30% of all pulp and paper-making machinery used in the world today was developed and manufactured in Finland. As a manufacturer of machinery for sawmilling and plywood production Finland ranks with the world’s best. And Finland is a major producer of the chemicals needed in pulp, paper and board production. Finnish automation and control systems, valves, gears, pumps and forest machines are important export items. Finland is home to several of the world’s most successful forest industry consultancy ﬁrms. Two of the ﬁelds to look out for in the future are biotechnology and equipment for bioenergy production.
Environment systems are a vital part of today’s forest industry. During the past 15 years the forest industry has invested an average of 100 million euros annually in environmental protection. The forest industry has worked to develop its environmental management systems in line with the international ISO 14001 environment standard. The EU has introduced
a voluntary eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS), the requirements of which extend somewhat beyond those of standard ISO 14001. Registration under EMAS requires mills to have an environmental management system, an environment policy and a public environmental statement – all inspected and approved by outside expert bodies. They are also required to carry out audits. ISO 14001 has been approved by the European Commission as meeting the demands of EMAS. Almost all Finland’s pulp and paper mills already have certiﬁed environmental management systems, half of them with EMAS registration. The remaining mills are currently in the process of establishing environmental management systems. Almost half of the country’s sawmills and panel products mills employ environmental management systems, and half of these systems have received EMAS registration. Environmental management systems are also employed by most companies in their own forest management and wood procurement. The forest industry also has to comply with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act. All activities are subject to environmental permits.
Environmental protection investment by the Finnish forest industry
Other environmental protection
Waste management Air pollution control
Water pollution control
2001 1993 1994 1996 1997 1998 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1995 1999 2000 2002
Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation
the rural network economy
Forestry and the forest industry lived in a network economy for over a hundred years before the term ‘network economy’ was even invented. Networking is of immense signiﬁcance for a regional economy. The Finnish forest industry has spread its operations throughout the country, choosing well-forested areas to be close to its raw material. Its production inputs are entirely domestic and therefore beneﬁt the area’s economy far more than, say, the satellite plants of the electronics industry. The renowned physicist and network researcher Albert-Laszlo Barabasi claims that all the world’s strong information networks are a complex array of intersecting points, or nodes. Finland’s network of forest-related sectors could have been taken straight from Barabasi’s book ‘Linked: The New Science of Networks’. The forest industry’s production plants are the nodes around which has developed a complex network of subcontractors, family businesses, small-scale industry, institutes of learning, and professional bodies. Most of the country’s wood products manufacturers also operate in rural areas close to these nodes.
he Finnish forest industry is not a major source of air pollution. Mill emissions have been cut to just a fraction of what they once were, despite a massive increase in production volumes. To take an example, over the past ten years sulphur emissions from pulp mills have fallen by more than 80%, while particulate emissions have dropped by over 70%. Bringing emissions under control has required a huge amount of research, time and investment. The level of commitment is shown by the fact that the forest industry spends ten million euros on air pollution control. Every year. The principal emissions to air from forest industry operations are sulphur compounds from pulp mills and nitrogen oxides from energy generation. Reduced sulphur compounds are formed during chemical pulping. The sulphate pulping process involves cooking wood in huge digesters, where the wood ﬁbres are separated from the other wood components. The ﬁbre is then used in making paper and board. Some of the chemicals used in sulphate pulping contain sulphur, and any reduced sulphur compounds that escape into the air cause a smell. Our noses detect even very low concentrations of these gases.
In recent years the forest industry has worked hard to reduce its sulphur emissions by improving the collection and handling of these gases. Flue gases and process gases are cleaned very efﬁciently in what are called scrubbers. The main source of carbon dioxide emissions is energy generation. The forest industry generates much of the energy it needs in-house. The fuels are by-products from production: bark, chips and black liquor from chemical pulping. Its purchased fuels are peat, natural gas and oil. The industry’s energy-generating plants employ modern techniques for the treatment of ﬂue gases. Carbon dioxide emissions from bioenergy production are regarded as neutral, as they do not pollute the atmosphere. A high proportion of the energy purchased is either hydropower or nuclear power, neither of which produce CO2 emissions. Attempts to reduce emissions of the nitrogen oxides formed in energy generation have not been quite so successful. Nitrogen oxide emissions have risen along with rising production levels. Much progress has been made, but investing in powerful new technologies is extremely expensive and transition times are long.
THE FORESTS ARE ALIVE AND WELL
Europe’s forests were in difﬁculties during the 1980s. Tree growth had slowed down and trees were losing their leaves and needles and turning yellow. An environmental disaster was averted when the malaise disappeared. Now Europe’s trees are growing and, in many places, growing well. The cause of the problem was thought to be acidiﬁcation of the soil due to acid rain resulting from air pollution by industry and trafﬁc. But researchers now believe the problem was associated with tree age. The situation could change, as air pollution from industry, trafﬁc and urbanization worldwide is accelerating climate change and depletion of the ozone layer.
Particulate emissions to air by the Finnish pulp and paper industry
Particles, 1,000 tonnes/year
Trend in sulphur emissions from the Finnish pulp industry
Sulphur, 1,000 tonnes/year
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation
From energy generation From pulp production
Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation
inland is blessed with some 150,000 lakes and an abundance of groundwater. Out in the country almost every farm and summer cottage draws drinking water from its own well. Our water resources are so plentiful and of such high quality that our drinking water is even becoming an important export item. The importance of water is growing worldwide. After oil, water is likely to be the next natural resource over which political power struggles will be fought globally. Water is a gift of nature whose value we have only just begun to comprehend. Finland awoke to the issue in the 1970s, when oxygen depletion and ﬁsh fatalities resulting from eutrophication of our waterways began to reach alarming levels. The problem arose due to high loads of nitrogen and phosphorus, the primary sources being agricultural fertilizers and acid rain caused by trafﬁc emissions. The forest industry was not completely blameless, but events did trigger a determined effort to curb emissions that has been going on for 30 years. A new approach was essential. Many economists argue that the forest industry would never have grown to its present scale if the problem of water pollution had not been properly solved. Of all the different production stages, it is pulp bleaching that places the greatest loading on waterways. The process requires large amounts of water. Much progress in cutting emissions has been made, however. The aim is to make processes as stable as possible and thus minimize accidental discharges. Any that do occur are regarded as extremely serious.
Pulping and papermaking processes have been developed in line with the principle of ‘lean resources’. This means they now use less wood raw material, chemicals, ﬁllers, pigments and energy. Many mills have been modernized. Water consumption by new mills is only a fraction of what it used to be. Although there is no shortage of water in Finland, process water is recycled and used many times over. The use of elemental chlorine in pulp bleaching was discontinued in the early 1990s because of its environmental impact. Chlorine was replaced by chemicals that cause far less harm to the environment. The pulping process as a whole has been further developed by extending cooking, washing the pulp more efﬁciently, and employing oxygen-based chemicals for bleaching. In modern pulp mills, pulp is bleached using chlorine dioxide, hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. Another bleaching process uses just oxygen and ozone. The wastewaters are, in most cases, treated biologically using an activated sludge process. This reduces the oxygen demand of the wastewater by 50–95% and the organic chlorine content by 50–70%. Nutrient reductions are 40–70% (in some cases up to 90%) for phosphorus and 30–50% for nitrogen. The wood products industry uses little or no water in its production processes. No separate wastewater treatment is therefore needed. Instead, the industry’s wastewaters are treated along with municipal wastewater. The use of chlorinated phenols, which cause soil pollution, was discontinued at sawmills long ago.
Finnish pulp and paper industry production and effluent loadings
Loading, 1,000 tonnes/year � Production, mill. tonnes/year
Nitrogen loads to waterways
Total load 80,663 tonnes/year
14 12 10
Precipitation 20% Forestry 5% Rural habitation 3% Agriculture 50%
8 6 4
Peat production 1% Fur farming 1% Fish farming 1% Communities 15% Other industry 1% Pulp and paper industry 3%
Source: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Paper and board
*BOD7 = Biological oxygen
Source Finnish Forest Industries Federation
Phosphorus loads to waterways
Total load 4,363 tonnes/year
Organic chlorine compound discharges by the Finnish pulp industry
Organic chlorine compounds (AOX), kg/tonne of bleached pulp
Precipitation 9% Forestry 8% Rural habitation 8%
Agriculture 59% Peat production 1% Fur farming 1%
Fish farming 3% Communities 5%
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Other industry 1% Pulp and paper industry 5%
Source Finnish Forest Industries Federation
Source: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
If you’d like to know how your local forest industry plant handles its environmental protection, ask for its environmental report. Or phone the person responsible for environmental affairs. No information will be held back. The plant listens to and respects local people. Individual mill emissions and the names and phone numbers of people responsible for environmental issues can be found in the Finnish Forest Industries Federation publication ‘Environmental Report’ on the internet, address www.forestindustries.ﬁ/publications
More from less
he forest industry makes very efﬁcient use of its raw material. And almost all its by-products are utilized in secondary production. For example, wood chips – a by-product of sawmilling – are an important raw material for pulp and particleboard production. The cooking chemicals used in pulping are recovered from the black liquor and re-used, while the dissolved wood components are also recovered and used in the mills’ own bioenergy plants to generate electricity and heat. The wood industry uses some of its by-products to generate bioenergy. The forest industry makes virtually full use of all its wood raw material. The amounts of waste produced by the forest industry have fallen year by year. In fact, the word ‘waste’ in this connection is starting to be out of date. Today, it is more appropriate to say that the forest industry produces a wide range of by-products for different purposes. Ash from energy generation and ﬁbre-containing sludge from paper manufacture have potential in civil engineering. The leading forest products companies are engaged in a joint project that has already yielded innovative ways of using once problematic wastes. Ash has been used as a building material in jogging tracks and light trafﬁc routes. Fibre sludge has been used to reinforce the ﬂoors of landﬁll sites and for capping and landscaping old landﬁll sites. Excellent results have been obtained. Some waste fractions are difﬁcult to use, and these are still sent to landﬁll sites. However, several projects are in progress to ﬁnd ways of utilizing them. Forest products are not waste even after they have been used. Paper products are either recycled or burned. If unsuitable for reuse, wood-based building waste can be burned and its high energy content recovered. Very little problem waste is formed. Even oil from machinery is sent for reprocessing.
INNOVATIVE USE OF FIBRE CLAY AND ASH
Thousands of people living in central Finland enjoy downhill skiing, but the land there is fairly ﬂat. Himos ski resort is starting to resemble an Alpine resort thanks to ﬁbre clay and ash from nearby paper mills. These materials are being used to raise the heights of the resort’s slopes. A test structure has been erected, and the regional environment centre is happy with the result. The work will be completed in the next few years, raising the slope by 12 metres. The area concerned covers 2.7 hectares.
Landfill waste from pulp and paper mills in Finland
Source Finnish Forest Industries Federation
he forest industry needs a lot of energy. Its electricity consumption is almost 26 TWh a year, about a third of Finland’s total consumption. Most of this energy is used in producing pulp and paper. On the other hand, a pulp mill is itself a notable energy producer. Chemical pulping removes lignin from the wood ﬁbres. This lignin dissolves in the cooking liquors to form black liquor, which is burned to recover the cooking chemicals for re-use in the process. At the same time a large amount of wood-based energy is released. A pulp mill thus actually produces more energy than it needs, so that it can supply heat and electricity both to the adjoining paper mill and often to the local community as well. The process used in the forest industry is called combined heat and power production – the most efﬁcient way to convert fuel into energy. Mechanical pulping, in which wood ﬁbres are removed by either grinding or reﬁning, requires more energy than chemical pulping. On the other hand, it utilizes over 95% of the wood. The wood products industry makes 100% use of its wood raw material. Bark and sawdust are biofuels for energy generation. As far as heat energy is concerned the industry is self-sufﬁcient.
The forest industry gets almost half of all the electricity it needs from its own energy-generating plants. Just over half is purchased, and most of this is hydropower, nuclear power or gas-generated power. Less electricity is now generated from fossil fuels like coal and heavy fuel oil. Modern mills and process equipment are more energyefﬁcient. But there has been a price to pay for this. While improved production processes save energy, environmental protection has consumed some of the beneﬁts. Ultra-modern biological wastewater treatment plants, electrostatic precipitators and the switch to oxygen bleaching have raised electricity consumption. One might say that technological progress is subject to an ‘ideological environment tax’. But the higher energy requirement can be offset by producing energy more cleanly. Stumps as well as logging residues can now be used as biofuel as they have a high energy content. And removing stumps has been shown to promote the start of new trees, because once cleared of stumps, the ground is easier to prepare for better yields. It also prevents the spread of root rot.
PROGRESS IS A QUESTION OF ATTITUDE
Mill fuels used by the forest industry in 2002
Finland’s forest industry is one of the most progressive in the world. In March 2003, the top two companies in the forest industry group of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index were Finnish. The leading companies in the group were all striving for ethically strong business activities meeting economic, environmental and social criteria. They also demonstrated an innovative and intelligent approach to the use of new research ﬁndings. We can also be proud of the fact that, in 2002, Finland was voted the world’s leading country in terms of ethically and ecologically sustainable consumption, environmental protection and corporate competitive ability. The honour was conferred by the highly prestigious World Economic Forum.
Total 270,000 terajoules
Wood-based fuels 71.8% Peat 6.4% Natural gas 15.7% Heavy fuel oil 5.7% Coal 0.4%
Source Finnish Forest Industries Federation
On the crest of a wave
The arrival of the new millennium has brought with it a search for authenticity, honesty and sustainable values. Homes that are in harmony with their occupiers’ personalities are in vogue. Natural materials are making a comeback. These are some of the ﬁndings from recent European value surveys. In Finland, a new generation of artisans has emerged: joiners, designers and interior architects. All have rediscovered the beauty and simplicity of Finnish woods. Good, honest birch, pine, spruce, alder and aspen are back.
Birch plywood bowl/Petri Vainio, Show Room Finland range
The charm of wood
“A tree, and therefore wood, is a living creature fashioned by nature from the Earth for us to use. This is why I value wood far more than artiﬁcial materials. You could describe wood as ‘sexy’ in a subtle way. It just needs the hand of man to look beautiful and to become strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life – such as coffee and wine stains.”
nterior design is part of the environment”, says Kaisa Blomstedt, one of Finland’s best-known interior architects. “When I want to create a truly inspiring interior I use wood, because it touches our emotions”, she adds philosophically. “A tree, and therefore wood, is a living creature fashioned by nature from the Earth for us to use. This is why I value wood far more than artiﬁcial materials. You could describe wood as ‘sexy’ in a subtle way. It just needs the hand of man to look beautiful and to become strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life – such as coffee and wine stains.” “Used in interiors, wood is almost human as it evokes in us an emotional reaction. That’s why I use wood carefully and with respect. A wood surface plays the leading role, it’s the prima donna, and other materials play supporting roles. The purpose of wood is to send out positive vibrations to its surroundings. With the right lighting, the surface really comes alive.” “Artiﬁcial materials just don’t suit a wooden house.” Kaisa Blomstedt is clearly inspired by the charm of wood. She regards it as a material that is never ordinary. “In my work I aim to achieve a good and lasting feeling rather than opt for the trend of the moment, which disappears with the next wave of fashion.”
Wooden houses – a statement for the environment
hundred years ago almost all houses in Finland were built from wood. Stone was only used for churches, town halls and cowsheds. In those days, most Finnish men were capable of building their own houses. They cut the wood from their own forests or bought it from their neighbours. Wooden houses are embedded deep in the Finnish psyche. Many Finns still regard a wooden house as the only real home. Close to 90 per cent of our one-family houses are built of wood, and building with wood now seems to have embarked on a sharp rise. There are several reasons, though perhaps the main one is expressed in the words of Dr. Markku Karjalainen, whose doctoral thesis was devoted to progress in the art of building with wood: “With the increasing importance of ecological considerations in the building industry, the popularity of building with wood is growing.” The resurgence of interest in building with wood is partly due to the hard work put in by the wooden house industry and the wood products industry. The wood products industry has developed building systems in which the same standardized structural components can be used in building one-family houses, row houses and
multi-storey residential buildings. In terms of ﬁre safety and sound insulation they meet the strictest standards and building regulations. Wooden structures are now stronger than ever thanks to the use of laminated veneer lumber and glue-laminated beams, which have excellent load-bearing capacity. The advent of these new-generation wood products makes it possible to build bigger and stronger constructions such as bridges, concert and sports halls, schools and multi-storey buildings. Innovations in wood treatment methods have improved resistance to rot and weather. The new chemical impregnating agents and heat and pressure treatments do not involve substances that might harm the environment. Craftsmanship, too, is once again valued. People with the skills needed to build from wood were disappearing, but a new, well-trained generation has taken their place. And no wonder, as the profession of carpenter has been classed as the most creative in the world. Wooden houses are making a remarkable comeback, because wood is an ecological building material. This is a statement on behalf of energy consumption and the environment. Using more wood is the easiest way to reduce the environmental impact of building.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES IN WOODEN ARCHITECTURE
A new resurgence is under way in Finnish wooden architecture. Wood is a natural material for the construction of ‘eco-homes’ and ecological residential areas. Several architects’ ofﬁces have begun to specialize in designing wooden houses. The number of skilled building engineers is growing. The same trend is visible in architectural training, where a new emphasis is being given to milieu considerations, comfortable living, the requirements of residents, and the ecological aspects of building with wood. The language of form is now free. Anything goes: futuristic wooden constructions and traditional log homes ﬁtted with the latest technology. Whole urban areas of wooden buildings are being restored. Modern wooden towns are being built nearby based on plans and designs that seek harmony between old and new. The new international language of form comes partly from the Sprit of Nature Wood architectural competition, which has been won by Renzo Piano of Italy and Kengo Kuma of Japan. The winning entries featured a reﬁned use of wood and a deep understanding of the nature of wood as a building material.
WOOD IS KIND TO PEOPLE
Wooden structures exude friendliness. Inside a building, wood surfaces balance out the temperature and humidity of the air. Wood even breathes, so that the air inside a properly built wooden house is pleasant and healthy. Wood does not cause allergies. Wood smells nice and is pleasant to the touch. Wood can be recycled. It’s the material for people who are good with their hands. With age it acquires a beautiful patina. Properly built and looked after, a wooden house lasts for many years. The oldest wooden building still in use in Finland dates from the 15th century. Finland also has hundreds of wooden churches and manor houses dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Just to remind us that wood has been supporting sustainable development for hundreds of years.
In North America, over 90% of multi-storey buildings are made of wood. Local builders know from more than 120 years’ experience that wood is less expensive than concrete. The Scots, who are well known for their thriftiness, agree. Over 60% of homes in Scotland are built from wood. The Scots argue that building from wood is faster and thus saves money. In France, there are moves to raise the proportion of wooden houses by 25%, because using wood in building reduces the consumption of materials that give rise to emissions during their manufacture. The manufacture of wooden structures does not give rise to emissions, so that a wooden house is ecologically sound. In Finland, 43% of new houses are built from wood, while 90% of one-family houses have timber frames. The proportion of wooden houses is thought to be embarking on a sharp rise. This is supported by an opinion survey conducted among residents of multi-storey wooden houses by the department of architecture at the University of Oulu. There was no doubt about their satisfaction. Most of all they regarded their homes as cosy and pleasant places to live. And they regarded the air inside their homes as better than in concrete-built blocks.
These photographs show structural experiments made by the architects’ ofﬁce Pook Oy, which specializes in wooden buildings. “A wooden building does honour to its surroundings and is close to our senses”, Pook proclaims. In its designs, the company seeks solutions with lasting life cycles and that meet ecological, structural and economic criteria. For curved structures it advocates glue-laminated beams, which are lighter and stronger than reinforced concrete structures of the same thickness.
The eco-house of the future
erection of a steel beam consumes 3.5 times more energy than a wooden beam. Energy consumption for an aluminium beam is 15 times higher. A concrete sandwich element wall consumes eight times more natural resources than the equivalent timber-frame wall. The ﬁgure for a wall composed of wood and bricks is 4.5 times higher. Over a period of 100 years, a concrete element wall consumes twice as much natural resources as a timber-frame wall. When a concrete wall is demolished, it consumes more natural resources, while a wall made of wood can still be used to generate energy. These few examples show just where the world is heading. As greater harmony is achieved in European building regulations, more builders and the clients who commission work from them will attach greater importance to a house’s ‘ecological rucksack’ and to ensuring that the building materials chosen do not contribute to climate change. It should also be remembered that Finland’s wooden buildings contain – locked away – some 3.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per inhabitant. All told, over 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are sequestered within our wooden buildings.
In the old days, houses were built to last from one generation to the next. We then entered the modern era with its frantic pace: we build faster but not to last. But now common sense has been restored, and building is geared to sustainable development. The eco-house of the future will have a life span three times longer than that of present houses. Structural components will last at least twice as long. The same applies to domestic appliances and equipment. The home will be easily modiﬁed as the family grows. It will also be easy to move from place to place. The ideal solution is a low-energy house with efﬁcient heat insulation and only a narrow range of equipment. Renewable bioenergy such as solar energy, geothermal energy and ﬁrewood will be used as supplementary energy sources. Homes will be designed so that they are easy to repair, service, dismantle, move to another site, exchange and reuse. Old and excess building materials will be taken away for recycling. An eco-house can, of course, be built from materials other than wood, but the criteria set out above suit wood perfectly.
Wooden houses and eco-efﬁciency
co-efﬁciency means achieving more from less natural resources and at the same time easing the load on the environment and cutting both emissions and wastes. Other terms used are natural resource efﬁciency, material efﬁciency and environmental performance. Several different ways of calculating and quantifying these terms are in use worldwide, and the EU is currently working on standardization to deﬁne the criteria for environmental performance. This work also has implications for the building profession, which it will help to steer in the right direction. In Finland, the eco-efﬁciency of construction has been studied using a method known as Material Input Per Service. The study took into account the energy needed to manufacture the building material in question, the construction work and the need for heating and maintenance. It considered the building’s entire life cycle and the ecological footprint it leaves. The only buildings that were able to compete with wooden houses were experimental types made from straw bales and clay. The eco-efﬁciency of a wooden house is the sum of numerous factors. Here are some examples: Growing trees does not consume energy, unlike the manufacture of aluminium, steel, concrete, glass and plastic. The manufacture and
Progress cannot be held back
Using wood is sensible and fair for the environment
Fossil energy consumed in the manufacture of different building materials
Material Sawn timber Steel Concrete Aluminium Fossil energy consumption MJ/kg 1.5 35 2 435 Fossil energy consumption MJ/m3 750 266,000 4,800 1,100,000
Source: Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation. www.fwprdc.org.au Source of the information presented on pages 50–51: Eco-efﬁciency in the building industry, Arto Saari D.Tech., Construction Economics and Management Unit, Helsinki University of Technology. Edited by Erja Heino, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.
Finland has launched several future-oriented projects designed to promote the image of Finnish wood products on world markets. The Future Home is an R&D project initiated by the City of Helsinki and the University of Art and Design Helsinki and involving more than 30 Finnish organizations. Although the project is not concerned exclusively with building from wood, it will nevertheless generate valuable information for this particular sector of the building industry. The Modern Wooden Town is a nationwide project aimed at promoting the use of wood in building. The project was set up by universities and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Its purpose is to strengthen scientiﬁc research into building with wood, as well as the related architecture, construction techniques, environmental science and technology, wood processing and civil engineering. The project has already provided the wooden house industry with much information for its product development work. The number of areas planned for modern wooden towns in different parts of Finland will rise to 30 in the next few years. The Centre of Expertise for Wood Products is based around a network of ten universities and research institutes. The centre develops innovative wood products and researcher training, and promotes wood product exports and business concepts. Its most important partner in this work is the WoodFinland action programme, whose aim is to raise the processing value of Finnish wood products. Wood Studios have been set up at the University of Art and Design Helsinki and in the departments of architecture of several universities. The Wood Studio at Helsinki University of Technology has gained a worldwide reputation as a result of its projects completed in Helsinki. The Wood Studio at the University of Art and Design Helsinki specializes in making varied use of wood in design and interior architecture. Basic instruction covers ecological issues, recycling and sustainable development. Just more bureaucracy? No, it’s the start of something big. The Wood Studio at the University of Oulu, for example, has contributed to a residential area of wooden houses to be built in Oulu, and is also inﬂuencing the way builders design their building process.
RGY USEFUL ENE
S FROM TWIG
ventir, is a new in Slash Bundle 3.2 metres long ’ harvester, or wood ‘fuel logs and, The energy sidues into nd 500 kg s logging re weighs arou on that turn ameter. Each t of roughly 1 MWh. cm in di and 60–70 gy conten hen emplo, has an ener -effective w when burned ndler is at its most cost d. It can also l roundwoo The Slash Bu (see page g of industria a harvester the harvestin yed during a partner to e smallwood for the as g thinning s th ct serve durin es and colle fells the tre 18), which hine. The into bales. r to compact cast for this new mac and the Slash Bundle ture is fore to measure are easy A bright fu rt chain ass collected and transpo g biom e harvestin modern amounts of pped with to store. Th sy equi bales are ea , and the machine is thly works smoo technology. and logistics information
ioenergy is a clean, renewable and environment-friendly source of domestic energy that complies with the principles of sustainable development. Finland is working to slow down the greenhouse effect by gradually reducing its use of fossil fuels, which it is replacing with renewable bioenergy sources such as logging chips, bark and sawdust. All the requirements are there. We have more forest per head of population than any other country in Europe. Our forests are growing well. The smallwood and logging residues remaining in the forest have become ‘green gold’, which now plays a key role in the international strategy on climate change. The forest industry already uses its wood raw material with 90% efﬁciency. Some 20% of all energy consumed in Finland is generated from wood. More than in any other EU country. Even so, large amounts of logging waste such as branches, crowns and smallwood unsuitable for industrial processing remain in the forest. This is a sizable energy reserve that has so far been used relatively little. At the turn of the new century Finland launched a technology programme concerning wood as a source of bioenergy. Taking part in the programme are 50 or so of the country’s top forest product and energy companies, research institutes and universities. The programme has a budget of over 40 million euros. One of the aims is to treble the use of forest residues. Experts envisage an even greater increase.
THE ECO-ENGINE The search is on worldwide for ways to cut emissions from trafﬁc. The EU countries are engaged in a joint project to develop an eco-engine that will run on hydrogen-enriched fuel produced from biomass. The beneﬁts would include clean exhaust emissions. Large-scale use of the engine will require extensive forest plantations. ENERGY CELLS In Finland, even tree stumps are being used to generate energy. Stumps have a surprisingly high energy content. They are dry and therefore burn cleanly. Stump removal also beneﬁts the forest by facilitating regeneration. And harvesting the stumps helps to prevent the spread of harmful fungi. BIOENERGY AND NATURAL BIODIVERSITY Declining biodiversity is of great concern to us all. In generating bioenergy we must consider how and from where biomass is collected. It is not a good idea, for example, to remove all logging residues from the forest. Some should be left to decay, releasing nutrients into the soil and offering habitats for many living organisms.
inland has over 200 plants generating bioenergy. Most of these are operated by the forest industry. Modern biopower plants employ ﬂuidized bed combustion, in which wood chips are dried and burned at high temperature in a suspension of sand particles. Combustion is highly efﬁcient, and environmentally harmful emissions are low. Even cleaner combustion is achieved by pre-drying the chips. The world’s biggest biopower plant is in operation in Pietarsaari, western Finland. Its output is impressive: 550 MW. The plant is located close to large-scale pulp and paper mills and sawmills. Its biofuels are wood chips, bark, peat, sawmill waste, unrecyclable waste
paper and non-toxic industrial plastic waste. The plant generates electricity, process steam and district heat for the nearby mills. Some electricity is also supplied to local energy companies and some district heat to the town of Pietarsaari. The new biopower plant is a Finnish-Swedish joint project. Although it has only been in operation for a short time, its performance has been extremely encouraging. It has already shown that bioenergy is a feasible alternative to fossil fuels. The plant has also aroused great interest internationally, and has given new impetus to the global debate about whether large-scale power plants in forestry countries should be replaced by smaller units.
ENERGY GLOBE AWARD TO FINLAND
Pietarsaari’s new biopower plant and the developer of its biofuel procurement system won joint-second prize at the Energy Globe awards ceremony in Austria in March 2002. The purpose of the competition is to promote the use and economic viability of renewable energy. The competition attracted 1,300 energy projects from 98 countries. The Companies category was won by a Spanish wind power project. Sharing second prize was E+Co/United Nations Foundation, which provides seed capital for developing countries to establish energy companies based on sustainable development. The competition jury praised the Pietarsaari biopower plant for its exemplary and pioneering work as a large-scale user of bioenergy. The plant generates energy from logging residues obtained from forest thinning and felling. This fuel is brought to the plant in the form of compressed bales produced by an energy wood harvester.
ecycled ﬁbre is an important raw material for the paper industry. However, wood ﬁbre cannot be recycled indeﬁnitely. After it has been recycled 3–5 times, the ﬁbre loses its strength. This means that some new ﬁbre from paper that has not been recycled must always be added to the mix. Recycling thus involves the same wood ﬁbres but at different stages of their life cycles. The Finnish paper industry makes paper largely from new wood ﬁbre, as this will eventually impart added strength to recycled ﬁbre paper produced in continental Europe. Transporting recovered paper is both expensive and hard on the environment, and mills that use recovered paper as their raw material are therefore located close to the biggest sources in central Europe. Recovered paper is used to make products such as packaging materials, newsprint and tissue paper. Paper collection and the number of collection points are increasing rapidly everywhere in the world. It is forecast that, by 2010, half of the world’s papermaking ﬁbre will be obtained from recycling. In Europe, this ﬁgure has already been achieved. Leading the way is Germany, which collects almost 75% of all its used paper and board. Next comes Finland with 72%, an excellent achievement considering that we are a sparsely populated country with long transport distances. People in rural areas prefer to burn their waste paper rather than bring it to collection points in towns. Packaging boards are another important source of ﬁbre. Packagings used by trade and industry have been collected and re-used for decades. Collection of liquid packagings like milk and drinks cartons has so far reached only 15% in Finland. However, this recovery rate is rapidly rising. New collection points are opening up, and information campaigns are teaching the Finns to compress their used cartons tightly one inside another. And rightly so, as under the Waste Act, landﬁlling is the last option for disposal of milk and drinks cartons. Greater priority is being given to recycling and energy generation.
Paper recycling is growing
ALUMINIUM RECOVERY FROM PACKAGINGS
In Finland, even the aluminium from multi-layer food packagings is recovered. A process called Ecogas recovers not just aluminium but the wood ﬁbre and plastic components too. The plastic and aluminium are converted into a gas, from which aluminium is recovered in the form of granules. The stumbling block with earlier attempts at separation was the fact that aluminium is readily oxidized, but this has now been overcome. The aluminium is then cast into blocks for reﬁning and re-use. The recovered wood ﬁbre is used to make coreboard, while the plastic is burned to generate electricity. The recycling plant in Finland is the ﬁrst of its kind in the world. Widespread use of the process would signiﬁcantly reduce environmental loadings due to aluminium, plastic and salts.
Collection rates for used paper and board in Europe, 2002
% Germany Finland Switzerland Norway Austria Sweden Netherlands Spain Belgium France Denmark UK Portugal Italy Greece Ireland 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation Collection of used paper and board in Finland, 1944–2002
All grades, 1,000 tonnes
800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100
1995 2000 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990
Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation
The future of paper and wood
few years ago, information technology enthusiasts were proclaiming the imminent arrival of the paperless ofﬁce. But this has not happened. People still prefer to get the information they want from a newspaper rather than a display screen. The same applies to news. Newspapers and magazines are still growing in popularity. Nothing replaces a book printed on paper. Books don’t even need electricity and can be read on the train or by candlelight from one’s favourite armchair. And textbooks for the developing countries? They will be needed for decades to come. One new advance that will save paper is digital printing. In the near future, the printing of books on demand will become increasingly common. In the bookshop, a digital press will print the book required and bind it between covers while you wait. The paper industry is actively seeking new ways forward with the aim of reducing environmental impacts and providing greater beneﬁts for the user. Paper and board are ﬁnding increasing use in food packagings, as they mean better hygiene, easier transport and less waste. One excellent example is packagings based on intelligent paper or board and equipped with active indicators (seals of quality). For the consumer, this might indicate, say, the approach of the product’s ‘best before’ date. For the food producer it offers logistical beneﬁts by indicating the product’s location, freshness and how soon the product should be despatched to the retailer. Intelligent packagings can also warn of leaks. For meat products, a packaging system has already been developed that absorbs the gases that cause product spoilage. A biodegradable plastic board has been developed for drinks cartons. The board is completely recyclable and also decomposes without trace. The recycling rate is expected to rise rapidly to the same level as that for glass bottles. On the way is another intelligent paper that can actually receive information by radio. This information includes both text and images that change daily. The potential is exciting – imagine a vehicle registration document that tells you that the deadline for inspection is approaching!
terial. It also meets the latest life cycle and eco-efﬁciency requirements, and by using more wood we can slow down climate change. Wood has a brand-new future in promoting health, too. Wooden structures improve the quality of the air inside buildings, while compounds isolated from wood are used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. A revolution in technology is just around the corner. The key here is nanotechnology, which is being used to design new wood composites by reorganizing the organic components actually inside the wood. Wood can be reinforced with metals or, in fact, any other material. This opens up an entirely new vista of development potential that we are only just beginning to comprehend.
he wood products industry already supplies two-thirds of its output for building purposes. By 2010, wood is expected to be Europe’s most popular material for buildings and their interiors. Wood is the world’s only renewable building ma-
Paper preferred to display screen
It was thought at ﬁrst that the internet would reduce the need for paper. People quickly learned to read from their display screens. Internet freaks were in their element. All this inspired Stephen King to publish his novel ‘Riding the Bullet’ worldwide via the internet. The book could be downloaded for two dollars ﬁfty cents. Almost all those who purchased the book this way preferred to read it as hard copy rather than on-screen. However, the world was not ready for net books and ‘Riding the Bullet’ was not a commercial success. According to a survey conducted at Rochester Institute of Technology, people in the West still prefer their reading to be in printed rather than electronic form. The ratio is 70:30 in favour of printed format. The Institute predicts that a 50:50 situation will not be reached until 2020 at the earliest.
biotechnology and enzymes
and is now proving a staunch ally to the forest industry. Applications of biotechnology were ﬁrst introduced in the area of chemical pulping, where they are saving energy, reducing environmental loadings and cutting production costs. The durability, quality and recyclability of paper are also being enhanced through biotechnology. Broadly speaking, biotechnology refers to the use of micro-organisms in the manufacturing industry. Traditional methods of biotechnology are employed for example in making bread, brewing beer and producing wine. In the future, the paper industry will use enzymes to produce chemical pulp. Enzymes can already be used in place of chemicals to help bleach the pulp. The industry refers to the process as ‘speciﬁc bleaching’ and the end-product as ‘speciﬁc ﬁbre’. Enzyme bleaching has the added advantage of greatly reducing consumption of both water and energy.
iotechnology heralds a new industrial revolution. To start with it will revolutionize the pharmadustries. This was the prediction 20 years ago. Today, biotechnology has made its breakthrough,
Other enzymes can be used to clean-up and pre-treat wood chips to provide the ﬁnal paper with the right characteristics. The prospects are limitless. Biotechnology extends the life of paper containing recycled ﬁbres. Enzymes strengthen these ﬁbres and assist in the removal of printing ink preparatory to recycling. Biodegradable printing inks will be the next important step forward. Enzymes also help in the debarking process, where they save energy. Hundreds of innovations and patented inventions, the industrial applications of which are at the R&D stage, have already been reported in the forest industry alone. More new eco-products are on the way: coatings, adhesives, chemicals, intelligent papers, recyclable packagings, foods and biofuels.
ceutical, food and chemical in-
Biotechnology is resulting in a steady stream of promising environmental innovations. In 2003, a Finnish research team was awarded the prestigious Marcus Wallenberg prize for their discovery of a previously unknown hexenuronic acid present in chemical pulp. The discovery was made as part of a research programme examining the chemical reactions of carbohydrates during sulphate pulping with the ultimate aim of improving the papermaking properties of the pulp ﬁbres. The research team established the detrimental effects of the acid and devised a process for its removal. The resulting new process reduces environmental loadings, the need for bleaching chemicals as well as production costs. Pulp brightness has also beneﬁted. In tackling the issue, the research team made use of biotechnology, wood chemistry, nuclear magnetic resonance analysis and process technology. A bit of a mouthful? Perhaps, but the environment is grateful.
Environment-related research and education
nterest in studying the relationship between man and his environment is growing throughout the world. Recent decades have been a golden age for the natural sciences for other reasons, too. There has been a massive increase in the amount, depth and quality of information, while the impact of forestry has been much studied both in Finland and elsewhere. Environmental research has expanded from the natural sciences into social sciences such as sociology. Environmental impact research has been an established part of the natural sciences and technical research for somewhat longer. For decades now, the forest industry has been working closely with universities and research institutes with the aim of further developing its processes and procedures. The industry has reduced its emissions to waterways to around onetwentieth of the level prevailing in the early 1970s. Reducing emissions and other environmental impacts has required a vast amount of work on the development of new technologies and production processes. The results achieved to date have been good, yet new research projects to further reduce the effects on soil, water and air are constantly being conducted. University research programmes, too, have led to dozens of environment-related development initiatives, improvements, innovations, inventions and patents.
For decades now, the forest industry has been working closely with universities and research institutes with the aim of further developing its processes and procedures.
A huge number of new research projects are under way at universities in collaboration with companies in the forest industry. Development work is clearly focused on the environment and sustainable development. The forest industry has also realized the importance of all the knowledge that lies hidden within its different organizations, and is actively encouraging its people to put forward initiatives for process improvements. Standards of forestry-related education and professional training in Finland rank with the best in the world. Of the 300 or so paper engineers who graduate each year in Europe, two-thirds are in Finland. The training of forest industry experts in Finland is well in line with requirements, but elsewhere in Europe there is cause for concern. At the same time, the need for training in Finland is growing along with the industry’s global expansion and as more people reach retirement age. Forest-related education and training in Finland is provided by seven universities as well as by polytechnics, vocational training colleges and the industry’s own training schools. The industry also offers apprenticeship training. Environmental studies are included in the teaching programmes offered by all these seats of learning, ensuring that new graduates have a wider range of skills and greater environmental awareness.
89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96
New environmental research
The University of Oulu and the Finnish Forest Research Institute have signed a cooperation agreement covering research topics that include the environment, natural resources and the ‘northern dimension’. The Biocenter research unit is also located at the university. Students of architecture at Oulu are working to develop construction techniques for wooden buildings and are studying their life cycles. The Finnish Forest Research Institute has a network of forests covering 90,000 hectares, which it uses to study biodiversity and other issues. Of particular interest in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of the University of Helsinki are the environment, landscape and forest resource management. Helsinki University of Technology constructs models for life cycle analysis for use by the forest sector. The Research Unit for Nature-Based Construction is also here. Subjects covered by the Department of Forest Products Technology include industrial environmental technology, wood processing and chemical pulping and bleaching. The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) works on the development of pulp and paper industry processes at its VTT Processes unit in Jyväskylä. One example is the 4-year technology programme designed to help reduce water consumption in papermaking and funded by the National Technology Agency and the main forest cluster companies. VTT also has a team examining the production and processing of biofuels with the speciﬁc aim of studying the use of energy from forest industry by-products. The University of Art and Design Helsinki is pushing back the frontiers of wood design and is also studying sustainable wood products. The Academy of Finland has selected as top research unit the Centre of Excellence for Forest Ecology and Management of the University of Joensuu. Two of Joensuu’s special interests are forest ecosystems and natural biodiversity. Students there are offered broad-based courses in environmental sciences and can gain degrees in forest-related environmental affairs. Boundaries are being crossed in even more surprising directions: the University of Helsinki’s Department of Psychology has investigated the impressions and sensations aroused by the touch of paper.
Development is self-perpetuating
We are moving towards a global village sans frontières, where people, information, jobs, trade, businesses, investment and materials move around at an ever-increasing speed and with increasing freedom. At the same time environmental awareness is growing worldwide. Climate change and the responsible use of natural resources have started to interest the more enlightened investor.
he Finnish forest industry is expanding globally. This new role requires the industry to be open and to act ethically in all matters relating to the environment. In practice, international expansion means that Finnish companies are starting up new mills close to their customers in continental Europe, Asia and South America. These new mills are also close to raw material sources. Continental Europe is a major consumer of recycled ﬁbre, while activities in Asia and South America are conducted together with local partners. Raw material is obtained from fast-growing eucalyptus forests. The new plantations provide work and a livelihood for local farmers and others in the countryside. At the same time, the Nordic way of environmental thinking is spreading to new areas. Knowhow, innovations and cleaner manufacturing methods mean better working conditions, occupational safety and human rights.
In the tropics, some areas of forest that have been destroyed have now been reforested. In most cases the forest was destroyed by misuse or agriculture. The Brazilian eucalyptus forest shown here grows much faster than Finnish forests and produces good-quality ﬁbre for paper and board manufacture. Global expansion of the Finnish forest industry means new environmental thinking and social responsibility.
Where is Finland going?
he forest industry will continue to work for the environment and for the future. As we operate in one of the world’s most democratic countries, our activities are completely open. The debate on forests and the environment is conducted openly. The network of interactions is extensive: customers, investors, forest owners, the general public, the media, parliament, government, universities, scientists, researchers, organizations, nature activists and forestry professionals. The forest industry is part of this network, and listens carefully to the signals it sends out. This is absolutely vital. What do the signals say? This is perhaps best answered by the results of a survey of Finnish values. This shows that the things the Finns value most are the environment and recycling. Similar studies conducted in Europe tell the same story, with regard for natural materials, ecological building and environmental awareness all on the rise. The world is changing. This is shown by a recent survey among more than 100 Finnish forest professionals, who were asked what they saw as the greatest forces for change in the industry in the 21st century. Views ranged from technological advances to the state of the world economy. On only one point did everyone agree: the future of the forest industry will be inﬂuenced most strongly by environmental issues.
Environmental administration Everyman’s right Finnish Environment Institute Forestry centres Metsähallitus Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Ministry of the Environment National Forest Programme www.ymparisto.ﬁ www.ymparisto.ﬁ/hoito/virkisty/jokamies/sisalto.htm www.ymparisto.ﬁ www.metsakeskus.ﬁ www.metsa.ﬁ www.mmm.ﬁ/ www.ymparisto.ﬁ/ym/ym.html www.mmm.ﬁ/kmo/
American Tree Farm System (TFS) Canadian Standards Association Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Environmental Management Standard, ISO 14001 Forest Certiﬁcation in Finland (FFCS) International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certiﬁcation Schemes (PEFC) Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) www.treefarmsystem.org/ www.csa.ca europa.eu.int/comm/environment/emas/index_en.htm www.iso14000-iso14001-environmental-management.com/ www.ffcs-ﬁnland.org/ www.iso.ch/iso/en/ISOOnline.openerpage www.pefc.org/ www.aboutsﬁ.org/
Finnish Association for Nature Conservation Greenpeace WWF www.sll.ﬁ www.greenpeace.org www.wwf.ﬁ
Finnish Forest Industries Federation Wood Focus Oy www.forestindustries.ﬁ www.woodfocus.ﬁ
Dow Jones Sustainability Index European Environment Agency Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change U.S. Environmental Protection Agency World Economic Forum World Economic Forum: Finland’s competitiveness www.sustainability-index.com/ org.eea.eu.int/ www.ipcc.ch/ www.epa.gov/ www.weforum.org/ www.weforum.org/site/knowledgenavigator.nsf/
European Forest Institute (EFI) Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) Finnish Pulp and Paper Research Institute (KCL) Forest Development Centre Tapio Metsäteho National Technology Agency (Tekes) Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) www.eﬁ.ﬁ www.metla.ﬁ www.kcl.ﬁ www.tapio.net www.metsateho.ﬁ www.tekes.ﬁ www.vtt.ﬁ Content/Finland+KN+sessions
Centre of Expertise for Wood Products and the Wood Finland Programme Helsinki University of Technology University of Art and Design Helsinki, Future Home Research and Development Project University of Helsinki University of Joensuu University of Oulu www.puusuomi.com www.hut.ﬁ www2.uiah.ﬁ/futurehome www.helsinki.ﬁ www.joensuu.ﬁ www.oulu.ﬁ
Finnish Forest Association Forest Management Associations www.smy.ﬁ www.mhy.ﬁ/
we’d like to hear from you
Once you’ve read this book we hope you’ll send us your feedback. Just tell us what you think about the way the Finnish forest industry manages both its forests and the environment. Your comments are important. And we’re listening.
Front cover Pentti Valmunen p. 2 Metla p. 5 Wood Focus p. 8 Metla p. 9 Kreab p. 10–11 Kreab p. 15 Kreab p. 16 Ponsse p. 18 Timberjack p. 19 Metla, Kreab p. 22–23 Wood Focus p. 24 Kreab p. 25 Hannu Konttinen p. 26–27 Markus Sirkka and Kreab p. 28 M-real p. 32–33 Comma Pictures p. 36–37 Kuvaario p. 40–41 Kreab p. 44 Kreab p. 45 Wood Focus p. 46 Wood Focus p. 47 Martela and Kreab p. 48 Wood Focus p. 49 Pook p. 50–51 Wood Focus p. 52 Timberjack p. 53 Timberjack and Pohjolan Voima PVO p. 54–55 Fortum p. 56–57 Paperinkeräys and Kreab p. 59 Olli Häkämies p. 61 VTT p. 63 VTT and Metla p. 64 VTT p. 65 VTT and Metla p. 66–67 Stora Enso p. 68–69 Metla Inside back cover VTT
Design Hannu Konttinen Kreab Oy Layout Kreab Oy English Translation Philip Mason Paper Cover: LumiSilk 350 g/m2 Pages: LumiSilk 150 g/m2 Printed by Eriksen 2004
FOREST INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT
This book describes the new paths forward being taken by the Finnish forest industry. We Finns process wood into products such as pulp, paper, packagings, furniture, building materials and wooden houses. All are environmentally sound choices, as their production is based on renewable raw material and supports the goal of sustainable development. Although our forest industry is a strong and prominent force, it takes its share of responsibility for the future of the environment. We do not waste natural resources. We protect natural biodiversity. And we take good care of our air and waters.
Finnish Forest Industries Federation Postal address: P.O. Box 336, 00171 Helsinki, Finland Visiting address: Snellmaninkatu 13, 00170 Helsinki, Finland Telephone: +358 9 13261 Fax: +358 9 132 4445 www.forestindustries.ﬁ