Together with FSC Finland, UPM is hosting today a visit by Kim Carstensen, Director General of the international forest certification organisation FSC. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) promotes environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. The FSC certificate indicates to consumers that the wood used in the product has been sourced responsibly.
UPM actively co-operates with FSC both internationally and in Finland to increase the use of FSC-certified wood in its production processes. It also aims to promote awareness of the FSC forest certification and related responsibility issues both in Finland and around the world. UPM has certified its own forests in Finland and its tree plantations in Uruguay. In Finland, UPM endeavours to make it easier for private forest owners to participate in the certification system and meet the related standards and criteria.
“Our goal is to modify the standards for group certification and to cut down on red tape in general”, explains Timo Lehesvirta, Director, Forest Global, UPM. “We were involved in developing the current forest standard a few years ago, as we wanted to ensure its applicability to specific conditions in Finland. We are now continuing that work,” Lehesvirta says.
Both UPM and FSC aim to clarify the rules for certification. In fact, common goals are the reason behind Kim Carstensen’s visit to Finland. “FSC, the world’s leading forest certification system, has not received a huge amount of attention in Finland to date. In the future, it is important to have Finnish FSC-certified products to meet growing demand,” Kim Carstensen says.
“Consumers around the world know very little about Finnish forestry. At the same time, consumers are increasingly interested in the origins of products and the fact that production processes need to be carried out in a responsible manner. In order to be successful in a highly competitive market, the Finnish forest industry needs to be able to convey a convincing message in terms of responsibility,” adds Anniina Kostilainen, Director of the Office, FSC Finland.
As part of the FSC visit, discussions on common development issues will be held and an introduction will be given to Finnish FSC forestry in practice at UPM-owned forest plots in Janakkala. FSC Finland board members and representatives of environmental organisations will also attend.