On Wednesday 31 August, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Minister for Rural Affairs Sven-Erik Bucht were out and about in Holmen's forests outside Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden, accompanied by various local politicians.
The visit began with a presentation on sustainable forestry, after which the guests were taken to see real-life examples of harvesting, regeneration and good environmental practices.
"They got to see how we care for the environment and encourage biodiversity. We made it clear that we feel it's better to further support the natural assets of the areas already set aside than to set aside additional areas, and we showed concrete examples of this," says Sören Petersson, CEO of Holmen Skog, who took part in the visit.
The forest has a rotation period of 70 to 90 years, which requires a long-term focus and stability from forest owners and politicians alike. Sweden has one of the world's longest established laws requiring regeneration. This is a clear example of how politicians and business can work together to create good conditions for society and the industry.
"I took the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister about how we forest owners feel there is a lack of long-termism and stability with regard to policy. The way forward for Sweden involves managing the forest and making use of our fantastic raw material – fresh fibre. And that requires political action at both national and European level. If we want to achieve a sustainable society, we can't take more land out of the equation. On the contrary, we need to manage and harvest more in the future," says Henrik Sjölund, President and CEO of Holmen.
The visit ended with Prime Minster Stefan Löfven and Minister for Rural Affairs Sven-Erik Bucht each planting a seedling.
Stefan Löfven, Sven-Erik Bucht and several local politicians visited Holmen's forests.
Sören Petersson and Henrik Sjölund presented the sustainable forests that Holmen manages.
Prime Minister Löfven ended the visit with planting a seedling with help from Olov Norgren.
Photographer: Jonas Forsberg