Printing paper, paperboard and sawn timber constitute basic materials in people's everyday lives. The products are made from the renewable raw material provided by the forests. The Group's forests and products are helping to bind carbon dioxide and cut society's emissions of greenhouse gases.

The forest

Holmen's forests have long been managed in such a way that they contain a greater quantity of wood every year. Based on growth data from the last five years, it

is calculated that the volume of standing timber will increase by 1 per cent a year, and approximately 650 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be captured by this increase in volume. Over the foreseeable period, annual growth in Holmen's forests is expected to exceed the harvests, and the Group's forest growth target indicates that carbon dioxide storage will increase in the future.

The production units

In recent years the production of renewable electricity and thermal energy has increased considerably through Holmen's investments in biofuel-based energy production at several mills. In the past ten years, emissions of fossil carbon dioxide have fallen by over 75 per cent and amounted to 125 000 tonnes in 2016.

Based on data for the past few years, annual emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from forest machinery, manufacture of input goods and transport of raw materials and products are estimated at approximately 340 000 tonnes. These emissions, together with those from certain types of forest land, represent the negative climate impact of Holmen's operations.

The products and substitution effects

Wood products store carbon dioxide throughout their lifetime and this is only released when the products are incinerated. Holmen's production of wood products in 2016 is equivalent to approximately 640 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide stored in products with a lifetime of more than 50 years. Holmen's wood products that are sold as joinery and construction timber also contribute a substitution effect when used to replace climate-negative construction materials. For 2016 this substitution effect is estimated to amount to approximately 1 200 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Residual volumes from the sawmills are used in wood packaging, which also has a long lifetime. Any substitution effect for these products has not been calculated.

As paper and paperboard products have a relatively short lifetime, it is not meaningful to calculate the storage of carbon dioxide. Once the fibres in these products have been recycled several times as recovered fibre, however, they, like the end-of-life wood products, make excellent biofuels. Biofuels from Holmen's forests and by-products from production, such as bark, provide renewable energy from incineration.

Under the parameters set, calculations show that Holmen's business brings substantial climate benefits, as it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by over two million tonnes per year.


    Key figures for Holmen's operations

    from a climate perspective 2016


1) Includes emissions from transporting finished products to EU customers and incoming deliveries of wood, pulp and chemicals to Holmen's facilities. Data also includes emissions from transporting products to countries outside the EU.

The summary is based on internal data and calculations and on scientific articles published in recent years. Several independent sources show the positive climate impact of forestry and forest products. On the basis of this reference material, data has been obtained to calculate the substitution effect.

  • Simplified reporting of carbon pool changes for Holmen's forest and land holdings in line with the guidelines of the Convention on Climate Change, 2017. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

  • Lundblad, M. et al. Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (CRF sector 4). In: National Inventory Report Sweden 2016 – Submitted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, pp.353–392.

  • Sathre, R. and O'Connor, J. Meta-analysis of greenhouse gas displacement factors of wood product substitution. Environmental Science Policy 2010, 13, 104–114.

  • Gustavsson, L. et al. Climate change effects of forestry and substitution of carbon-intensive materials and fossil fuels. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2017, Volume 67, 612–624.

  • Cintas, O. et al. The potential role of forest management in Swedish scenarios towards climate neutrality by mid century. Forest Ecology and Management 2017, 383, 73–84.

Holmen AB, P.O. Box 5407, SE-114 84 Stockholm, Sweden. 

Tel: +46 8 666 21 00  E-mail:


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