Holmen Skog makes a long-term commitment to all forest values: financial, social and environmental. Swedish forestry has two objectives carrying equal weight: a production objective and an environmental objective, and these thus apply to Holmen Skog. The natural productive capacity of forest land should be preserved, while at the same time ensuring favourable growth and productivity.

Environmental activities in 2017

Holmen Skog runs forestry that is certified according to both PEFCTM and FSC® (FSC-ID). There is also an option for private forest owners to affiliate themselves with Holmen Skog's certification under what is known as group certification. Every year, Holmen Skog's operations are audited in line with the environmental management system ISO 14001 and the criteria of the PEFCTM and FSC® certifications by an independent auditor. The 2015 audit was conducted in October by the certification firm Det Norske Veritas (DNV-GL). To ensure that Holmen Skog complies with the certification, internal audits have also been conducted.

An important aspect of Holmen Skog's environmental work is that employees and contractors document all accidents and deviations from procedures and instructions in what are known as environmental reports. A new reporting system was introduced during the year. It is now possible to submit a report via a smartphone app, which makes the reporting procedure easier. The aim of the environmental reporting is to improve procedures and working methods, and to provide a check on compliance with steering documents. In these reports, Holmen Skog also records all external communications and complaints received with regard to forestry. Each environmental report is assigned a case officer, who takes action on that particular case. The environmental reports also provide data for an analysis of whether there are areas that require more comprehensive action plans.

All employees receive basic environmental and sustainability training on an ongoing basis. 2017 saw the launch of a new web-based training programme, which all Holmen Skog's employees have now completed.

Consultation with reindeer herders

Every year a consultation is held with reindeer herders to reach agreement on future forestry activities. Measures discussed in the consultation are regeneration harvests, scarification methods, lodgepole pine regeneration, fertilisation, road building and root clearance. Holmen consults with Sami communities that have reindeer grazing rights on Holmen's land.

Visions for Good Environmental Consideration

Courses on Visions for Good Environmental Consideration in Forestry have been held for all employees. The visions were developed collaboratively by the forest industry and its stakeholders in a project managed by the Swedish Forest Agency. The purpose of these visions is to establish a consensus in the forestry sector about what constitutes good environmental consideration and how this relates to the expectations that forestry policy places on forest owners. The visions describe what good consideration for conservation of natural, cultural and social assets actually means.

Nature conservation strategy

Holmen adopted a nature conservation strategy in 2016. This strategy stakes out the path for attaining the overall objective of all naturally occurring species being able to survive in the forest landscape.

Consideration is given to all forest land, but to differing degrees and in differing ways based on needs and circumstances. Holmen applies a prioritisation model based on the combined natural assets of set-asides at population and landscape level.

To achieve a greater effect and nature conservation benefit, the level of ambition for nature-conserving stewardship is being raised both in set-asides and in the managed forest.

Eco-forests are to be created in all Holmen districts. The eco-forests are large areas in which Holmen focuses on a particular purpose or theme. Natural assets are created, preserved and strengthened in line with the expressed aim.

Planning for upcoming launches continued in 2017. Over the year, nature conservation specialists and operational planners received additional training in recognising biotopes of high conservation value and in Holmen's method of assessing conservation value.


Holmen Skog maintains consideration for water in all its day-to-day operations. In 2016, improvement work continued:

The use of water maps based on laser data when planning and implementing forestry measures to ensure improved precision in determining where it is suitable to drive forest machines.The implementation of technology to reduce impact on land and water during harvesting work, known as Logging without a trace.The implementation of web-based training for Logging without a trace. The course, called Effective planning, was developed in collaboration with other forestry companies as part of the silviculture training programme. The course is compulsory for everyone who works on the planning of harvesting and/or logging.

Visions for Good Environmental Consideration has now been implemented in a drive to improve consideration for water by clarifying what consideration is to be taken, for example, when establishing buffer zones along the water's edge.


In order to regenerate our harvested forests, Holmen planted over 20 million seedlings in 2017. In southern Sweden and along the coast of Norrland, pine weevils are causing major damage to seedlings and the plants therefore need to be protected for their own survival. We have now largely switched from chemical pesticides (toxic) to mechanical protection. The majority of the seedlings are waxed, but we are also developing other types of mechanical protection.

To reduce the leakage of the nutrient nitrogen when growing seedlings, it is used in its Arginin form. Compared with conventional fertilisers, the Arginin nitrogen is bound more tightly in the peat in which the seedling is planted, and so less leaks out.

Wildlife management

Grazing damage results in large losses of forest growth and biodiversity in Sweden. It is therefore very important to Holmen that the size of cloven-hoofed wildlife populations is in balance with the food supply.

The national survey of wildlife damage, ÄBIN, was conducted according to plan. The Swedish Forest Industries Federation, Sveaskog and the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners jointly meet the cost of the surveys. The survey results show that levels of damage remain very high. The wildlife damage survey is an essential part of the new adaptive approach to moose management, where the best possible data is used as the basis for management.

The Art of Growing Forests

The Art of Growing Forests (AGF) describes Holmen Skog's forestry and the history on which it is based, and can be read in printed form as a book. The target group is primarily external readers, for whom AGF will provide an overview of the way Holmen conducts its forestry. Procedures and instructions are published digitally in Holmen Skog's new operational system for use by its own employees.


Holmen invited Greenpeace to visit our forests in Härjedalen. The aim was to describe and show how we take responsibility for all the assets of the forest.

Environmental objectives

Holmen Skog has decided on five environmental objectives, all of which have action plans and are followed up on an annual basis.

1. Reduced fossil carbon dioxide emissions for logging and transporting wood

Reduced carbon dioxide emissions continue to be one of the most important environmental objectives and the ambition is to increase the goal to include timber transport. The consumption of fossil fuels by Holmen Skog's logging and timber transport must decrease by 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 2014.

How will we achieve that?

  • Reduce fuel consumption in forestry equipment thanks to more efficient and environmentally friendly engines

  • Reduce fuel consumption per transported load by loading more timber onto every timber truck

  • Greater use of renewable fuel in harvesters and timber trucks

  • Plan timber transport more intelligently so that our customers' needs are met but with as few transports as possible

How will we follow up on this?

  • Logging: consumption of fossil fuel is monitored by calculating the quantity (kg) of carbon dioxide (from fuel) per cubic metre felled

  • Transport: consumption of fossil fuel is monitored by calculating the quantity (kg) of carbon dioxide (from fuel) per cubic metre of wood and per kilometre transported

Outturn 2017

Logging: consumption of fossil carbon dioxide (from fuel) per cubic metre felled has fallen by around 15 per cent since the reference year 2014Transport: consumption of fossil carbon dioxide (from fuel) per cubic metre of wood and per kilometre transported has fallen by around 17 per cent since the reference year 2014

2. Plan for and implement nature conservation measures in Holmen's own forests, which have the highest natural assets

Holmen will improve the environmental benefit in forests which have already been set aside through targeted conservation measures in suitable areas. By 2020, Holmen will have classified half of the areas set aside for development of natural assets. This classification means that we will decide which of the forests that have been set aside will be left to develop freely and which will be subject to nature conservation measures. The objective of conservation measures is to preserve, strengthen or regenerate natural assets.

How will we achieve that?

  • By 2020 half of the hectares set aside will be inventoried and classified; the results of the inventory will be documented.

  • By 2020 nature conservation measures will have been implemented on at least 30 forest areas per district.

How will we follow up on this?

  • How large an area of the forest set aside has been classified

  • How many of the forest areas that require measures have been addressed

Outturn 2017

  • 3 per cent has been classified

  • Nature conservation measures were taken in 25 forest areas during the year (in total 51)

3. No serious damage by vehicles

Damage by vehicles in connection with logging can cause erosion and sludging of watercourses, leakage of nutrients and unwanted release of heavy metals, e.g. mercury. Holmen strives to avoid serious damage by vehicles entirely in all forestry activities, regardless of whether they are on our own land or on behalf of other landowners. We work in accordance with industry-wide environmental policy on damage by vehicles on forest land.

Serious damage by vehicles consists of the following:

  • By vehicles1 in and directly adjacent to2 watercourses and lakes

  • By vehicles leading to increased transport of sludge to lakes and watercourses

  • By vehicles causing waterlogging or flooding adjacent to watercourses due to damming

  • By vehicles1 on peatland close2 to watercourses and lakes

  • By vehicles affecting natural assets, for example areas subject to special consideration and detailed environmental efforts

  • By vehicles reducing accessibility on frequently used paths and trails

  • By vehicles reducing recreational value in frequently used open-air recreation areas

  • By vehicles to archaeological sites and other valuable cultural heritage sites

How will we achieve that?

  • By improved planning so that we do not drive as much in areas where there is a risk of damage by vehicles

  • By using the 'Logging without a trace' method building simple bridges over watercourses and by lining properly with brushwood

How will we follow up on this?

  • Regular follow-ups of serious damage by vehicles

  • Annual evaluations of which technical aids have been used and to what extent.

  • Technical aids include bridges, tracks, machinery used, etc.

Outturn 2017

  • The most recent central follow-up showed that around 91 per cent of the areas studied have suffered no serious damage by vehicles. Work on introducing Holmen's 'Logging without a trace' method is, in general, improving steadily. Access to soil moisture maps makes it easier to plan logging without a trace.

4. Reduce use of fossil diesel and heating oil at the nurseries

The nurseries' objective is to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels between 2012 and 2020, compared to average consumption in 2011-2013. The following reduction must be made:

  • Fossil heating oil: 20 per cent less per seedling produced

  • Fossil diesel: 10 per cent less per seedling produced

How will we achieve that?

  • By making sure machines and accompanying parts that are used in the nurseries are properly adjusted and serviced regularly

  • By using and/or mixing in more renewable fuel for heating

  • Reduce consumption of heating oil by improving the use of greenhouses

  • Reduce diesel consumption by planning and streamlining driving and use of machinery in the nurseries

How will we follow up on this?

  • By measuring the consumption of heating oil and diesel in litres per seedling produced

Outturn 2017

  • Fossil heating oil: has decreased by 37 per cent per produced seedling since measurements began

  • Fossil diesel: has decreased by 10 per cent per produced seedling since measurements began

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

Tel: +46 8 666 21 00  E-mail: info@holmen.com


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