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 2015  

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 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. 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. 

External comments and complaints concerning planned harvesting have been received from the NGO Nature and Youth Sweden and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, which claim that the planned harvesting sites have such a wealth of natural assets that they should be wholly or partially exempt from harvesting. Complaints have also come in from two private individuals, who claim that Holmen is not following the FSC standard in various respects. 

All environmental reports are reviewed and form the basis for action plans, both individually and in conjunction with other problem areas highlighted in the environmental reports.

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 in all three regions. The visions were developed collaboratively by the forest industry and its stakeholders in a project managed by the Swedish Forest Agency. The purpose of drawing up these visions is to establish a consensus in the forestry sector about what constitutes good environmental consideration and how this relates to forestry policy expectations on forest owners. The visions describe what good consideration for conservation of natural, cultural and social assets actually means. Holmen trained all its employees and contractors in 2014 and 2015, amounting to around 700 people.


Holmen Skog maintains consideration for water in all its day-to-day operations. In 2015, improvement work continued: 

  • Use of laser data in planning forestry measures to improve accuracy in determining where driving on land is suitable and at what time of year.
  • The development of technology to reduce impact on land and water during harvesting work, known as Logging without a trace.
  • The development and implementation of a web-based course in Logging without trace. The course, called Effective planning, has been created in partnership with other forestry players under the umbrella of the Silvicultural School. The course is compulsory for all Holmen's employees who work on the planning of harvesting and/or logging.
  • The technical development of the Harwarder (a combine harvester and forwarder), which reduces the impact on the ground as it requires less traversing of the ground compared with a two-machine system.
  • Visions for Good Environmental Consideration has now been implemented and should improve consideration for water by clarifying what consideration is to be taken, for example, when establishing buffer zones along the water's edge.

Wildlife management

The biggest ever national survey of wildlife damage, ÄBIN, was conducted over the year. Half of Sweden's wildlife management areas were surveyed. This was made possible through funding from the Swedish Forest Industries Federation, Sveaskog and the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners in a joint project. A plan for continued investment has been drawn up, whereby half of the wildlife management areas will be surveyed each year. 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. Grazing damage by moose costs forestry huge amounts each year in lost growth.

The Art of Growing Forests

From this year, The Art of Growing Forests (AGF) will replace The Guidelines for Sustainable Forest Management. The Art of Growing Forests 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.

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 our most important environmental objectives, but we are expanding our ambitions and increasing our goal to include timber transport. The consumption of fossil carbon dioxide 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 within the limits of the applicable legislation
  • 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) for every cubic metre felled
  • Transport: consumption of fossil fuel is monitored by calculating the quantity (kg) of carbon dioxide (from fuel) for every cubic metre transported

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

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 leads to increased transport of sludge to lakes and watercourses
  • By vehicles which causes water logging or flooding adjacent to watercourses due to damming
  • By vehicles1 on peatland close2 to watercourses and lakes
  • By vehicles which affects natural assets, for example areas subject to special consideration and detailed environmental efforts
  • By vehicles which reduces accessibility on frequently used paths and trails
  • By vehicles which reduces 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
    • 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.

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


1 Damage by vehicles is defined as tracks which are more than 10 m long and at least 30 cm deep on average.

2 "Directly adjacent to" and "close" are defined as areas within a radius of 15 m of watercourses and lakes.






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

Visiting address: Strandvägen 1, Stockholm.

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

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