Holmen’s sustainable business

The forest delivers the most benefit when it is put to use. It is the heart of Holmen’s sustainable business. We are part of a value chain that creates climate benefit amounting to 6.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is equivalent to 12% of total emissions within Sweden’s borders.

Climate change means the world faces a huge challenge in reaching the goal of the Paris Agreement. The EU, the USA, China and India all have the aim of becoming carbon neutral. At the same time, the global population is expected to rise by 2 billion people by 2050. It has been said that the world will build the equivalent of another New York every month for the next 40 years.

As a Swedish forest company, we have a fantastic opportunity to help bring about solutions to some of the major challenges the world will face in the future – climate change in particular. Our business rests on the power of the forests, the rivers and the wind. It focuses on how we can intelligently use technology and engineering to create the fossil-free, recyclable products the world needs. By producing renewable energy from wind and water on our land we are also contributing towards a sustainable energy supply in Sweden and to the European transition to a fossil-free energy system.

When we calculate the climate benefit we contribute towards, it is clear that Holmen is aiding the climate the most by growing our business.

Holmen’s carbon dioxide emissions

At Holmen we have been working to cut our own carbon dioxide emissions for a long time now. This means that Holmen’s direct emissions of carbon dioxide are already lower than the emission limits needed to meet the Paris Agreement.

Thanks to our successful ongoing work to boost energy efficiency, and the fact that Holmen started its transition from fossil energy back in the 1980s, we currently run an industry whose emissions are far below the threshold values identified by Science Based Targets for the pulp and paper industry. As early as the 1980s, for example, Hallsta Paper Mill embarked on its transition to become a business run on 100% fossil-free electricity, and in 2005 the Holmen Group set the environmental target of cutting fossil fuels by 90% by 2020. We managed 88%.

Today 80% of our emissions are generated from transport to and from Holmen’s industrial sites, and from purchasing input products. Therefore, our new climate targets are focused on cutting emissions in these areas. In 2020 we conducted a thorough audit of our transport, spanning the entire Group, and this forms the basis of our calculations and monitoring of the transport target.

You will find our scope 1, 2 and 3 reporting of carbon dioxide emissions in our sustainability reporting.

The way the wood products we produce bind carbon dioxide in the long term means we are already carbon neutral. Furthermore, stable, long-term storage of carbon dioxide is taking place in the land we own. You will find more information on carbon dioxide sequestration in our presentation on our climate benefit.

What are Science Based Targets? 

Science Based Targets is the scientific model that is available today for organizations and companies to calculate how much greenhouse gases a business can emit to allow the globe to avoid warming more than 1.5 degrees. The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a global collaboration between CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI and WWF.

What happens if the globe heats up more than 1.5 degrees?

If our planet is heated by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, the UN Climate Panel IPCC shows that our world will be hit even harder than today by extreme weather events that will affect for example the earth's resources, ecosystems, biodiversity, food security and cities negatively. The greater the warming, the worse the consequences for all of us animals and plants living on our planet.

New climate targets in line with Science Based Targets

Holmen’s climate targets are calculated in line with the SBTi framework, and we will apply to SBTi to have them approved in 2021.

Holmen’s climate targets apply until 2030 using 2019 as the base year. They are: 

  • We will continue to be climate neutral.
  • We will continue to be below the levels of the Paris Agreement for greenhouse gas emissions for our industry.
  • We will reduce emissions from transport to and from our industrial sites by 2% greenhouse gases per transport kilometre per year. Total transport emissions may not increase during the same period, even if we increase the number of transport kilometres.
  • We will work with suppliers that reduce their emissions by 1.23% per year, or who have a climate target in line with the Paris Agreement of 1.5°C.

We will report our status in relation to the targets each year in our sustainability reporting.