Story | 03/23/2023 07:16:18 | 2 min Read time

Forest Action: Carbon sink calculations in UPM forests in Finland

Carbon sinks are natural reservoirs – such as forests – that absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. They are important in the fight against climate change because they help mitigate the impact of carbon emissions on the climate by removing carbon emissions from the atmosphere. By absorbing and storing carbon, carbon sinks help to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and slow down the rate of climate change.

UPM has carried out forest carbon sink calculations with the Natural Resources Institute Finland since 2019. The results are reported publicly and allow frequent follow-up of carbon sinks and sources in UPM owned forests in Finland, United States as well as the plantations in Uruguay. UPM is committed to harvest less than the forests grow. Annual calculations provide information on trends and help to follow if applied forestry measures are effective, keeping in mind that changes in forests take time.

 

The sustainable and responsible use of forests is crucial, as UPM is one of the largest forest owners in Finland.
Sauli Brander

UPM forests are a carbon sink

The Institute's calculations use national forest inventory data for Finland for tree growth and removals, which includes both logging as reported by UPM and natural mortality as national data. Soil carbon calculations are based on modelling and data from literature.

In Finland, the 5-year average with 2022 figures included for a carbon sink in trees is -799 (1000 Mg CO₂) with annual fluctuation from -1133 to -151. The carbon sink in upland soils is -275 (1000 Mg CO₂) and greenhouse gas emissions from peat soils 374 (1000 Mg CO₂ eq). This means that peatland itself is a carbon source. Due to a change in the calculation method to better reflect the real emissions in peatland soils with warming climate, the figure for peatland emissions has over doubled from previous years. In total trees and soils in Finland give a 5-year average of -852 (1000 Mg CO₂), a negative number, which means that UPM forests are a carbon sink.

— The sustainable and responsible use of forests is crucial, as UPM is one of the largest forest owners in Finland. In the forests owned by our company, we have had the resources to study responsible forest management and think about the best practices and take them forward also to private forest owners, explains UPM’s Senior Vice President of Wood sourcing and Forestry, Sauli Brander.

Watch Sauli Brander's full interview here.

Read more about the UPM Forest Action programme.

Download the Forest Action report.

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