Metsähallitus’ Climate Programme
Our climate programme helps us mitigate climate change and prepare for the changing conditions created by it, both in nature and in the economic and social operating environment. The programme is part of our responsible action.
We will increase the carbon sink in state-owned multi-purpose forests by 10% by 2035
Forests bind atmospheric carbon dioxide as they grow. State-owned forests are a significant carbon sink with increasing carbon storage. The carbon sink consisting of the trees on state-owned land corresponds to more than one fifth of Finland’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, and the carbon sequestered in live biomass on state land accounts for around one fifth of the carbon storage in Finnish biomass.
Our key methods for securing and enhancing the carbon sinks include good management of forests and the network of protected areas, carefully considered restoration, and further development of planning. Our work ensures that the forests will grow well, sequester carbon dioxide more effectively, and produce renewable wood for raw material.
We build up wind power capacity on state land
We were involved in the project development of more than 10% of the wind power capacity built in Finland by the beginning of 2019. In addition to the 400 MW of new wind power capacity currently being built on state land, short-term project development potential amounting to 900 MW will be used sustainably, and we are continuously seeking for new sites suitable for wind farms. We reconcile the land use needs of wind power production with other forms of land use. As the steward of state-owned lands, we carry the overall responsibility for this process.
Wind power capacity built on state-owned land as well as energy wood and residues from roundwood delivered to customers reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel based energy production. Some of the harvested timber will continue to act as a carbon sink in wooden buildings and other long-lasting products after processing. The renewable raw materials and energy sourced from state lands produce climate benefits equalling 3.3 million t CO ² equivalent in different value chains.
We reduce our carbon footprint
Metsähallitus’ carbon footprint, which shows the volume of greenhouse gas emissions created in our operations, is approx. 0.09 million t CO ² equivalent. The greatest part of this carbon footprint comes from the harvesting and transport of roundwood, whereas the electricity and heat used by our offices and visitor centres as well as business travel create the second largest volume of emissions.
Our key actions for reducing our carbon footprint include the introduction of an ETJ+ energy efficiency system in our environmental management system, phasing out of oil in heating our premises by 2024, and improving our procurements, logistics and operations.
In addition, we will achieve a yearly 10% drop in our carbon footprint from travel by increasing the use of video conferencing and organising several meetings on a single trip.
We mitigate the negative effects of climate change on biodiversity
By managing the network of protected areas systematically and as a whole, we safeguard and promote biodiversity in these areas and enhance their recreational, nature tourism and other sustainable use values.
We will significantly increase active ecological management and restoration of deteriorated habitats both in protected areas and multi-purpose forests. In protected areas, these actions are linked to implementing the Ministry of the Environment’s habitat programme HELMI.
Our actions in multi-purpose forests include climate-wise mire restoration, and we also address the habitat requirements of game and fish species.