Metsähallitus’ Climate Programme

Climate change and adaptation to it play a large part in Metsähallitus' strategy. Our Climate Programme promotes the attainment of Finland's climate targets and transition to a carbon-neutral society by 2035 through increasing carbon sinks, carbon storage and clean energy production as well as by cutting our emissions.

State-owned forests are a significant carbon sink and growing carbon storage

According to the 12 National Forest Inventory, the carbon sink of state-owned forests in 2014–2018 was approximately 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO₂e). Multiple-use forests accounted for 63 % and protected areas for 37 % of the carbon sinks. During the same period, state-owned forests made up almost one half of the total carbon sink of Finnish forests, or approx. 48 %. The carbon sink of trees on state-owned lands corresponded to just over one fifth of Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

The carbon stock of state-owned forests amounted to approx. 177 million tonnes. Between the last two National Forest Inventories (2004–2018), the carbon stock of the trees in state-owned forests had gone up from 157 million tonnes to 177 million tonnes of carbon. Multiple-use forests accounted for 67 per cent of the carbon stock in trees, while protected areas accounted for 33 %. The living biomass on state-owned land made up about one fifth (21 %) of the carbon stock in Finnish biomass.

Click the picture to see full image.

We will increase the carbon sink of multiple-use forests and the carbon stock of state-owned forests

Our goal is to increase the carbon sink of multiple-use forests and the carbon stock of state-owned land by 10 % by 2035.

In 2020, the calculated carbon sink of multiple-use forests was 9.12 MtCO₂e and the carbon stock of trees on state-owned land was calculated at 181 million t C.

In 2020, the calculated carbon sink of multiple-use forests was 9.12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The carbon stock of trees on state-owned land was calculated at 181 million tonnes of carbon, of which the share of multiple-use forests was 122 million tonnes. The carbon sink of multiple-use forests grew by 0.96 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or about 12 %, while the carbon stock of state-owned forests increased by 4 million tonnes, or more than 2 % from 2018.

Climate benefits from renewable energy and wood raw material

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. Products made of sustainably produced wood from multiple-use forests replace fossil raw materials, and some of the harvested timber will continue to act as a carbon sink in wooden buildings and other long-lasting products after it has been processed.

Our carbon handprint reflects these positive climate impacts that our products and services generate in value chains. In 2018, the total climate benefits obtained from renewable raw materials and energy originating from state-owned areas in different value chains amounted to 3.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Wind power capacity built in areas controlled by Metsähallitus in 2020 was 248.5 MW.

Our target is to triple the production of renewable energy in state-owned areas by 2030. In the next few years, new wind power plants with a total production volume of 400 megawatts will be built on state-owned land, and the project development potential in the near future is about 900 megawatts.

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.

We reduce our carbon footprint

In 2019, our carbon footprint was approx. 0.08 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Our calculated total emissions decreased by around 4 % compared to 2018. This reduction is partly explained by increased accuracy in the calculations of emissions from timber harvesting and transport, for example in terms of productivity and fuel consumption data.

Our key actions for reducing our carbon footprint include the introduction of an ETJ+ energy efficiency system, phasing out of oil in heating our premises by 2024, and improving our procurements, logistics and operations.

The greatest part of our carbon footprint, approx. 96 %, 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.