Published 4.3.2022

A successful year for Metsähallitus – biodiversity investments reached a record level in 2021

Metsähallitus Group’s turnover was EUR 367.4 million and operating profit EUR 119.9 million. EUR 120 of this profit from 2021 will be transferred as revenue to the State.

The good result was mainly due to a strong demand for timber and high prices. Last year, 6.3 million cubic metres of timber were harvested in state-owned forests. This figure is around five per cent lower than the sustainable felling plan for 2021 included in natural resource plans. Business investments in fostering biodiversity and other societal benefits grew to EUR 79.7 million during the year. 

“By good planning, many types of objectives can be combined in the state’s multiple-use forests. Last year, Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd introduced an energy efficiency system based on continuous improvement (ETJ+), and investments were made in reducing climate impacts and knowledge of species by recruiting experts”, says Juha S. Niemelä, Director General of Metsähallitus.

Interest in wind power increased the number of preliminary studies

The financial result of Metsähallitus Property Development totalled EUR 21.2 million. Higher demand was seen in both site business and wind power project development. The increased popularity of domestic tourism resulted in higher demand for holiday home sites, and a record number of leisure sites was sold.

The demand for renewable energy is set to grow, which was reflected in a higher number of preliminary studies for planned wind farms on state-owned land. The 138 wind power plants on state-owned lands currently produce approx. 1,000 GWh of energy. This equals the annual electricity consumption of around 75,000 single-family houses with electrical heating. Project development for the first offshore wind farm to be built off Korsnäs is making headway, and the search for a responsible project partner is currently under way. 

“Wind power project development and boosting the carbon sinks and stocks in multiple-use forests will also help Finland achieve its carbon neutrality targets. As our strategic goal has been set a three-fold increase in wind power production by 2030 and a 10% growth in the carbon sinks and stocks of the forests by 2035”, Niemelä says.

Record number of restoration and ecological management projects

Ecological management and restoration work and habitat restoration were carried out in state-owned protected areas and multiple-use forests across more than 16 hectares in total. The objective is to maintain and promote biodiversity on state-owned lands through active measures and to minimise negative impacts on the environment.

Funding from the habitats programme Helmi and the EU’s LIFE project was used for restoration and ecological management work in protected areas. In multiple-use forests, the measures were funded by Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd.

Activities in nature remain highly popular

Outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing continued to grow in popularity. The total number of visits to Metsähallitus’ national parks, historical sites and other recreation and hiking destinations reached over nine million. Hiking structures were restored and accessible services were expanded with the help of separate funding granted to Parks&Wildlife Finland. 

More than half a million days were spent fishing and hunting. The increase in visitor numbers is already putting pressure on ecological and social sustainability at the most popular destinations. The demand for hunting and fishing permits, in particular, exceeds the number of permit quotas in places. 

“Activities in nature create wellbeing for people, and the growing visitor numbers also bring significant economic benefits to the regions. The estimated regional economic impacts of the money spent by visitors to nature and hiking destinations amounted to EUR 456 million last year”, explains Henrik Jansson, Executive Director, Parks & Wildlife Finland.

Value creation model describes impact 

The focus in the implementation of Metsähallitus’ strategy, Fostering our Future, was on biodiversity, renewable energy, sustainable nature tourism and improving the customer experience. 

The value creation model describes Metsähallitus’ impact based on the economic, environmental and social value generated by the activities.  

The value of the direct impacts of Metsähallitus’ activities on society, for example through taxes, wages, purchases of materials and services, investments and income transfers, totalled around EUR 450 million. The indirect economic impacts generated through procurements, value chains of outsourced work and enabling job creation amounted to approx. EUR 3 billion. 


Juha S. Niemelä, Director General, tel. + 358 206 39 4201
Terhi Koipijärvi, Director (Communications, Strategy and Responsibility), tel. +358 206 39 4080