Published 10.3.2023

Metsähallitus achieved a good financial result and also promoted a wide range of other objectives

Metsähallitus achieved its financial and operational targets in 2022. The operating profit of Metsähallitus Group came to EUR 150.9 million, and investments in ensuring biodiversity and other societal benefits totalled more than EUR 80 million. With its activities, Metsähallitus promotes the achievement of Finland’s climate targets and creates wellbeing for regions and individuals.

Metsähallitus Group’s turnover in 2022 totalled EUR 423.3 million and the financial result was EUR 150.9 million. The strong performance was due to brisk demand for timber, high timber prices and wind power projects. Business investments in biodiversity and other societal benefits reached EUR 80.3 million. Metsähallitus will contribute EUR 110 million to state revenue from the previous year’s result.

-Even though the year 2022 was a challenging one, we achieved a good result while at the same time promoting our environmental, climate and other strategic objectives. Reconciling a wide range of different objectives and ensuring biodiversity are at the core of our activities and fundamental to success, says Juha S. Niemelä, Director General of Metsähallitus.

The annual growth of state-owned multiple-use forests exceeds 13 million cubic metres. In 2022, a total of 5.9 million cubic metres of timber was harvested in the multiple-use forests, which was less than in the previous year. Metsähallitus prepares its sustainable felling plans as part of regional natural resource plans in cooperation with stakeholders. In recent years, fellings in state-owned forests have been slightly below the level specified in the natural resource plans.

In 2022, the focus in forestry was on active ecological management, endangered species and climate-wise activities. According to Niemelä, Metsähallitus aims to increase the carbon sinks of its multiple-use forests by ten per cent by the year 2035.

Last year, habitat restoration and ecological management work in state-owned protected areas and multiple-use forests to promote biodiversity covered 17,400 hectares, a new record. Most of the restored areas were mires. Metsähallitus also restored flowing waters and fish habitats and removed barriers to fish migration. In the protected areas, the work was carried out as part of the Helmi habitat programme and with EU and LIFE funding while in the multiple-use forests, the measures were funded by Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd.

The need for clean energy and the green transition have boosted wind power projects in state-owned areas. Project development always involves extensive assessments of the impacts on nature and the environment. There are now 157 wind power plants in state-owned areas. They have a combined power of about 590 MW and in 2022, they generated a total of about 1,500 GWh of energy.

An important milestone in offshore wind power project development was achieved when Metsähallitus signed an agreement with Vattenfall to develop and build an offshore wind farm in Korsnäs. Responsibility was a key criterion in the selection of the project partner.

-Wind power project development will continue vigorously this year, both onshore and offshore. The onshore projects include several joint projects and projects managed by Metsähallitus. At the same time, we are also making two new offshore project sites available. According to Niemelä, boosting renewable energy generation will also make it easier for Finland to achieve its carbon neutrality target.

Outdoor activities remained a popular pastime even though the number of visitors to national parks decreased from the peak figures registered during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2022, there were a total of 7.4 million visits to the national parks and other hiking destinations of Metsähallitus. The popularity of fishing and hunting remained at 2021 levels.

According to Niemelä, a great deal will also be expected of state-owned land and water areas in the future, which means that Metsähallitus must continuously develop its activities.

In his view, Metsähallitus must focus even more on open dialogue and responsible coordination of its objectives.

Juha S. Niemelä, Director General, juha.niemela(at), tel. +358 206 39 4201

Metsähallitus Annual and Responsibility Report (in Finnish):