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Story | 06/29/2021 07:19:27

UPM calls for a strong signal to replace fossils with renewable materials when creating EU climate neutrality pathways

European Commission is expected to propose soon regulatory revisions in climate and energy policies to increase climate ambition.  This starts a lengthy legislative process to agree on the rules and regulations across the whole European Union.

UPM supports EU’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050 and recognizes the need to set more ambitious targets already for 2030. While the revision will support industry’s transformation by setting more stringent targets, UPM is deeply concerned of the regulatory uncertainty the revision may create for the coming years as it may slow down much needed green growth investments.  Therefore, the revision should be limited, fit for purpose, and focus on measures that support the increased ambition. Furthermore, UPM calls for policies that recognize the pivotal role of renewable raw materials in replacing the use of fossil resources.

Sustainable forestry enables forest growth, climate change mitigation and biodiversity

Renewability and circular material use in production and consumption open large potential for effective climate change mitigation.  The use of sustainably sourced renewable materials offers a unique solution to replace fossil consumption.

UPM is committed to “Climate Positive Forestry”, which focuses on increasing the biomass in the forests and their growth through economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable forest management. We make sure that our forests remain carbon sinks and thus support efforts to mitigate climate change.

Forest is always regenerated after harvesting.  As four new trees are planted for every harvested tree, the growth of new forest is safeguarded. Constantly growing trees ensure carbon absorption and maintain biodiversity. More forests and growth means increased carbon absorption from the atmosphere and increased opportunity to replace fossil consumption through product substitution.

Forests are a home for tens of thousands of species. Forestry and wood sourcing have an impact on biodiversity, but sustainable forest management and biodiversity are not mutually exclusive. UPM safeguards biodiversity in its own forests through the implementation of its biodiversity program. The biodiversity program was established in 1998 and covers environmental guidelines concerning operational activities, forest conservation and collaboration projects with stakeholders.

Innovation creates wealth of opportunities for substituting fossils

UPM is committed to the UN´s Business Ambition for 1.5°C and is in a unique position to offer positive climate impact through forestry, emission reductions in operations and climate-friendly alternatives for substituting fossils consumption.

In recent years, UPM has strongly invested in innovations that provide drop-in solutions for fossils substitution. For example, UPM has invested heavily in biorefineries that provide new sustainable alternatives in biofuels and biochemicals.

Therefore, UPM calls for EU policies that enable further transformation “beyond fossils”.  EU policies and the upcoming Fit for 55 proposals should ensure sustainable forest use and availability of wood as a key resource for the circular bioeconomy and green growth.