Responsible forestry in practice

In order to maintain, enhance or restore ecological functions and values, forest managers take environmental consideration when harvesting their forests. This is, for instance, done by retaining valuable trees, groves, buffer zones and by creating high-stumps. Environmental consideration is a cornerstone of Swedish forestry.

Swedish forest owners currently leave an average of 8–10% of the surface area on final felling, out of consideration for the environment. This entails a significant supplement to the already large areas of forest exempted from harvesting due to laws and certification systems. In addition there are more localised environmental measures whereby old and large trees and deadwood are retained in harvested areas.

Environmental consideration is an integral part of the forest sector's responsibility, and it has been a central ambition in the industry's environmental work for many years. The voluntary efforts of forest owners, which go far beyond the legal requirements of the Swedish Forestry Act, are fundamental if Sweden is to realise its environmental ambitions.

Environmental consideration as it is today has been practised for more than 20 years in Sweden, and is a major contributor both to mitigating adverse effects of felling and to creating new natural values for biodiversity. As well as acting as lifeboats for species that are sensitive to felling, the environmental consideration enriches the growing forest in many ways. Forests that are regenerated today will harbour far more natural values than forests regenerated longer ago.