An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

SSNC files formal complaint against SCA's clearcutting in SwedenTags: Sweden, High Conservation Value Forests

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has issued the following press release about SCA's logging operations in northern Sweden. While this case looks very serious, it is not an isolated incident. SSNC points out that there are several other examples of destructive logging operations, by SCA and other Swedish FSC-certified companies.

Jonas Rudberg, SSNC's forest campaigner says, "The situation in Sweden regarding the forest biodiversity is severe. Cutting levels are higher than ever and the FSC certification is apparently not enough. After ten years of FSC standard in place major infractions still happens and many conservationist seem about to lose their temper with the system."

Here are some of SSNC's photographs of the destruction caused by SCA's clearcuts.

More photographs are available here.

Forest company SCA reported for major infractions

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) has filed a formal complaint against SCA regarding a clear-felling in northern Sweden, stating that it violates no less than eight FSC indicators.

2007-11-22 The site complained about by SSNC is called Mellanbergsmyrorna, located near Sollefteå in northern Sweden. Among the violations are felling in key habitats, destroyed bird nest's trees, devastated habitats for red listed species and cutting of trees with high biodiversity value. All the infractions are cautiously documented by SSNC local members with photographs and GPS coordinates.

  • For the credibility of the FSC system and for the sake of nature conservation it is highly important that major infractions such as these result in consequences for the company. This felling is outrageous and punctuates the company's high profile in FSC marketing, Mikael Karlsson, President of SSNC says.

SCA has been FSC certified for ten years. It means that the company has signed up for specific rules about nature consideration and that its products then can be supplied with the FSC label, a permit that now can be withdrawn.

SCA is a forest and paper producer, selling consumer products such as paper, tissue paper, packaging and sawn wood in more than 90 countries.

  • The nature values of the particular site were of high quality. It is tragic that local conservationists have to meet such neglect of nature values when SCA, one of the largest forest companies in Europe, has been FSC certified for ten years already, Mirjam Lööf, SSNC Forest campaigner says.

For contact details and further information about the formal complaint, please visit SSNC's website.

FSC-Watch understands that SCA received a major corrective action request on the same day that SSNC's press release was released. This could be described as evidence that the FSC system is working, but for the forests already destroyed by SCA's logging, it is too late. The fact that an FSC-certified company was carrying out logging operations which are clearly in breach of FSC principles and criteria (and that SSNC had to raise the alarm - rather than the certifying body) is an indication that something is seriously wrong with the FSC system.


FSC-Watch received the following email and press release from Björn Lyngfelt, SCA's Vice President Communications, two days after we posted "SCA gets top ranking from WWF":

From: Lyngfelt Björn
Date: 12 Dec 2007 10:03
To: info(AT)fsc-watch.org
Subject: Concerning criticism of SCA's logging practices

It is correct that SCA has been subject to well-founded criticism for poor nature consideration at a number of felling sites. The recent FSC-audit confirms that we have been lacking in this respect and we have received major CAR's as a concequense.

I attach a press release that SCA has issued on the subject and on what maesures we now take in order to improve our nature conservation in order to meet our own standards and those of FSC.

Kind regards
Björn Lyngfelt

Björn Lyngfelt
Vice President Communications

Tel + 46 60 19 30 00
Direct line +46 60 19 34 98
Fax +46 60 19 34 97
Mobile +46 70 626 82 23

Tel + 46 60 19 30 00
Fax +46 60 19 31 75


Action program to raise level of SCA's nature conservation

After several fellings with inadequate nature conservation have been observed, SCA is now making comprehensive efforts to ensure good nature conservation in the company's forestry operations. Through better planning and training as well as follow-up and feedback of results, SCA wants to avoid the repetition of any mistakes.

"We have received well-grounded criticism for inadequate nature conservation," says Jerker Karlsson, President of SCA Skog. "In these incidences, we have not maintained the standards we have set and our instructions have not been followed. This is unacceptable and we are now taking actions to avoid any repetition."

Short term, planned fellings for the forthcoming winter will be reviewed and all of the approximately 100 felling teams working for SCA will participate in training and receive very specific instructions for the nature conservation measures to be applied in work for SCA. SCA will also follow up on nature conservation in felling operations more closely than previously and ensure that this follow-up is quickly fed back to those who carried out the work.

"I cannot see that we in general have deficient nature conservation in our forest operations," says Jerker Karlsson. "In our ecological landscape plans more than 5% of our forest land are exempted from harvesting, the part with the highest nature values. A confirmation that these are truly forests with high nature values is that the county councils often want to create nature preserves of these areas."

SCA's own follow-up of the company's nature conservation also shows that in 2006 an additional 6.3% of forests were spared in conjunction with final felling. For example, this pertains to edge zones along waterways or nature preservation trees, such as large broad-leaved trees.

"However, it is not sufficient that we have a high standard of our nature conservation in average," says Jerker Karlsson. "Even though the fellings that drew attention only involve a handful of the perhaps 5,000 fellings we conduct in a year, such mistakes are unacceptable. We can never ensure 100% that such mishaps do not occur, but to the greatest extent possible we shall ensure that we not only in general meet our environmental goals, but that the bar for nature conservation is sufficiently high for all of our fellings."

SCA's forest operations are certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. In the audit of how SCA complies with the FSC standard, deficient fellings were noted.

"We will be subject to a renewed audit in a few months," says Jerker Karlsson. "Our ambition until then is to sharpen our routines so that we avoid the mistakes for which we are now being criticized."

Sundsvall, November 23 2007


For further information please contact
Jerker Karlsson, President SCA Skog, tel +46 60-19 33 48
Björn Lyngfelt, vice president communications SCA Forest Products, tel +46 70-626 82 23
Per Simonsson, forest ecologist SCA Skog, tel +46 70-304 22 92

SCA SKOG is responsible for forestry management of SCA's extensive forest land, wood procurement to SCA's Swedish forest industry operations and is Europe's largest supplier of forest-based biofuel.

SCA Skog is part of SCA's Forest Products business area, which produces publication papers for newspapers, magazines and catalogues, pulp and solid-wood products. SCA Forest Products also offers cost-efficient transport solutions to SCA's units.

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