Forests are Finland's most important renewable natural resource, and their sustainable management will continue to ensure increasing wood supply and biodiversity. About 100 million cubic metres of new wood grows in the forests of Finland every year, whereas the total annual harvest has only been about 55 million cubic metres. There are no forest management obstacles to increasing the rate of felling, and annual harvesting of softwood for pulp could be sustainably increased by as much as seven million cubic metres.
Some 70-80 per cent of the domestic wood raw material used by the forest industry in Finland is purchased from the proprietors of privately owned forests. With an increasing number of owners living in towns and cities nowadays, there is growing demand for comprehensive forest management services. Metsä Group also takes care of forest renewal on the owner's behalf where required, and provides various solutions for easier trading and transactions. Going beyond wood sales, this approach seeks to manage forest estates in a manner that optimizes the benefits of both parties. Close co-operation and services specifically customized to meet the needs of forest owners ensure a steady supply of pulpwood.
The pulp business must similarly respond to the need for comprehensive service, and Metsä Fibre stands out as a pioneer in constantly seeking to help key customers achieve their objectives. Generating added value for both parties is fundamental to our thinking. From the annual planning stage onwards, we are genuinely engaged in the R&D work and daily operations of our customers, seeking to be involved in creating added value for them and boosting their business prospects.
We also evolve continually in the interests of our customers. Digitization is enabling us to provide new services both in managing forest estates and in the pulp trade. An example of this evolution and of our tools for innovation is the Botnia IdeaBooster concept, which enables us to formulate and refine development ideas that benefit our business and the operations of our customers. Also, the FibreOnline service gives the customer single-window access to all electronic services and documentation.
The forest is a fundamental element of the Finnish character and an indelible part of our DNA. In the same way, Metsä Fibre has internalized the idea of in-depth partnership and added value creation as part of our customer promise and corporate culture.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Customership, Metsä Fibre