Yesterday, about 45 people from several organizations demonstrated against SCA’s logging of forests outside the company’s headquarters in Sundsvall, Sweden. Protect the Forest, Fridays for Future Sweden, Skogsvärn Näsåker, Greenpeace and The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation demand that SCA stops its systematic felling of forests with high conservation values.

Demonstration outside the SCA’s headquarters in Sundsvall, Sweden. Photo: Fridays For Future.

We are protesting against SCA’s logging of forests with high conservation values, large carbon stores and important habitats for a number of endangered species. We have 90 examples of forests with high conservation values that have been notified for felling, or have already been felled, which together demonstrate the systematic unsustainability that prevails at SCA. The list also includes withdrawn logging notifications on forests that should never have been planned for logging. It is clear that consumers can blindly trust that SCA’s FSC-labeled products come from unsustainably unfair, environmentally harmful and extremely carbon dioxide-intensive forestry”, said Lina Burnelius from Protect the Forest.

During the demonstration, the participants submitted an open letter as well as the 2022 and 2023 inventory reports from the Research Trip. In the open letter, 20 organisations, associations and groups demand that SCA immediately stop forestry in forests with high conservation values. They also demand that SCA dismantle its contorta pine plantations and stop producing climate-damaging end products.

SCA cut trees with high biodiversity values at Orrmyrarna, Sollefteå: 11 hectares of natural forest with very high natural values was clearcut! At least 14 red-listed species, thousands of findings of the orchid Goodyera Repens (VU, §8), the rare wood-living fungi Amylocystis lapponicus (VU), Skeletocutis odora (VU) and Phlebia centrifuga (VU) were found on the clear-cut. Photo: Private

The research is clear – protecting forests is an effective way to mitigate the climate crisis

“The research is very clear, a very effective way to mitigate the climate crisis, drastically reduce emissions in the near term and at the same time slow down the loss of biodiversity is to protect forests with high biodiversity. At the same time we should be converting to ecosystem-based forestry”, said Kim Hultgren, from the forest group, Skogsvärn Skogsnäs.

One of many examples of logged forests with high conservation values, Mörtsjökojan in Jämtland, 2021. Despite the fact that SCA was informed about the presence of the endangered moth Baptria tibiale (EN) in the area, the forest company logged part of the forest which harboured the plant Actaea spicata, which the moth’s larvae feeds on. Photo: Private

That deforestation in the EU must be reduced is emphasized by 550 researchers in an appeal to the EU’s decision-makers.

“The forest industry has the largest climate emissions in Sweden – all other industry and traffic in the country together emit less carbon dioxide than the forest industry does on its own. In managed forests in southern Sweden, felling now exceeds forest growth, which makes the forest a carbon source. The largest sequestration of carbon dioxide occurs in protected and unused forests. The forest sector’s emissions must therefore, mainly due to the now critical time factor, be quickly limited in the same way as the fossil emissions”, said Stig-Olof Holm, Researcher and University Lecturer at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Geosciences at Umeå University.

Forest with high conservation values at Svarttjärnsåsen, in Ånge municipality which SCA has notified for logging. Despite FSC-certified SCA receiving information that the forest harbours many red-listed species and high conservation values, SCA has not withdrawn its logging notifications. “It is incomprehensible that an FSC-certified company would even think about felling forests like this”. Photo: Private

90 examples of forests which SCA has logged or plan to log

The participants in the demonstration handed over a collection of 90 examples of SCA’s logging and felling notifications of forests with high conservation values. The list also includes withdrawn felling notifications regarding forests that should never have been planned for logging in the first place. None of these forests are formally protected today.

“Swedish forestry is reaching the end of the road”

“Swedish forestry is coming to a road’s end. Soon, we won’t have any old growth forests left. Therefore, it is outrageous when even the forests that are supposed to be protected are being harvested. No one profits from this in the long run, neither locals, the state, the Sami, nature or even forest companies like SCA. That’s why it’s important for us to be here today, in protest against SCA’s unsustainable, irresponsible, and corrupt forestry. Let’s not forget we’re talking about an export company that lies to their consumers”, said Dima Litvinov, spokesperson in forest matters, Greenpeace Sweden.

Örasjöberget: 380 hectares of contiguous natural pine forest that meets all the requirements of a potential nature reserve. In the forest, the FSC-certified forestry company SCA plans to fell in three places. Photo: Klas Magnusson

Last year, for example, SCA felled a natural forest with over 300-year-old trees at Holmstjärnen outside Näsåker in Sollefteå municipality. At Askeberget in Arjeplog municipality, SCA felled primeval forest with trees over 300 years old that were included in one of the County Administrative Board’s nature-reserve proposals. At Mörtsjöbodarna in Ragunda municipality in Jämtland, SCA felled a protected calcareous conifer forest with the endangered moth Baptria tibiale (EN), despite information from the County Administrative Board that the species was there.

På vilket sätt har SCA utvecklat och bevarat trolldruvemätarens livsmiljö? SCA avverkade den äldre kalkbarrskogen vid Mörtsjöbodarna i Ragunda kommun trots att de kände till förekomsten av den starkt hotade arten trolldruvemätare (EN). Foto: Privat.
In what way has SCA developed and preserved the habitat of the endangered moth Baptria tibiale (EN)? SCA logged the old calcareous conifer forest at Mörtsjöbodarna in Ragunda municipality, even though they were aware of the presence of the endangered moth Baptria tibiale. Photo: Private.

“That we even have to be here and protest is insane. What SCA is doing is to systematically clear-cut irreplaceable forests, with disastrous consequences for the climate, environment and indigenous people’s rights. At the same time, they actively oppose the necessary and possible transition to truly sustainable forestry, that would mitigate the climate crisis, and halt the death of species. We wish that we would not have to stand here, but we have no choice when everything is at stake”, said Karla Alfaro Gripe, Fridays for Future Sweden.

SCA is the largest forestry company in the EU, which brings responsibility

“SCA is the largest and strongest forest owner in the Jämtland-Härjedalen/Västernorrland region, even the largest in the EU. Being very big and strong gives a special responsibility for how one behaves. Ignoring laws, violating certification rules and destroying forests which should be protected is something we at the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation will never accept”, said Ulf von Sydow, County Chairman of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Jämtland Härjedalen.

Read the open letter to SCA here.

An example collection of SCA’s logged and planned logging of forests with high conservation values ​​can be read here. Note that this is not a complete list of all SCA’s fellings, but only examples.

Read the report from the inventory research trip 2023 here (only in Swedish).

Read the report from the inventory research trip 2022 here (abstract in English).

Contact persons

Lina Burnelius, Project Manager and International Coordinator Protect the Forest, lina.burnelius@skyddaskogen.se, phone +46734404794

Stig-Olof Holm, Researcher and University Lecturer at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Earth Sciences at Umeå University, stig-olof.holm@umu.se, phone +46703594481

Daniel Rutschman, Skogsvärn Näsåker/ Skogsnäs, danielrutschman@gmail.com, phone +46761128826

Christopher Engberg Dahl, Communications Manager, Greenpeace Sweden, christopher.dahl@greenpeace.org, phone +46791421453