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Stora Enso and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have signed an international partnership agreement establishing a long-term strategic collaboration to develop and promote sustainable forestry.

Stora Enso and FSC have formed the agreement to increase FSC certification, especially among small- and medium-sized private forest owners in the Nordics, Baltics and across Europe. The aim is to increase the FSC certified wood supply. It is claimed that the work undertaken within the partnership will make FSC certification more accessible, simpler to implement and easier to promote across the value chains that Stora Enso operates in. The agreement was signed on December 7, 2018 and covers a three-year period commencing January 2019. The first year’s focus will be on the Nordics.

FSC director general Kim Carstensen said: "Improving solutions for small- and medium-sized forest owners to access responsible markets through FSC certification is essential for the success of our mission. Working together with Stora Enso will enable us to increase our engagement with and provide better support to a larger number and more diverse group of private forest owners, enabling them to implement FSC certification appropriately in their forests."

Stora Enso actively promotes all main forest certification systems and is committed to responsible sourcing of wood and fiber only from sustainably managed forests and tree plantations. In 2017, Stora Enso mills received 37.5 million cubic meters of wood, a significant share of which came from private forest owners.

Stora Enso has been an FSC member since 1999 and through this has experience of working with FSC to advance the principles of responsible forest management. This new strategic partnership builds on that relationship to focus more on the key operational aspects of FSC in those countries where both organizations have an active presence. It will seek to develop and promote forest certification as a key tool to improve the well-being of forests whilst providing increased supply sources for companies that want to source FSC Certified material.

Noel Morrin, execute vice president, sustainability at Stora Enso, said: "We work actively with our stakeholders to promote sustainable forest management. As a customer-centric renewable materials company, Stora Enso also wants to respond to its customers’ needs for FSC certified products."