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Report2020Open access

Climate effects of a forestry company : including biogenic carbon fluxes and substitution effects

Hammar, Torun; Hansson, Per-Anders; Seleborg, Mikaela; Stendahl, Johan


Forestry will play an important role in a future bioeconomy, by providing wood fibres for biomaterial and bioenergy. However, there are contradictory opinions on the climate change mitigation potential of forestry. Stora Enso, an international forestry company, has the ambition to improve its climate impact assessment at corporate level.

In this work, a system perspective was applied, where greenhouse gas emissions from value chains, biogenic carbon fluxes from forest land owned or leased by Stora Enso and temporarily stored in harvested wood products, and the substitution effect, i.e. avoided emissions from substituted products and energy were considered. Furthermore, new substitution factors for pulp and paper products were developed.

The estimated climate effect at corporate level was a net removal of -11.5 million Mg CO2-eq yr-1 (i.e. a climate benefit) when considering value chain emissions, biogenic carbon fluxes from forest land and harvested wood products, and avoided emissions from substitution. Uptake of biogenic carbon counteracted around 40% of the value chain emissions, while the largest climate benefit (removal of 17.9 million Mg CO2-eq) was due to substitution of more greenhouse gas-intensive products.

The new substitution factors developed for pulp and paper products were applied in the climate impact calculation at company level. Important assumptions and possible improvements for future studies were identified, e.g. how to assess the impact of cascading wood use in substitution calculations.


climate impact; life cycle assessment (LCA); biogenic carbon; forestry; substitution; soil organic carbon (SOC)

Published in

Rapport (Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU)
2020, number: 114
eISBN: 978-91-576-9786-8
Publisher: Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences