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Report, 2022

Climate effects of a forestry company – including biogenic carbon fluxes and substitution effects (2021 update)

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


Forestry play an important role in the bioeconomy, and will continues to do so in the future, by providing wood fibres for biomaterial and bioenergy that substitute for fossil-based alternatives, while at the same time storing carbon in forests and harvested wood products. 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 current report is an update of the original report, published in 2020 (Hammar et. al. 2020), based on production and value chain emissions data for the year 2021, as well as Eucalyptus plantation area as of December 2020. Overall changes in greenhouse gas fluxes relative the ones published in Hammar et al. (2020) are minor. The estimated climate effect at corporate level for 2021 is a net removal of -11.0 million Mg CO2-eq yr-1 (i.e. a climate benefit) for the year 2021 (compared to -11.5 million Mg CO2-eq yr-1 for the year 2019) 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 (10.2 million Mg CO2-eq yr-1), while the largest climate benefit (removal of 17.2 million Mg CO2-eq) was due to substitution of more greenhouse gas-intensive products. The same substitution factors developed in Hammar et al. (2020) for pulp and paper products were applied in the climate impact calculation at company level. Possible improvements for future studies inclued, e.g., the assessment of 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)
2022, number: 120
eISBN: 978-91-576-9948-0
Publisher: Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences