The Board of Södra in Sweden has decided to allocate SEK 100 million (roughly A$15,211,67) to research, of which half will be earmarked for the development of forest management methods and technologies. Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, with 52,000 forest owners as its members. Södra is also an international forest industry Group, with operations based on processing its members’ forest products. Source: Timberbiz
“Society’s expectations of how this renewable raw material from the forest can help to combat climate change is clear. We are therefore investing to create opportunities for increasing forest production using low-impact methods in family forestry,” Lars Idermark, President and CEO of Södra said.
The special R&D program will take place during the period 2019-2022.
The initiative is in line with Södra’s sustainability target and is intended to create conditions for achieving a 20% higher annual rate of forest growth on Södra members’ estates by 2050 compared with 2015.
The aim is consistent with the conservation of biodiversity, while maintaining both the natural functions and productive capacity of forest land.
“There is major potential for developing forestry in terms of both digitisation and tree breeding, as well as job creation,” Mr Idermark said, and adds that innovation rates and productivity enhancements have now slowed in historical terms.
The remaining SEK 50 million will go the Södra Research Foundation, whose mission is to promote research and development projects linked to forestry and forest industry operations in southern Sweden.
With this new contribution, a total of SEK 300 million has been allocated to the Södra Research Foundation since it was founded in 1995. Funding of SEK 213 million has since been granted.
The funding has led to progress in a wide range of areas related to the bio-based economy, including new opportunities for fossil-free products.
“The contribution reflects our long-term approach to the funding of forest industry research, which is paving the way for future forestry, sustainable production and new climate-smart products,” Göran Örlander, Chairman of the Södra Research Foundation said.