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Finnforest Provides PEFC Certified Plywood for the Transport Sector

Finnforest-medBased in Finland, Finnish forestry company Finnforest is part of the Metsäliitto Group. Founded in 1934, Metsäliitto is a cooperative owned by no less than 130,000 private Finnish forest owners. With sales in the region of Euros 5 billion per year, a staff of about 14,000 and production units and offices in 30 countries, it is the tenth largest forest industry group in the world.

Finnforest's core businesses include the supply of wood products for industrial construction, the automotive sector, the home furnishings sector; wood pulp from both soft- and hardwood for magazine paper, fine paper, and speciality paper; primary-fibre boards and papers for customers in the consumer packaging, communications and advertising sectors; and tissue paper and cooking paper products for household and professional uses. The main market for the consortium's products is Europe, however it is also expanding further afield to countries like China, for example.

Earlier this year, under the Finnforest brand, Metsäliitto launched a range of PEFC plywood specifically for transport sector. Aimed at the railways interiors sector, the plywood consists of a composite panel made from Birch and Spruce sourced from sustainably managed forests in Finland and covered with an aluminium combination coating. Ranging from 4-45 mm in thickness, the panels are strong and rigid while also being lightweight. They are fire resistant and have been tested to French and Spanish fires standards. This makes them an ideal material for the walls and floors of vehicles including carriages, trailers, buses and trains.

In recent years, demand from the automotive and transport sectors for 'green' products has risen exponentially as the sectors seek to become more sustainable, partly in response to customer demand.

Sustainability is a key concern of Finnforest and its parent group Metsäliitto. It forms the basis of the company's strategy as well as an essential part of its mission, vision and values. All Finnforest plywood products have been PEFC certified since 2001; the company also has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality certifications.

The company has also integrated sustainability into all its business activities, including sustainable forestry and wood procurement. The company actively promotes sustainable forest practices, including certification.

For Finnforest, achieving certification was not a difficult choice or indeed a difficult process. One of the company's principles is and has always been to know the origin of its wood – the company sources mainly from Finland and does not purchase tropical hardwoods. Achieving Chain of Custody certification was not therefore a big challenge, though it did require some technical changes to its data systems. Metsäliitto procures about 18 million m3 of wood per year, mainly from Finnish forestry operations. To be able to provide assurances about the origins of its wood across the entire company, and not just Finnforest, Metsäliitto also had to ensure that all its database systems were able to calculate the percentage of certified wood automatically for the entire company. A challenge that the group has successfully met.

In addition to responding to customer demand, securing client loyalty and enhancing sales of its products, certification has also enabled Finnforest to communicate to its customers the importance of sustainability and sustainable forest management. To this end, it has proved to be an excellent communications tool.

Further Information

More information:

Finnforest_1.pdf (243.05 kB)