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Metsä Group and Dasos acquire valuable nature sites

Metsä Group and Dasos acquire valuable nature sites for Metsä Groups owner-members interested in FSC

Read Metsä Group’s article here

Metsä Group acquires nature sites that are used to compensate for the conservation areas required of forest owners by the FSC® forest certification. The new service offered to owner-members ensures that the conservation required of forest estates belonging to the FSC forest certification group is aimed at the most valuable nature sites. Metsä Group’s partner in the acquisition of nature sites is the Dasos Habitat fund managed by Dasos Capital Oy. Key investors in the fund are Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, LocalTapiola and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

A requirement for the FSC forest certification is that at least 5% of the forest land of the associated forest estate is permanently excluded from forest use.

The FSC defines which types of sites are always conserved. In practice, an estate being associated with FSC does not necessarily have 5% of the types of sites that are always conserved. This means that the forest owner has to conserve ordinary forest so that the 5% conservation requirement is fulfilled.

Metsä Group and the Dasos Habitat fund work together to acquire forest estates that include connected nature sites defined as valuable by the FSC. The estates are incorporated into Metsä Group’s FSC group certification. Metsä Group offers valuable nature sites on these estates to owner-members belonging to the FSC group that don’t have valuable nature sites themselves. These nature sites are used to compensate for the conservation area required of the forest owner.

The service is available for Metsä Group’s owner-members.

The most valuable sites conserved

“Many forest owners interested in the FSC have felt that it is unjust to have to conserve forests with no special nature value. We believe that our new service brings a solution for this problem and increases the amount of FSC certified forests in Finland,” says Juha Mäntylä EVP, Wood Supply, Metsä Group.

“With this service, forest conservation is aimed at the most important sites in terms of nature value. Our goal is to also build a network of connected conservation sites. The service helps to strengthen both the ecological and economical sustainability of FSC certified forests,” Mäntylä says.

Globally unique service

“This even globally unique impact investment model creates a new forest-based investment object whose earning logic is fundamentally founded on forest-based environmental and ecosystem services. The innovative model can simultaneously achieve the goals of private forest owners, wood processors, certification and sustainable forest management. The primary forestry-related goal of the fund is to support biodiversity in accordance with FSC criteria. The fund helps conserve valuable, still unprotected forest sites throughout Finland,” says Olli Haltia, CEO of Dasos Capital Oy.

The director of FSC Finland, Anna Ylä-Anttila, estimates that the service helps to cover for the shortage of supply of FSC certified wood in Finland by making FSC certification a more tempting option for small forest estate owners. According to Ylä-Anttila, conservation may become much more efficient as valuable and connected forest areas are found and conserved. At best, everyone wins with this arrangement.

Metsä Group supports both the PEFC™ and FSC forest certification systems. “Certain industrial customers want some of the wood they acquire to be FSC certified. The growth of the area of FSC certified forests helps us better serve these customers,” says Mäntylä.

For further information, please contact:

Juha Mäntylä, EVP, Wood Supply, Metsä Group, tel. +358 50 352 5528,

Olli Haltia, CEO, Dasos Capital Oy, tel. +358 40 901 0338

Anna Ylä-Anttila, Director, FSC Finland, tel. +358 41 317 1437

Krista Kimmo, Communications Manager, Metsä Group, tel +358 50 526 4911.

Fact box:

If a forest estate has valuable nature sites defined by FSC, they must always be conserved. This service cannot be used to bypass that fact.
In the new service, Metsä Group defines nature sites to be used to compensate for the conservation area required of the forest owner.
Finland is divided into a minimum of two sections in the service. The source and target estates for the compensation have to be located in the same section of the country.
In Finland, forests are classified based on wood yield and nutrient content into forest land, low productivity forest land and non-productive land. Most forests grow on forest land.
At present, Metsä Group’s FSC group certificate covers around 170,000 hectares of forestry land.

Metsä Forest is the market leader in wood trade and forest energy in Finland. It is responsible for Metsä Group’s wood supply and provides the owner-members of the parent company, Metsäliitto Cooperative, with extensive services in wood trade as well as forest and nature management. Metsäliitto Cooperative has approximately 103,000 members, who own nearly half of the private forest area in Finland. In 2018, Metsä Forest’s sales totalled EUR 2.0 billion, and it has approximately 840 employees. FSC-C111942

Dasos Capital Oy Ltd is natural capital and timberland investment management company based in Helsinki, Finland. Dasos acts as an Investment Advisor for several forest and natural capital funds with combined total volume of funds and assets at over EUR 700 million, investors including Finnish and other European pension funds and endowments, family offices and other investors. Dasos Habitat Fund invests in forestland targets with biodiversity and climate change mitigation values. Dasos has signed UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment and is a member of Finland’s Sustainable Investment Forum (FINSIF). Dasos Capital Oy Ltd is authorised as Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) by the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) in Finland.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, non-profit and open membership organisation committed to promoting responsible forest use through certification. The FSC was established in 1993 by a group of representatives from the environmental, forestry and community sectors who were concerned about deforestation around the world, with the aim of promoting environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. FSC Finland (the Association for Responsible forestry) is responsible for operations in Finland.

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