Stora Enso Says Only Legally Harvested Wood Acceptable

Sept. 21, 2006 - Stora Enso today responded to Greenpeace allegations that Finnish forest products companies have been purchasing illegally-logged wood from Russia.

In a press release, Stora Enso stated that it actively works to combat illegal logging wherever the Group operates and does not accept wood that is harvested in violation of national or state laws.

The Helsinki-based papermaker said traceability systems verifying the origin of wood are the most important tools to combat illegal logging, and they cover all wood used by the Group. Stora Enso Wood Supply Russia also has FSC controlled wood certification in place to secure that all wood is legally harvested.

Yesterday, Greenpeace publicized that Karelian authorities are issuing logging licences without Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) as required by Russian federal law for forest management plans. It has been alleged that this wood is purchased by Finnish forest companies including Stora Enso.

Stora Enso emphasized that it only purchases wood from legal sources and that all of the company's logging subsidiaries in Russia have EIAs in place for their leaseholdings with the exception of the most recently acquired subsidiary, which is commissioning one.

To help resolve the issue, Stora Enso has initiated a dialogue by asking the Karelian authorities to clearly state their position in this matter and the legal basis for it.

Additionally, Stora Enso Wood Supply Russia will meet with Greenpeace Russia to discuss the questions around logging in the Russian Republic of Karelia.

Stora said that its understanding is that the wood the company buys in Russia is legal. Stora went on to say if it discovers that some wood is illegally harvested, the company will immediately rectify the situation.

SOURCE: Stora Enso

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