Mondi uses virgin and recycled wood fibre to make its packaging and paper products. Virgin wood fibre is important to keep the integrated wood fibre system functioning and it is a sustainable renewable resource if sourced responsibly. Securing resilient forest landscapes is key to producing sustainable virgin fibre.
Our Sustainable Working Forest model shows the positive contribution that well-managed operational landscapes make to nature and society by integrating productive renewable forest sites and effective ecological networks.
Photo credit: @Yana Barzova
Our aim is to optimise timber yields in productive forests while maintaining biodiversity and natural capital, ultimately contributing to more resilient ecosystems. To achieve this, we develop ecosystems stewardship approaches taking into account the specific features of different forest types. For Mondi, the working forest concept includes the three main forest types that we source wood from, namely:
Managed forests follow continuous rotation cycles, ensuring long-term availability of a wide range of forest products and services. In sustainably managed forests average harvesting volumes do not exceed growth and forests follow rotation cycles from regeneration loggings with compulsory reforestation, naturally or by planting, to young forest tending and protection until maturity. In order to improve productivity and quality of forest stand there can be also thinnings and selective loggings implemented at different stages. Depending on natural and site conditions, tree species and management intensity the rotation cycles can vary from several years to hundreds of years, as well as forest growth can vary from few cubic meters to dozens cubic meters from each hectare annually.
Well-designed and managed ecological networks, embedding the productive sites, are crucial for protecting and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystems integrity. Ecological networks consist of the regionally valuable natural ecosystems, which are either fully protected or intensively managed, in order to secure their best functioning. The effective ecological networks allow to support ecosystems resilience to the adverse effects of severe weather events and the climate crisis. Conservation networks include official protected areas (e.g. Natura 2000 in Europe) and also voluntarily set aside areas of high conservation values (e.g. intact forest landscapes in Russia, wetlands and grasslands in South Africa). The sites with social and cultural values are also included in the conservation network to ensure well-being of local and indigenous communities.
Recognition of the model
We promoted the working forest concept in 2016 to communicate our vision. The concept has gained recognition among other stakeholders and we support WBCSD Forest Solutions Group in promoting wider uptake of the concept. Importance of Sustainable Working Forests is equally high in all parts of the world. If effectively managed and protected, forest lands will not be degraded or converted to another land use type in the long-term perspective, securing their crucial multiple functions for climate, nature and people.