It is crucial for the success and sustainability of Stora Enso to ensure that the communities around our operations thrive economically, socially, and environmentally.
Opportunities and challenges
Stora Enso’s mills, tree plantations, forestry, and other operations are often located near rural communities. To ensure that our production, raw material sourcing, and labour supply are both sustainable and competitive, we must ensure the viability of these communities.
Stora Enso’ mills are heavily dependent on energy and raw materials, and they generate emissions that may impact adjoining communities. Our tree plantations in China, Brazil, and Uruguay influence local land use, livelihoods, and ecosystems. These impacts must be managed responsibly in order to maximise their positive influence and to maintain long-term community relations.
Relevant policies that guide our community relations include:
- Code of Conduct
- Social Responsibility Guidelines
- Stakeholder Guidelines
- Human Rights Statement
- Tax Policy.
Our joint ventures have developed or are in the process of developing formal procedures for their local community work.
How we work
To address the potential impacts that Stora Enso’s activities may have on neighbouring communities, we have various tools and processes in place. These include:
- Environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) for all new projects that could cause significant adverse effects in local communities
- Due diligence assessments as part of Stora Enso’s acquisition and investment processes, covering relevant factors related to environmental, social, and business practice issues.
- Environmental management systems such as ISO 14001 for production units
- Sustainable forest management certification of Stora Enso’s own forestry operations and suppliers
- Investments in various projects in local communities
- Restructuring processes planned in cooperation with the authorities.
Stora Enso is a major employer, tax-payer, and partner for local entrepreneurs in many communities around its operations. In 2015, for example, we paid more than EUR 1 billion to the public sector including EUR 792 million in collected taxes. Follow this link for more information
about our tax policy, our tax footprint, and the wider economic impact of taxes.
During 2015 we engaged with the communities around our operations through community events, public hearings, round tables, and open house events at our units. While our community investment work takes place in all our locations, it has particularly focused on locations outside Europe. For an introduction into our progress in community investment in the locations that have most interested our stakeholders, click to open the below locations .
Stora Enso’s operations in Guangxi, Southern China, consist of tree plantations and the construction site of a consumer board mill in the municipality of Beihai. The mill, which is scheduled to start production in mid-2016, will employ some 270 people by the end of 2016. In total, we estimate that about 1 000 jobs will be created in Guangxi, mainly in forestry operations.
Stora Enso’s representatives in Guangxi speak regularly with members of the communities near our plantations and mill site, to inform them about our operations and to enable them to express their concerns and contribute ideas. We strive to promote gender inclusivity, and to ensure that less vocal villagers are also consulted.
During 2015, work began on the creation of a social responsibility management system, in cooperation with the non-proft organisation BSR. We aim to implement the new system in 2016. We have also continued to support local villages around our plantations through our Community Development Fund. In 2015, funding amounting to EUR 132 000 was allocated to a total of 62 projects in 59 villages across Guangxi, including the development of infrastructure, sanitation facilities, and support for schools.
Veracel, our 50/50 joint operation in Brazil, runs a pulp mill and eucalyptus plantations in southern Bahia, Brazil. Veracel’s community engagement work focuses on land ownership and land use, and local social development.
Veracel engages in dialogue with various social movements. Through the Sustainable Settlement Initiative these movements have pledged to leave areas occupied since July 2011, while Veracel has agreed not to seek to repossess areas occupied before that date. The initiative relates to a total of 16 500 hectares of Veracel’s lands designated for the settlements. At the end of 2015, additional 5 461 hectares of Veracel’s lands were occupied by landless people’s movements not involved in the Sustainable Settlement Initiative.
In 2012 Veracel launched a major initiative together with the state government, known as the Pact for the Development of the Discovery Coast. With investments of EUR 135 000 by the end of 2015, the pact is benefitting family farmers in several communities near Veracel.
Montes del Plata’s partnerships with local rural producers have led to more than 300 producers allowing forestry plantations on their lands, to be leased and managed by Montes del Plata. Such areas total approximately 35 000 hectares. It has been estimated that these plantation areas will account for one-third of all the wood procured by Montes del Plata. At the end of 2015, 180 farmers near Montes del Plata's operations were also using pastures in the company’s lands for cattle grazing and honey production.
Montes del Plata’s Good Neighbour Programme and the mill management’s Ethos group aim to ensure that local communities become better acquainted with Montes del Plata and form a positive relationship with the company. This will also encourage them to approach the company with any possible concerns or complaints.
Alianzas is a Montes del Plata initiative that provides additional income for local farmers by enabling them to use parts of their land for timber and food production in exchange for financial compensation. The programme also promotes diverse land use by enabling local farmers to use Montes del Plata’s lands for cattle grazing and honey production.
Stora Enso supports six schools in cooperation with the Pakistani non-governmental organisation Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi. By the end of 2015, all of the 640 children identified as child workers in 2014 were attending the schools. The children are enabled to attend school for up to eight years. We are also working to improve the marketable abilities and life skills of local parents and young workers.
In Laos, Stora Enso continues to develop a trial plantation encompassing 3 900 hectares of plantations, of which 2 332 are planted with eucalyptus.
In Laos we continue to develop an agroforestry model that combines tree-growing with food production. As part of the related land compensation scheme, we have set up a village development fund to distribute benefits fairly and equally among villagers, and to further support local development and livelihoods. Most of the EUR 221 000 of funding allocated during 2015 was directed to infrastructure projects and buying livestock to enhance food security.