Segezha Group proves sustainable business means successful business

Sustainability is a fundamental part of how Segezha Group, a Sistema company and the leading Russian paper, packaging, and forestry group, operates its business.

The Group, which has a global presence, has allocated a total of RUB 850 mln towards investment in the latest and most efficient treatment systems for all types of emissions.

Segezha is also working hard to enhance the effective use of timber, by increasingly applying an intensive forest utilisation model and recycling waste into fuel and other innovative products.

For instance, the sawdust left over from softwood sawlogs used in timber production is recycled to produce pellets. The pellets, which are produced in high pressure conditions and without chemical binders, have a heating efficiency almost equivalent to that of coal. Compared to other types of fuel, such as lightweight oil, anthracite, charred coal and natural gas, the pellets also emit a considerably smaller amount of sulfur compounds.

In 2019, Segezha once again proved its adherence to global sustainability standards. The Group’s logging and processing facilities successfully completed FSC certification, confirming that its operations are compliant with the highest environmental standards on the market, and that the Group’s supply chain model ensures that no wood of questionable origin is used. The certificate, issued by an independent auditor based on rigorous verification at the time of logging, is recognised as a "seal of excellence" in 109 countries worldwide.

Segezha also continues to certify its assets in accordance with PEFC guidelines, a global programme developed collaboratively with stakeholders and adapted to local priorities and conditions. The company believes that dual certification dramatically decreases the risks of intermissions in supply to eco-sensitive markets.

Last year Segezha also worked closely with WWF, primarily in the Arkhangelsk region, home to the company’s Onega business unit. Recognizing that certain areas are classified as “old-growth forests” Segezha, jointly with the administration of the Kenozersky National Park and WWF, was able to offer a number of options that would maintain the territory’s environmental structure. A formal agreement on the matter is now being drafted.

The Group is also involved in a pilot project to assimilate intensive forest management standards in Karelia. The adoption of the intensive forest use model will allow Segezha to significantly upscale its timber harvesting volumes in leased areas, while also improving forest conditions. This is achieved by preserving seed blocks, critical biotopes and non-commercial land during logging.

Furthermore, In December 2019 Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill started working with the Segezha Settlement Council to set up a Public Council for Environment under the administration of the Segezha Municipal District. The main task of the new advisory body will be to kick off discussion on a range of issues, including the regional environmental situation and efforts aimed at its improvement.