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Södra closing the forest loop with fossil-free seedling production

Södra is investing SEK 6 million (≈ EUR 0.62 million) in energy efficiency and fuel switch measures at its Falkenberg nursery in Sweden. The investment will result in a new greenhouse thus taking another step towards fossil-fuel independence.

Closing the loop – Södra invests in fossil-free forest seedling production at its Falkenberg nursery, which will be heated using wood pellets produced at its Värö sawmill using sawmill residues (photo courtesy Södra).

Closing the loop – Södra invests in fossil-free forest seedling production at its Falkenberg nursery, which will be heated using wood pellets produced at its Värö sawmill using sawmill residues (photo courtesy Södra).

Södra, Sweden’s largest forest owners association, has announced that it is investing SEK 6 million (≈ EUR 0.62 million) in energy efficiency and fuel switch measures at its Falkenberg forest nursery The investment into a new greenhouse and wood pellet heating system, is in line with the sustainability targets set by Södra earlier in the autumn, one of which was that Södra’s production is to be fossil-free by 2020 and transport activities are to be fossil-free by 2030.

– I am very happy that we are further realising our efforts through this investment. We have so much to contribute on climate issues and in the shift to a fossil-free society. This clearly shows how we as a company can take part in and lead the way in this transition, said Johan Jonsson, Head of Södra Skogsplantor.

The new fossil-free greenhouse will replace two old, end-of-life greenhouses, and is more energy efficient, reducing energy consumption by about 25 percent. Parts of operations in Falkenberg have already transferred to fossil-free operation, such as the production of its PluggPlusEtt seedlings, a system developed by Södra whereby seedlings are first grown in a pot and then transplanted in a field for further growth development.

Two gas boilers for heating staff facilities and a production hall, have recently been replaced by a larger wood pellet boiler. Work on the new greenhouse will begin during the winter months, and it is expected to be operational next summer.

When next year’s investments are complete, then 95 percent of operations will be fossil-free. The final stage is another greenhouse in Falkenberg to replace the old greenhouses that still use gas heating and this is scheduled to take place 2018-19. Södra’s nursery in Flåboda has been completely fossil-free since 2015.

– It’s a long-term project to make production fossil-free. You must be prepared to work patiently, and constantly look for new solutions.Work in Flåboda took six years and we are constantly diligent to remain fossil-free there. We are now taking the next step with the nursery in Falkenberg, said Johan Jonsson.

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