2022-04-21 - 2022-08-21
Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, with 52,000 forest owners as its members. Our mission is to promote the profitability of their forest estates and to secure markets for their forest raw material. This mission also includes promoting high-yield and valuable forest production combined with nature conservation and cultural considerations and monitoring and promoting its members’ business policy interests, particularly regarding property ownership rights.
Innovation plays an important role at Södra. We know that innovation and business development are key to a company’s long-term competitiveness. Since all of our research and development is based on sustainability, we are also contributing to a more sustainable society. Södra conducts research and development to improve existing products and processes while also investing considerable resources in bringing new and innovative products to market. These efforts are mainly driven by Södra’s business area for innovation together with the business areas, but also in partnerships with customers and in external networks with universities, research institutes and companies further upstream in various value chains.
In this challenge, we want to focus on the core of Södra’s mission; to help the private forester owners in southern Sweden to expand their profitability. Today, and historically, the primary source of income for private forest owners has been generated through traditional forestry, meaning the production of wood that through Södras industry, is processed into paper and dissolving pulp, sawn timber, cross-laminated timber and other processed products for housing construction, energy products and raw material for liquid biofuels. Even if the value created in the traditional forestry likely will increase in the future due to its climate-positive products and innovation in end products, the production and growth of the forests are limited by nature. Therefore, forest owners are likewise somewhat limited in the expansion of their production of raw materials. On the other hand, raw material is only one of the ecosystem services provided by a forest estate. Due to climate change, the need for increased carbon capture and strong ecosystems with high biodiversity creates an opportunity for forest owners to utilize more of the value created by the forests ecosystem to gain additional sources of income. The challenge is to explore solutions for market structures and business models that enable private forest owners to increase their profitability by monetizing the ecosystem services they produce alongside today’s sustainable wood products.
To work on one of our exciting projects, you must first apply and be admitted to the inGenious course via www.antagning.se/universityadmissions.se.