Ilim Group shares sustainable forest management practices with industry experts

SKOLKOVO hosted the events within the framework of the international educational program “Future Leaders in Forest-Based Bioeconomy”

Группа «Илим» поделилась практиками устойчивого лесопользования с экспертами отрасли

On October 15-19. Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO hosted the events within the framework of the international educational program “Future Leaders in Forest-Based Bioeconomy” attended by Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation. Ilim Group representatives spoke to the industry community on their experience in implementing the intensive forest management and reforestation model, which Ilim has been developing since 2010.

From the perspective of Ilim Group, sustainable forest management and principles of bioeconomy are key to a long-term development of the industry in Russia – the country with a unique resource on a global scale (Russia has almost 25% of the global forest resources). The availability and renewability of key resources is the strategic issue that includes environmental, social, and economic aspects in the long term. Sustainable forest management aims to respond precisely to the long-term needs and challenges.

The Company’s intensive forest management and reforestation model addresses the concerns of all stakeholders – business, government and communities. The model is cost-effective and environmentally optimum. However, the implementation process was challenging for all parties.

The pilot implementation of the new forest management model was launched at the Koryazhma Mill of Ilim Group in 2010. The absence of forest tending standards in Russia became a major obstacle to adoption of the new model on a mass scale. The existing standards were focused on the extensive model and did not provide for quality reforestation. Ilim’s investment helped the relevant federal bodies to change a whole set of standards related primarily to forest tending, reforestation and harvesting. As a result, an updated regulatory framework was put in place to facilitate the development of the new model. The next stage of the model implementation process will start at the Ust-Ilimsk Mill in 2019.

In order to ensure comprehensive employee training in various areas, the Company has launched its Corporate University program. Cooperation between the University and SKOLKOVO School is an additional opportunity to share best practices and expert opinion.

The model aims to ensure sustainable increment and reforestation, to restore key species and increase harvesting volumes not by developing new areas, but through sustainable management of resources. Combination of different clearcutting methods – after thinning trees grow at a faster pace, and reforestation – seedlings planting and tending of young stands – are key elements of the model. Planting can be artificial (ball-rooted seeds/seedlings) or natural. Different forest management activities assuring the cultivation of desired species and assortment are conducted throughout all stages of forest succession cycle.


At SKOLKOVO, Dmitry Pakhomov, Director of the Forest Branch of JSC Ilim Group, shared Ilim’s best practices in implementing the model with the colleagues and independent experts of the “Future Leaders in Forest-Based Bioeconomy” program: “The model is relevant for any forestry company. Firstly, it implies sustainable wood supply in both short and long term; secondly, it reduces wood costs; and thirdly, it involves rational use of leased land areas with no need to develop new timberlands, which is certainly important from the environmental perspective. The sustainable forest management model is balanced out and most efficient. Unfortunately, the forest management approach which, until recently, existed in Russia, was focused on harvesting in mature forests with minimum reforestation costs. Ilim in Koryazhma was the first to put the new model into practice. The transition to the intensive forest management model has already proved to be efficient.”




Reference information:

The events within the international educational program “Future Leaders in Forest-Based Bioeconomy” were held at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO on October 15-19. This is the first program to be implemented in Russia which is aimed to transform the forest industry by creating a community of promising industry specialists, future change leaders with a vision in the area of sustainable development, who are familiar with key principles and tools in the field of bioeconomy and sustainable forest management. The Program’s experts included Russian and international business representatives, academic community and non-profit organizations. The Program’s partners are World Wildlife Fund, European Forest Institute, International Paper company.

Ilim Group’s total harvesting area is about 40,000 hectares per year. The entire area is covered by the Company’s reforestation activities. All Ilim’s locations undergo voluntary certification in accordance with FSC (Forest Stewardship) and PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) international standards. Independent expert organizations confirm the responsible approach to resources utilization, preservation of biodiversity, and reforestation activities.