Last summer, sales staff from our customer Jewson, one of the UK’s leading chains of builders’ merchants, visited us to learn about Finnish forestry. The aim of the visit was to deepen Jewson’s sales staffs’ understanding of the journey wood undertakes from the forest to a finished product. The staff visited both the Seikku and Korkeakoski sawmills as well as the high-quality pine forest in Juupajoki.
Jewson, a part of the global Saint-Gobain group, sees the value of their staff’s end-to-end understanding of the products that they sell. “When our shop mangers have a better understanding of the production chain, they can convey that information to their own customers and help them find better solutions,” says Martin Stevens, Timber Category Director, Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK.
The first thing that caught the visitors’ attention was the speed and accuracy of the harvesting machine. After the operator had stopped the machine, the visitors were allowed to take a look inside the cabin. “People always get excited about technology on these visits,” Stevens laughs.
The visitors also wanted to know what happens after harvesting. Corporate responsibility is taken seriously at Saint-Gobain, and sustainability is a priority for the company when making purchasing decisions. Stevens says that it’s good to see with your own eyes how things are done at the harvesting site and to learn, for example, that new seedlings have already been planted for the following spring.
At Korkeakoski sawmill, the visitors were given a practical introduction to different types of timber and could even see timber shipments that were about to be sent their way.
Saint-Gobain is a key customer for UPM Timber. The global residential and industrial construction company is a route for Finnish wood to different parts of the world and to a range of end uses. Stevens predicts a bright future for wood in the British market. ”We have had a number of new wood products and innovations during recent years, and the use of wood in residential construction has increased.”
OBSERVATIONS ON FINNISH FORESTRY
- Forests cover 75 percent of Finland’s land area.
- Forest data travels digitally.
- Finnish forests are sustainably managed.
- The annual growth of trees in Finland exceeds the volume of felling and natural loss by over 20 million cubic metres per annum.
- Environmental responsibility is a priority for UPM.
Watch video: Saint-Gobain visiting a Finnish forest
Read more about our forest: http://www.upm.com/ourforests/Pages/default.aspx
Pictured: Martin Stevens, Timber Category Director, Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK
Photo: Laura Vesa
Text by: Päivi Stenroos