”The forest is a national asset and a renewable resource. It needs to be looked after to produce a sustainable yield and maintain biodiversity.”

The Swedish forestry model

Are you familiar with the Forestry Act? It’s a Swedish law that regulates management of the forest and forest land. The law established two equally weighted goals: a production goal and an environmental goal. Forestry is required to give equal weight to environmental considerations and long-term wood production. Forestry is also regulated by Environmental Code provisions.

Before the Forestry Act was amended in 1993, its main focus was on enabling an increase in wood production. Foresters were required by law to fell the trees, with a potential negative impact on biodiversity.

Since 1993, the Forestry Act emphasises the value of both production and biodiversity, allowing us to preserve both in equal measure.

The Swedish Forest Agency is the regulatory authority for portions of the Environmental Code, which includes regulations on forestry measures that may impact the environment in Natura 2000 areas and that may significantly alter the natural environment. You can learn more about the Swedish Forestry act at the Swedish Forest Agency.


The certification system imposes additional requirements for greater care and sustainability in forestry. Today, most Swedish forests are certified.

The most comprehensive quality indicators (certifications) for forestry have been established by FSC and PEFC. Both are non-profits with international headquarters and independent national organisations. The two certifications are similar, but with some differences. Read more below about what they stand for and how they help ensure sustainable forestry – in Sweden and globally.


Most Swedish forest land is certified in accordance with either FSC or PEFC. Certification is voluntary.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an independent international member organisation that promotes the environmentally sound, socially responsible, economically viable use of the world’s forests through its FSC certification system.

FSC, established in 1993, is the initiative of environmental organisations from 25 countries. FSC certification was introduced in Sweden in 1996, when Swedish stakeholders formed a working group to develop a forestry standard aligned with the certification. FSC Sweden’s current board of directors includes representatives from WWF and BirdLife Sweden.

Sweden ranks seventh on the FSC’s membership list, with 31 FSC-certified forestry operations. Nearly 13 million hectares of Swedish forest are FSC certified, which is around half of Sweden’s productive forest area.

Learn more about FSC certification


PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) covers 750,000 forest owners throughout the world.

Unlike FSC, which has environmental organisation representatives on its board, the Swedish PEFC organisation has a representative from the trade union for the forest, wood, and graphic industry.

More than 48,000 forest properties are currently certified under PEFC’s Forest Standard, which obliges property owners to conduct responsible forestry in accordance with PEFC requirements. Around 60 per cent of Sweden’s forest land is PEFC certified.

In Sweden, 15.9 million hectares of forest land are PEFC certified. A growing number of companies are certified by both FSC and PEFC. Certification is a way of communicating about environmental considerations taken to customers and society. For companies and forest owners, certification can be a method of taking industrial responsibility.

Read more about PEFC certification

Did you know that all FAM forests are both FSC and PEFC certified?

Forestry certification and eco-labelling of forest products is the forest industry’s way of demonstrating that products are produced from forest raw materials that come from responsibly managed forests, where consideration is taken of natural and cultural environments, social values, and silviculture.