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UPM's Tikhvinsky Lespromkhoz Passes FSC Forest Management Audit
Helsinki, Finland, 12 December 2006 -– UPM's Tikhvinsky Lespromkhoz in Russia has successfully passed a FSC forest management certificate audit for 184,000 hectares of forest leased by the company. The assessment was carried out by the auditing company SGS Vostok Limited according to international FSC principles and criteria. The auditor recommends to FSC's decision-making bodies to grant the certificate.

During 2006, UPM has focused on developing its logging company ZAO Tikhvinsky Komplexny Lespromkhoz in Russia. Part of the work has been getting its forest management and wood sourcing practices to fulfil the criteria of the international forest certification standards. The development areas have been occupational health and safety, as well as accident prevention, environmental issues, wood procurement, forest management planning, administration, and staff training.

The successful efforts of the Tikhvinsky Lespromkhoz staff have been supported by several key stakeholders, including researchers, authorities, and local stakeholders.

"The certification of our forest management practices in Russia is the first step towards getting certified products available from UPM's Russian mills. It also supports our aim of increasing the share of certified wood in our products across the group," explains Juri Orlov, general director of Tikhvinsky Lespromkhoz, on the rationale behind the project.

"The next step in this process will be to apply for the FSC chain of custody for our Russian forestry and wood sourcing organization and mills," states Juhani Hongisto, director, responsible for UPM forestry and wood sourcing in Russia.

UPM aims at increasing the amount of certified wood in its products and ensuring credible control of the origin of wood through the whole supply chain from the forest to the customer. The basis for this is forest certification, thus UPM supports all credible forest certification schemes, such as FSC and PEFC.

UPM is one of the world's leading forest products groups. Group sales in 2005 were EUR 9.3 billion. UPM's main products include printing papers, converting materials and wood products. The company has production plants in 15 countries and it has about 30,000 employees. Its main market areas are Europe and North America. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki and New York stock exchanges.

UPM has a global forestry and wood sourcing organization to secure wood supply to its different mills and to manage company forests. The company owns and manages forestry land in Canada, Finland, Russia, the UK and the USA.

In Russia, UPM's forestry and wood sourcing company, UPM Forest Russia, purchases about 5 million m³ wood annually from UPM's own logging company, Tikhvinsky Lespromkhoz, acquired in November 2005, and from about 200 independent logging companies and specialized trading companies. Most of the wood comes from Karelia, Leningrad, Vologda, and Novgorod areas. About 4 million m³ of the wood is used at UPM's mills in Finland. The rest is processed at UPM's Pestovo saw mill and Chudovo plywood and veneer mills in Russia and at Otepää plywood mill in Estonia. UPM supplies wood in Russia also to Svir Timber owned by Botnia, UPM's associated company.

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