Key words

This page includes definitions to help make texts more readable. The terms are in alphabetical order, but you can also search for a specific term by pressing ctrl + A or ctrl + F, or cmd + A or cmd + F on Apple devices.

Anthropogenic; Something caused by human activities, like, e.g., anthropogenic green house gases.

Biodiversity: The variety and variability of animal and plant life. Measured by counting the number of species in a certain area, for example.

Bioeconomy: The bioeconomy encompasses all kinds of production based on renewable natural materials, including the further development and use of innovations and technologies related to such materials. It also promotes systemic change from using non-renewable resources to renewables.1

Biomass: Organic matter that can be used in energy generation or as other material.

Biofuel: Fuel made from organic biomass. Energy made from biomass comprises bioenergy.

Biological carbon cycle: The main biological carbon flux from the atmosphere to the biosphere goes through plants, when they consume atmospheric carbon dioxide and release oxygen, to produce biomass. The main return flux of carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere is generated by the decomposition of biomass through microbial and animal metabolism, as well as various human activities and forest fires, etc. Meanwhile, the biosphere, most notably forests (and to a lesser extent, biomass-based products) serve as an renewal carbon storage.

Bioplastic: Plastic made in full or in part from renewable organic raw materials. Not all bioplastics are biodegradable, as only some bioplastics can be composted. Polyactic acid (PLA) is a widely used bioplastic that can be found in many consumer products, such as mobile phone covers.

Biosynthesis: Biosynthesis is a multi-step, enzyme-catalyzed process where substrates (like, e.g., carbon dioxide) are converted into more complex compounds (like, e.g., sugars or aromatic compounds) in living organisms. Such compounds may also be joined together to form macromolecules (like, e.g., cellulose, lignin or proteins).

Boreal forests : The coniferous forest zone, or taiga, of the northern hemisphere is characterized by forests consisting mostly of coniferous trees like pines, spruces, and larches. Due to the nutrient-poor soil and the cool climate, the undergrowth of boreal coniferous forests is low in species diversity. The boreal zone covers about 15 % of continental area and has the second largest forest area in the world after tropical forests – about 15 million square kilometers. Finland is almost entirely located in the boreal zone.

Carbon balance: Changes in forest carbon stocks over a specific period, such as in one year. A positive balance indicates a growing carbon stock.

Carbon cycle: The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged between the biosphere, pedosphere, lithospere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. Carbon is the main component of biological organisms and organic compounds as well as a major component of many minerals such as limestone.

Carbon dioxide CO2A molecule consisting of carbon and oxygen, generated during burning, for example.

Carbon sink: Part of the carbon cycle, which absorbs or is used to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For example, growing plants absorb carbon dioxide, which means that they are carbon sinks for as long as they grow.3

Carbon stock: Carbon sequestered in organisms, such as trees, forms a carbon stock.

Cellulose:  Wood fibre consists mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Cellulose in the cell walls brings mechanical support.

Continuous cover forestry: A silvicultural method where trees are felled from forests by means of gap felling or selection cutting. In gap felling, gaps of at most 0.3 hectares made in a forest by removing all trees. In selection cutting, the largest trees are cut from a selected area. In continuous cover forestry, the purpose is to allow forests to regenerate naturally so that new trees grow without any planting or seeding.3

Corrugated cardboard: A packaging material. It is used commonly in regular transport boxes. Corrugated cardboard usually consists or two smooth layers, or linerboards. Double wall corrugated cardboard consists of two fluted corrugated sheets between three linerboards.

Ecosystem services: Tangible or intangible services produced by nature. Ecosystem services are grouped into four categories: supporting, regulating, provisioning and cultural services.

Even-aged forestry: A silvicultural method, adopted in Finland in stages in the 1900s, where forests are tended in cycles ending with regeneration felling. The purpose is to imitate the natural development of forests, or succession, in which different successive phases and habitats are prevalent at different times.3

Externalised cost:  A cost, which is caused by the production of a good or a service, but not included in its sales price. In sustainable market economy, also environmental costs shall be included in sales prices. However, e.g., the cost of removing harmful fossil carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is externalized form the prices of fossil fuels. Gradually (even if often indirectly, e.g., as carbon taxes), this externalization is corrected, which makes competition between fossil and renewable products more fair.

Forest Act: An act on the use of forests prepared originally in 1886. The Forest Act promotes the use and management of forests, and it is the most important act regulating the use of commercial forests. The Finnish Forest Centre supervises compliance with the Forest Act.

Forest energy: Wood-based energy from forests. Forms of forest energy include various chips.

Forestry: Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits2. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands3. The science of forestry has elements that belong to the biological, physical, social, political and managerial sciences4. E.g., Finland’s managed forest are semi-natural forests.

Forest-based bioeconomy: Economic activity based on forests and trees.

Forest-based industries: Forest-based Industries include the woodworking industries, the industries manufacturing pulp, paper and paper products, the furniture industry, the printing industry and the wood-based chemical, bio-fuel and bio-energy industry.

Integrated pulp and paper mill: A production site, where there is both pulp and paper mill and the material flow can be utilised between the mills.

Pedosphere: The outermost layer of the Earth that is composed of soil or is subject to soil formation processes. Soil formation processes include, e.g., the formation of humus and weathering of rocks. Pedosphere exists at the interface of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere and is in dynamic interaction with all of them. Pedosphere is also a major carbon storage; larger than, e.g., living plants and animals together.

Renewable distribution obligation: The proportion of renewable energy in the distribution of transport fuels.

Roundwood removals: The total volume of roundwood removed from forests annually. Roundwood removals include demand for domestic industrial wood, wood exports, use as fuelwood and mobile sawing.2

Smart packaging: Packaging with a code or chip embedded in the label or structure to communicate with a reader. The technology is already being used especially in logistics and warehouse management. It is also expected to increase in consumer packaging now that the NFC technology is openly available on mobile phones.

Textiles: are material. Textiles can be produced from wood fibres with different technologies. For example, viscose has been manufactured already over 100 years from wood. New technologies aim to remarkably environmentally friendly textile production compared to cotton.

Thinning wood: Wood, which is harvested in connection with thinning, as a part of forest management. Depending on its size and other properties, thinning wood is used for pulp production, in the sawmill and board industry, or as energy wood. In thinning operations, a part of the trees are harvested so that the remaining standing stock can grow better to yield large logs.

Tropical planted forests: Well managed planted forests enable sustainable and efficient production of wood raw material for the forest industry in the tropics. Fast growth of trees considerably reduces the need of land area. Typical tropical plantation trees are various eucalyptus and pine species. To some climate conditions acacia species suit better.

Tropical forests: The tropical zone has the largest proportion of the world’s forests (45 percent). Tropical forests include evergreen rainforests with closed canopy, and moist forests, but also other forest types, like, e.g.,: tropical coniferous forests, mountain forests and savanna woodlands. Biodiversity in tropical rainforest is extremely high.

User pays principle: User pays principle is a pricing approach based on the idea that the most efficient allocation of resources occurs when consumers pay the full cost of the goods that they consume. This is one of the cornerstones of sustainable market economy, in which also environmental costs are included in consumer prices.

Virgin fibre: Primary fibre that is get from wood directly as such.

Wood pulp:  Various grades of wood pulp include chemical pulps (e.g. kraft, or sulphate pulps and different sulphite pulps), mechanical pulps (refiner pulps and groundwood pulps) and several intermediate grades (e.g., semi-chemical, chemithermomechanical (CTMP) and chemimechanical (CMP) pulps, etc.).