Our key targets for enhancing biodiversity:
- We convert all the closed energy peat production areas, ca. 20,000 hectares to next land use by 2025 and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance biodiversity.
- Our biodiversity programme aims to increase biodiversity for example by restoring old peat production areas by re-wetting or afforestation in collaboration with local stakeholders.
We are committed to responsible peat production. Since 2012 Neova has released 5,140 hectares of mires with significant nature value to be managed by Metsähallitus, a Finnish state-owned enterprise. In addition, Neova returned a total of 3,105 hectares of pristine natural bogs to Metsähallitus in 2021.
During 2021, from the peat production areas owned by Neova in Finland, we moved 4,185 hectares to next land use, 3,559 hectares to afforestation and 626 hectares to wetlands.
We have established a Neova Group biodiversity programme aiming to increase biodiversity by restoring (re-wetting or afforestation) 2,000 hectares during 2021-2025 in collaboration with local stakeholders. In 2021 restoration planning was started for example in Lavassaare area in Estonia with the EU WaterLANDS project; in Norrbomuren area in Sweden with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; as well as in Komppasuo area in Finland with the EU MERLIN project.
This focuses on specific peat production areas, where we want to showcase how to increase biodiversity in habitats by wetland creation, as well as mosaic-like variation. Regarding closed peat production areas, the topography, hydrology, and rocks/stones influence what the best next land use option is. Also, during peat production, a diverse wetland species is formed in water treatment structures, and biodiversity can further be increased by creating small wetlands, and building nesting or shelter areas.
Regarding sustainability certifications for our Neova Group peat production areas, the Responsibly Produced Peat (RPP) certifications coverage by end of 2021 has reached 4,195 permit hectares. Our target coverage by end of 2022 is 6,376 hectares. For Kekkilä-BVB own products, 50% of the peat used in 2021 was RPP certified.