In cooperation with the ČLA (Czech Forestry Academy) in Trutnov and our production plant RD Rýmařov, we have planted 39,000 trees since spring. We have returned trees to nature not only for the houses built by RD Rýmařov, the largest Czech timber builder, but also for the children’s books read as part of the Čtení pomáhá přírodě (Reading Helps Nature) project. Our employees joined the planting together with the academy. The aim of the initiative is forest conservation and sustainable forest management according to the criteria of the International PEFC organization. Unlike other developed countries in the world, the Czech Republic can be proud of the way it manages its forests.
On the occasion of International Volunteer Day, which is celebrated on 5th December, we can summarise our planting initiative this year. Since the spring, together with the Trutnov foresters and RD Rýmařov, we have managed to plant the first 39,000 trees in the Podkrkonoší region, in Voletiny near Trutnov. “Our employees were also involved in planting the forest. We planted for the houses built in Rýmařov, but also for the books read by young readers who joined the Čtení pomáhá přírode (Reading Helps Nature) project. We are aiming for up to 80,000 seedlings a year. The whole initiative not only helps nature and motivates children to read, but also promotes volunteering among our employees,” says Dana Kryńska, Marketing Director of Progresus Invest Holding. The next planting will follow in the next planting season, i.e. around March 2023.
The future in the name of wood
Wood is the sustainable material of the future. As the only climate-neutral building material, it is increasingly sought after by builders and developers. Buildings made of wood are becoming significant carbon sinks. In 1 m3, wood sequesters up to a tonne of CO2. It is also a recyclable material and a 100% renewable natural resource that is returned to our forests in the form of new planting. Together with the ČLA (Czech Forestry Academy), we not only plant the trees, but also try to educate the public about sustainable forest management when planting.
RD Rýmařov, the largest Czech timber construction company, which is part of our group, uses wood extensively. Together, we are committed to returning this valuable natural material back to our forests and managing it sustainably. There are approximately 20 mature trees per RD Rýmařov house. However, to grow 20 mature trees, it is not enough to plant just one seedling, but 10. Therefore, together with the foresters from Trutnov, we plant 200 tree seedlings per house built.
“We realise that what we take from nature to produce healthy living, we have to put back into it. We want to do things the right way when we plant trees, we don’t want to follow in the footsteps of greenwashing and make our concept just a marketing gesture. That is why we have joined forces with experts from the ČLA (Czech Forestry Academy) Trutnov,” says Jan Nový, ESG Director of Progresus Invest Holding.
“About eighty thousand seedlings per year is a lot, so we will plant in several waves and in several different places to follow the principles of proper planting. The aim is to return to nature species-diverse stands, which are now spruces and oaks, followed by alders, beeches, firs and sycamores,” says Miloš Pochobradský, director of the ČLA (Czech Forestry Academy) in Trutnov, with which we are cooperating in the project.
As part of the whole planting initiative, we are also working with the Czech Forestry Academy to educate the public that sustainable forest management is not only about proper planting, but also properly planned harvesting. Forests need to be cared for and managed in such a way that the trees fulfil one of their main functions, i.e. to absorb CO2. They are only able to do this for a certain phase of their life.
“Our planet needs mainly young trees to absorb CO2. Old trees emit more CO2 than they take in. That is why it is important to harvest these trees at the right time and process their wood. Unmanaged forests do not help anyone. Managed logging and its use, whether in construction or other industries, is essential for the environment,” says Jan Nový, ESG Director of Progresus Invest Holding.
To give you an idea, European spruce is a CO2 sink for about 80 years. After that, it produces carbon dioxide. Properly planned logging is not only essential for CO2 emissions, but also fundamentally reduces the risk of fires, which are often caused by dry, unmanaged forest cover.
“There is no need to be concerned about the use of wood, there is indeed enough of it, whether in the Czech Republic or worldwide. It should always be remembered that the key to the efficient use of wood is to harvest it in a sustainable way. This is often lacking at national level, which is why forest cover deficits exist in some countries. For example, the UK currently imports up to 81 % of its wood products, although there is considerable capacity to increase sustainable harvesting. The Czech forestry sector has no such problem. Logging in our country is governed by a management plan. It would be good if we were able to process and use all the wood. However, we do not have processing capacity in the Czech Republic, which is a great pity. It is sad that we export most of this wonderful raw material abroad. Sustainable management of Czech forests is something we can be proud of,” adds Miloš Pochobradský.
According to the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), which the Progresus Group follows, sustainable forest management means managing and using forests in a way that maintains biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and the potential to fulfil the most important ecological, economic and social functions, without negatively impacting other ecosystems.