Mercer launches program Growing forests – Growing a future to support forest owners in Germany

Rosenthal, March 23, 2023 – Mercer today announces the launch of its program Growing forests – Growing a future to support forest owners in Germany. Mercer Holz, the wood purchasing organization of Mercer, is committed to partner with forest owners in Germany to sustain the longevity of their forests.

Over the next few years, in a concrete step of solidarity, Mercer will provide participating forest owners across Germany with a careful selection of seedlings to help replenish their forests. Forests all over the world are facing threats like the bark beetle, climate change, natural disasters like floods, wildfires, soil degradation and more. These threats pose a serious risk to the future of forestry, the livelihood of forest owners and their families, as well as the planet.

Mercer’s foot firmly in the ground in initiating a long-term collaborative effort for our forests

Mercer is one of the first companies within the German wood industry with such a large-scale tree-planting endeavor. The program is a step towards replacing and regenerating that which has been lost from the bark beetle and other natural disasters that have affected our forests. This program is a collaborative one, as Mercer acknowledges the expertise of foresters and the place that other stakeholders within the supply chain. Growing forests – Growing a future also looks to address perceptions of forestry at a larger scale: for example, to reeducate the public that when areas within the forests are clear-cut, it is not necessarily for profit, but a recognized way to mitigate the threat of the bark beetle.

“This is not a recent issue: already, for a few decades, foresters and forest owners in Germany have been working to replace the predominantly single variety forests with mixed variety, but climate change is catching us at our heels. We are now at the tipping point of being too late to preserve the longevity and health of our forests for future generations. The time for action is now. It is a joint responsibility and a shared joy for all who benefit: so we need to work together to shape our forests for our tomorrow. Future generations will determine how forests will ultimately be used, but we must provide them with forests that offer them sustainable, comprehensive and diverse benefits, protection and recreation.” says Martin Stöhr, Managing Director of Mercer Holz.

Philipp Freiherr von Oldershausen, one of the participating forest owners, says: “As a forester myself, I’ve seen the damage first-hand. Our forests and the forests of our clients have suffered, particularly in the last couple of years. We welcome Mercer’s initiative because it shows a clear, long-term commitment from Mercer to continue partnering with forest owners and to support us with regrowing our forests. I hope this initiative will increase awareness of the challenges the German forests face.”

It all starts at the launch!

Our first tree-planting event in a series throughout the program will be held in late spring. Along with Martin Stöhr, Managing Director of Mercer Holz and some of his team, Mercer has invited partnering forest owners, local dignitaries, and selected media to attend the launch in Ost-Harz, Saxony-Anhalt. A recap, photos and progress will be available on our Growing forests – Growing a future website.