Young people from 4H planted 0.65 hectares of “Patria forest” in a former peat swamp. Patria supported a forest project to compensate for emissions from the manufacture of the workstations it uses.

In early summer, a former peat production area in Kuortane was given a makeover when local young people planted 17,000 spruce and pine saplings. It was part of 4H Finland’s project, in which the association is planting forest all across Finland with the support of its partners.

One of these partners is Patria, who funded the planting of 1,300 saplings in Kuortane. These saplings will create 0.65 hectares of new forest to bind carbon dioxide from the air.

Patria is planting forest to compensate for emissions from the manufacture of the workstations it uses. CIO Jarkko Marjasalo says that the idea to participate in the project came from ICT Elmo, the company responsible for providing Patria with IT equipment and the Patria Service Desk.

“The topic came up in conversation with Elmo, and we decided to get involved in the project. It was an easy decision to make for such a good cause,” says Marjasalo.

A partnership that suits Patria's responsible operations

Marjasalo says that supporting the project sits very well with Patria's responsible operations, as in addition to having a favourable environmental impact, the project provides summer jobs for local young people.

“It’s great that young people can get a taste of working life in this way. Especially as it’s been difficult to find summer jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the young people who were planting forest in Kuortane had no other summer work lined up.”

Marjasalo visited Kuortane during the planting and was impressed by how enthusiastic the young people were to be involved in a project to improve the environment.

“It’s also rewarding for an IT professional to be involved in solutions that will last for more than ten years, as the pace of development is so rapid in our field.”

Experiences encourage further cooperation

Patria took part in this 4H project for the first time this year. Marjasalo says that Patria’s positive experiences of the project have encouraged further cooperation.

“We’ll most likely be involved in the project next year as well.”

The project is aiming to plant 10,000 hectares of new forest in Finland by 2030. This will compensate for carbon dioxide emissions from both commercial activities and people’s everyday lives. At the same time, it will provide employment for young people.

Forests will mainly be planted in areas that have not been actively used for forestry or agriculture for a long time. Saplings were planted in 12 municipalities this summer.