Ecosystem services and biological diversity

The Swedish steel industry is working to integrate ecosystem services in the operations, and in many areas there are activities that lead to an increase in the biological diversity. Jernkontoret is participating in the development of ecosystem tools in Sweden.

Höganäs AB, in consultation with the municipal ecologist, constructed a wetland in Rögla, where previously there was a landfill for slag. Photo: Johan Peyron. 

The Swedish steel industry is working to achieve the UN’s global goal no 15 (Sustainable Development Goals, SDG) concerning the preservation of ecosystem services (benefits provided by ecosystems) and preventing the loss of biological diversity. Jernkontoret supports companies in the application and introduction of ecosystem services in their operations. The purpose is to raise the visibility of, strengthen and systematise activities in companies that lead to an increase in the biological diversity.

Handbook for ecological reclamation

Jernkontoret and the Swedish Association of Mines, Minerals and Metal Producers (SveMin) have in co-operation with Enetjärn Natur AB published a handbook for the mining and steel companies on the potential and methods for biodiversity and ecosystem services during production and after closing of production sites. The project was funded by Vinnova (Swedish government innovation agency).
Handbook in Swedish: Ekologisk efterbehandling

Handbook on integrating an ecosystem perspective in the steel industry

A handbook aimed primarily at steel companies, with the potential to inspire other industries as well. The handbook can be used by both small and large companies as a first introduction to the ESR methodology and to work with ecosystem services. 

The handbook was published in 2017, in the framework of the project "Innovation and resource efficiency in the steel industry through an integrated ecosystem perspective", which was a collaboration between Jernkontoret, Enetjärn Natur, Outokumpu, Albaeco, IVL and Triple Steelix. The project was funded by Vinnova (Swedish government innovation agency).
Handbook in Swedish: Integrera ett ekosystemperspektiv i stålbranschen

Other ecosystem services in the steel industry 

The work of Uddeholms and Jernkontoret was highlighted in the government’s report concerning “Making the value of ecosystem services visible” as an example of initiatives within the private sector.
Report in Swedish: Synliggöra värdet av ekosystemtjänster (Making the value of ecosystem services visible)  (riksdagen.se)

A Master’s thesis was carried out at Uddeholm in collaboration with Stockholm Resilience Centre to identify the ecosystem services that the steel company affects, and those it is dependent on, a so-called Corporate Ecosystem Services Review (ESR). Other steel companies, for example Outokumpu in Avesta, have also made use of the ESR methodology.  
Report: Empowering the Steel Industry as a Stakeholder: Environmental Management and Communication through a Social-Ecological System Approach (Jernkontoret Research, D 854)

Outokumpu’s plant in Avesta. Photo: Outokumpu.

Jernkontoret’s beehive

To highlight our work on behalf of ecosystem services, Jernkontoret has placed a beehive on the roof of Jernkontoret. The beehive constitutes a reminder of the importance of ecosystem services but it also shows that we can all contribute to biological diversity, even in the heart of a big city.

The bee colony in the hive (appox. 50 000 bees) favours biological diversity in Stockholm. In addition, the bees produce about 20 kilograms of honey per season.The pollination of plants carried out by bees is a self-regulating ecosystem service and wholly fundamental for our survival.

A beehive on the roof of the Jernkontoret building in central Stockholm.