Please Nippon Steel, don’t cut these woods! Update.

My letter pleading with Nippon Steel to reverse the decision to log Ovakos forest, close to Hofors town was premature. Ovako have reversed their decision

Lissjön woods with the lake in the background

Update! They didn’t cut the woods down.

We just heard that Ovako, subsidiary of Nippon steel, just announced that they will not cut the forest.

We are happy that Ovako took back its plans to log the local forest area. Here is my letter to

Eiji Hashimoto.

Dear sir,

I am writing to express my sincere thanks and gratitude that your Ovako subsidiary announced it will not log the area near the lake, as named in my last email.

We would ask you to support them with all the knowledge you have gained about hometown forests. We are now over 200 residents who have signed the petition and among us are several forest and nature experts who would be willing to assist in this work, as well as volunteering for any physical work needed.

We are so proud of our local steelworks having such foresight to care for the few remaining areas of high biodiversity and local recreation value, and look forward to taking part in the development of Hofors hometown forest.

Stephen Hinton



Here is the original letter and background.

First, read the quote from Nippons Sustainability report:

From the Nippon Steel sustainability report

This is a longer version of the letter I sent to Director

Eiji Hashimoto

Nippon Steel

6-1, Marunouchi 2-chome,
Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 100-8071, Japan

Hofors, 20th April 2022

Dear Mr. Hashimoto.

A plea to save priceless nature owned by your subsidiary, Ovako, Hofors, Sweden

Firstly, many thanks for reading this letter, which comes from a group of citizens of Hofors where the Ovako plant is situated. We realise with responsibility for such a large and important concern our plea can seem trivial. However,  we are inspired by your Nippon Steel Sustainability report 2021 where you state: “we have been involved in the creation of a hometown forest at each steelworks”.

We invite you to extend the concept to our town: 14 hectare of rather old forest, home to several specimens of threatened species, and a popular recreation area next to a lake, has been slated by your subsidiary, Ovako, for logging. 

This logging, which could be set in motion any day now, will likely change water run-off patterns, reduce threatened species’ chances of survival and leave residents with devastated nature where a beautiful forest once stood. The biodiversity once wiped out will likely never return, or it will take at least hundreds of years.

The forest is typical of the older forests in the area – they were heavily harvested for wood to make charcoal, essential for the steel-making that dates back hundreds of years. However, this forest has never been clear-cut with modern technology which reduces the biodiversity to a minimum.

We understand that the Ovako plant has other issues to deal with. Forestry is no longer needed for steel making and the forestry management has been subcontracted to a company that is just following its normal routines. We have set up a petition to them that has gathered over 170 signatures in one day.

We are appealing to you, not to override the decision of the Hofors plant managers, but to consider offering them an alternative that is more in line with your stated policy and in line with the wishes of many residents.

The climate aspects are important too.You will be familiar with how modern clear-cutting reverses the carbon capture of the forest. After logging, carbon is released and it takes decades for the carbon storage function to return to the plus side.  

The alternative would be to make the forest into a showcase of sustainable forest stewardship, demonstrating the company’s commitment to the Paris accord, and encouraging other large corporations to follow suit.

The area is in walking distance of the company hotel making it an ideal excursion for employees and customers.

We therefore implore you to set in motion an investigation into sustainable alternatives for our beloved forest and recreation area.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Hinton and 175 more Hofors residents

Here is the shortened version – they only allow 2000 characters on their website.

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