Sustainability ties Minnesota Wild with UPM Blandin Paper | Xcel Energy Center
Apr 22, 2022

Sustainability ties Minnesota Wild with UPM Blandin Paper

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Think for a minute. What do a paper company in Grand Rapids, MN and the Minnesota Wild hockey club have in common? Well, on the surface, you probably wouldn’t think of much. But behind the scenes, UPM Blandin Paper, based in Grand Rapids, is a direct partner with Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, specifically with the team travel of the Minnesota Wild.

For the past 100 years, UPM Blandin has been making paper from sustainably managed forests in northern Minnesota. From planting more trees to protecting wildlife to diversifying the mixture of conifers in the woods, Sawyer Scherer, a forest ecologist for UPM Blandin Paper, manages the forest plants and is in charge of their long-term planning and sustainability. “We’re trying to use our best knowledge about the ecology of these systems to manage them in the best way we can,” Scherer said on an episode of the 22 Degrees podcast in April 2022.

To partner with UPM Blandin, MSE purchased carbon credits with Blandin, which offsets the carbon emissions from the Minnesota Wild’s team travel in a season, a tangible way of looking to broaden the organization’s sustainability journey outside the building. Blandin’s work to grow and diversify its tree population is a crucial step to investing in carbon offset. Scherer called trees “an incredible, irreplaceable machine” that pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and emits clean oxygen for air. Trees also help improve wildlife, biodiversity and support for the forests. “These trees and forests are natural climate solutions,” he said.

If you are interested in seeing Blandin’s property, they own over 181,000 acres of forest in the state and they are open to the public for hiking, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities. “Our lands are open and we encourage folks to come out and see what we do,” Scherer said.