In fond memory of Claes Rülcker

It is with great sadness we have to inform that Claes Rülcker, Managing Director of Svensk Torv (Swedish Peat) and the Swedish Peat Research Foundation passed away on the 19th July at the age of 63. Internationally, Claes Rülcker had a position on the Board of IPS and was the Swedish representative in Growing Media Europe.

From early days, he had a great interest in outdoor activities, forest management and hunting. He could pursue this interest during the education to Master of Forestry and considered starting a career as researcher but instead he turned to working in the forestry industry. His excellent ability to communicate with people was a reason for his involvement in spreading research results at the organisation SkogForsk and later as responsible for PR at a forest company.

When Claes Rülcker started to work as MD for the Peat Producer’s Association and the Peat Research Foundation in 2011, one of his first tasks was to improve the communication through a modernised webpage and a newsletter magazine. He also initiated the name change to Svensk Torv to widen the scope of the organisation. The main question to address soon became the climate issue. Together with his former teacher, professor Mats Olsson, SLU, he started a research programme which lead to a comprehensive report on climate effects of peatland management and peat use and especially the emissions from drained peatlands. The report has become an important tool in the discussion about the future use of peat.

In his contacts with politicians and representatives from NGOs he gave a very knowledgeable and serious impression, having the ability to explain difficult questions in a clear and understandable way without compromising the factual basis. He wrote a wide array of information material for the organisations, everything from popular information leaflets, newspaper debate articles to public consultation responses.

In the organisation he quickly became a well-liked focus point. His person was warm and open, a good listener and a person who saw others. He was prestigeless and could admit his shortcomings but was not afraid to state his case when he felt he was right. During his leadership Svensk Torv got a new structure and developed to a modern organisation.

About one and a half year ago Claes was diagnosed with cancer. Between the treatments he spent much time in the forest he owned and took great pride in its proper management. He was a handy man and had a small carpentry workshop at his home at Insjön, where he had new things going on all the time. Even if his prospects for the future were bad, he was determined not to let the disease interfere more than necessary with his limited time. We will miss a truly outstanding friend and colleague and remember his positive nature.

Torbjörn Claesson
Chairman of the Board
 Ingrid Kyllerstedt
Politics and communication