Welcome to read our Board Magazine. We have collected to our new magazine the latest packaging and paperboard trends and inspiring innovations. You can also read about the professionals who work in the paperboard branch. We hope you enjoy your reading!
METSÄ BOARD PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
Using forests wisely
Pharma’s big sustainability push
A low-carb diet for packaging
FROM FOREST INTO PACKAGE
More sustainable packaging “We can get pretty close to the characteristics of plastic with paper- board. Fibre-based packaging design is a great arena to be in right now.”
Iiro Numminen, Structural Packaging Designer, Metsä Board
Metsä Board harnesses AI. It is time to talk. From sawdust to organic products. An innovative micro-flute cardboard solution for gift pack- aging. EU wants all packaging to be reusable or recyclabe by 2030. Metsä Board recognized again with triple CDP ”A”-score. page 4
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION Haleon swaps plastic for fibre-based packaging. page 8
ART OF PACKAGING Baronie cuts the carbon footprint of the packaging of its tasty treats. page 12
Growth can be sus- tainable, too. Read how we invest in the fossil free future. page 16
KNOWHOW BEYOND PAPERBOARD
BETTER WITH LESS
Boost performance and sustainability with our 360 Services. page 28
Meet the winners of our Design Challenge. page 32
Metsä Board will be fossil-free by end of 2030 – here’s how. page 24
FACTS & FIGURES
Product portfolio and Metsä Board in numbers. page 35
RESPONSIBLE FOREST USE Using forests Theme:
wisely is the key to sustainable paper- board production. page 18
Together we can achieve more
Climate targets must be ambitious to make change happen. We have set ourselves the ambitious target that, by end of 2030, we only use fossil free energy in our production. We are advancing well, and currently 87% of the energy we use is already fossil free. Howev- er, the work ahead is no walk in the park - achieving the goal still takes a broad range of actions. As one example, we finalised the major in- vestment in a new modern recovery boiler and turbine at our Husum mill at the end of last year. The new equipment will increase the pro- duction of bioenergy and help improve our energy efficiency. The more energy is saved and the more efficiently it is used, the less emissions there are. That is why we are con- tinuing energy efficiency measures at all our mills, for example the ongoing development programme in Kemi.
Active forest management, too, has an im- portant role to play in the changing climate. As part of Metsä Group’s updated 2030 targets, we are increasing climate-positive actions that will improve forests’ biodiversity and health. This means, for example, diversifying the ra- tio of tree species and diversifying forest structure. Mixed forests improve not only the biodiversity of forests but also their resilience against climate change, such as the increasing heat, storms and insect damage. When we take positive climate action, this also helps our customers to reach their sus- tainability targets. Our joint actions have big impacts on global packaging value chains. I invite you to read more about sustainability, customer collaboration and forests in this is- sue of the Board Magazine. Together we can achieve more.
METSÄ BOARD MAGAZINE | SPRING ISSUE 2023 | MAGAZINE@METSAGROUP.COM | ISSN 2323-5500 | PUBLISHER METSÄ BOARD COMMUNICATIONS, P.O. BOX 00, FI-02020 METSÄ, FINLAND | WWW.METSAGROUP.COM/METSABOARD/ | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MARJO HALONEN, VICE PRESIDENT COMMUNICATIONS | MANAGING EDITOR JOHANNA LINDBLOM | EDITORIAL BOARD MARJO HALONEN, JOHANNA LINDBLOM AND NOORA JÄRNEFELT PRODUCTION AND GRAPHIC DESIGN HUBE HELSINKI OY | COVER PHOTO JUSSI HELLSTEN | COVER STYLIST KAISA NIEMINEN | PRINT MARKPRINT OY THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS PUBLICATION ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF METSÄ BOARD. | ADDRESS SOURCE METSÄ BOARD’S CUSTOMER AND STAKEHOLDER REGISTER. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE THIS PUBLICATION IN THE FUTURE, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO MAGAZINE@METSAGROUP.COM.
Texts: Silja Eisto, Maria Latokartano, Metsä Group Photos: Ingimage, Montinutra, Metsä Group
Metsä Board Äänekoski harnesses artificial intelligence Metsä Board Äänekoski has started to use AI-based root cause analysis for visual defects to improve board quality and vision-based condition monitoring for tail threading ropes to decrease unplanned shutdowns. In cases of visual defects on paperboard, technology reduces time needed to locate the origin of process disturbances. Camera techno- logy on the board machine is constantly monitoring the paper- board’s quality. If a visual defect is observed, AI-based root cause analysis commences. The AI analyses 10,000 machine parameters, taking into account process delays to locate the origin of the visual defect. AI-technology has been adopted to avoid unplanned shut- downs caused by breaking of the tail threading ropes. A total of 12 cameras are connected to the AI-based machine vision system, which constantly monitors tail threading ropes. The AI-based machine vi- sion analyses video material, and when the risk of tail threading rope breaking is high, the operators are alerted. This enables the opera- tors to do a controlled replacement of the tail threading rope and avoid unplanned machine downtime.
IT IS TIME TO TALK
Metsä Group has launched a video series called “Time to talk” that dives deep into forest ma- nagement and wood use. Forests are not only linked to climate and biodiversity, but are also a topic of discussion from an economic and employment perspective. Metsä Group’s video series brings experts with different perspectives and viewpoints to the same table to discuss the future of nature, the forest sector and the nation, and the role of forests. The series consists of five discussions. The first episode focuses on the role of forests in combating climate change. The second episode looks at ways to achieve a more diverse forest ecosystem. The third one considers how to strike the best balance between managing and using the forests to combat climate change and safeguard biodiversity. The last two episodes explore the everyday life of forest management. Watch the episodes online: www.metsagroup. com/metsa-group/experience-metsa/time- to-talk/
FROM SAWDUST TO VALUABLE ORGANIC PRODUCTS
At the core of Metsä Group’s resource efficiency thinking is the goal to utilise all production side streams 100%, either as materi- als or as energy. Another step was taken in resource efficiency when Montinutra Oy, an investment tar- get of the Group’s innovation com- pany Metsä Spring, announced that it will begin project planning for a new production facility connected with Metsä Fibre’s Vilppula sawmill. The primary raw material at the planned production plant is sawdust, a side stream from the sawmill. Montinutra produces valuable personal care, chemical, food, and beverage ingredients. As the products would replace fos-
sil-based ingredients, significant CO 2 emissions are avoided. According to Metsä Spring’s SVP, Group R&D Katariina Kemppainen , the further processing of sawdust is a good example of resource- efficient use of wood, where side-streams are utilised for the manufacture of various organic products. “The sawdust remaining in the process is still an important raw material for bioenergy and sup- ports Metsä Group’s goal to break away from fossil fuels.” Assuming that the conditions for the final investment decision are met, the plant can start operating earliest in 2025.
The further processing of sawdust is a good example of resource-efficient use of wood.
Texts: Maria Latokartano, Miina Poikolainen, Metsä Group Photos: Metsä Group
An innovative micro-flute cardboard solution for high-quality gift packaging As a result of a co-creation workshop at the Excellence Centre, Metsä Board has developed a lighter gift package that has strength features close to those of current rigid box solutions. The characteristics of the packaging solution are based on micro-flute, which is a significantly low fluting in corrugated boards. The packaging consists of a separate base and lid made of micro-flute. Its surface liner can be either uncoated, white kraft liner, or coated white kraftliner, of which the latter gives the package excellent print- ing properties. The packaging solution is designed to be production efficient and suit- able for mass production on current production lines. According to Metsä Board’s Packaging Services Director Ilkka Harju , the new gift packaging solution is especially suitable for cosmetics, chocolate, or beverages and other premium products. “The current rigid box gift packages are largely manufactured in Asia, but with our new micro-flute solution, we can offer locally produced, high-quality packaging to the European market,” says Harju. “Thanks to its lightness, our new packaging solution helps our customers reduce the carbon footprint of their products. Since no harmful adhesives or other plastic lam inates are used in the packaging solution, its recycling is even more efficient.”
EU WANTS ALL PACKAGING TO BE REUSABLE OR RECYCLABLE BY 2030
The European Commission published Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation PPWR proposal in November. The main aims of the regulation are to reduce packag- ing waste and avoid unnecessary packaging, have all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030 and increase recycled content in the plastic
parts of packaging. If the EU-lawmakers manage to finalise the legislative process before the next European Parlia- ment elections, the regulation enters into force in 2024. It becomes law in Member States 12 months after entry into force. Some of the requirements, restrictions and bans would enter into force in 2025 and some in 2030 and in 2040. “The general goals of the proposal are good and needed. Still, recyclable single-use and reusable packaging should be seen as complementary solutions. Operators should have the possibility to choose the best packaging solution from the environmental, end-use and context points of view case by case based on a material’s life-cycle impact assessment. Industry actors should be deeply involved in defining design for recycling criteria. We are following the process closely, and we also work actively with several associations to get the fibre-based packaging value chain voice heard,” says Tytti Peltonen , VP Corporate Affairs, EU, Metsä Group.
If the EU-lawmakers manage to finalise the legislative process before the next European Parliament elections, the regulation enters into force in 2024.
METSÄ BOARD RECOGNISED AGAIN WITH TRIPLE CDP ‘A’ SCORE FOR TRANSPARENCY ON CLIMATE CHANGE, FORESTS AND WATER SECURITY
Metsä Board has been recognised for leadership in corporate transpa rency and performance on climate change, forests and water security by global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on its annual ‘A List’. This was the second consecutive year that Metsä Board scored the outstanding triple ‘A’. Based on data reported through CDP’s 2022 Climate Change, Forests and Water Security questionnaires, Metsä Board is one of only 12 companies that has achieved a triple ‘A’ – out of nearly 15,000 companies scored.
“The CDP reporting is one of the world’s most comprehensive data- set to report a company’s impacts on climate change, water use and forestry operations. For Metsä Board scoring high in CDP is a good tool to demonstrate the responsibility and transparency of our operations to our customers. And as many of our cus- tomers also themselves participate in the CDP reporting, they under- stand the value of the information reported,” says Anne Uusitalo , Direc- tor, Product Safety & Sustainability of Metsä Board.
Big Brands, Green Edge Big pharma is tuning in to sustainability in a big way – with packaging becoming
a key development area for industry-leading companies.
Sami Anteroinen, photos: Hanne Manelius
H aleon, a global leader in consumer health, is one of the com- panies navigating the new waters. With a stated purpose of de- livering “better everyday health with humanity”, the company has really boosted its sustainability efforts in recent years, says Cédric Le Dévéhat , Senior Procurement Manager, Cartons & Pumps, Global Procurement, at Haleon. As Haleon’s product portfolio spans five major categories – Oral Health, Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements (VMS), Pain Relief, Res- piratory Health, Digestive Health and Other – it is clear that we are talk- ing about a fast-moving consumer healthcare player here. In addition, just glancing at the list of Haleon’s best-selling brands – with household names such as Advil, Sensodyne, Panadol and Voltaren – it is also clear that more sustainable packaging can go a long way towards a greener future, since the product volumes in question here are so huge. Recycling rules According to Cédric Le Dévéhat, Haleon’s wider ambition is to devel- op solutions for all product packaging to be recycle-ready by 2025, and, finally, to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030, where safety, quality and regulations allow. “In addition, we’re working with partners to drive global and local initiatives to collect, sort and recycle our packaging at scale by 2030.” Another key action is sourcing trusted ingredients – in a sustaina- ble manner. “Our goal is that all of our key agricultural, forest and marine-derived materials used in our ingredients and packaging are sustainably sourced and deforestation free by 2030,” he says. In tackling carbon emissions, the company aim to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040, aligned to guidance from The Climate Pledge and Race to Zero.
“For consumer healthcare companies, having a strong environmental foundation is crucial.”
Cédric Le Dévéhat, Senior Procurement Manager, Cartons & Pumps, Global Procurement, Haleon
Packaging is a key area in the pharma push towards sustainability.
Times they are a-changin’ Cédric Le Dévéhat says that in all his 18 years in Packaging Procurement, he has never seen such green tailwinds. “For consumer healthcare companies, having a strong environmental foundation is crucial. Since the end of 2018, we’ve really witnessed a radical shift when it comes to priorities in pro- curement,” he says, adding that recyclable ma- terials and low carbon footprint are very much in demand now. Follow the fibre During the last three years or so, the company’s view on board packaging has also changed: as excessive use of plastic is now frowned upon in industry, Haleon is very interested in find- ing out what fibre-based innovations could be used in lieu of plastic. “Replacing plastic in consumer healthcare packaging can be a challenge, but we feel that valuable, proven options need to be consid- ered.”
Cédric Le Dévéhat participated in the sustainability workshop in Excellence Centre in November.
One example of this approach is Centrum vi- tamins which are likely to get a new, more sus- tainable packaging solution in the future. “I truly believe that the packaging for Cen- trum could be fibre-based.” •
WANTED: SUSTAINABLE TOOTHPASTE TUBES!
Every year, billions of toothpaste tubes are thrown away, most of which end up in landfill. Haleon wants to change this by making all its toothpaste tubes recycle-ready. Up to know, the problem has been that in order to keep toothpaste safe and fresh, toothpaste tubes have been made of mixed materials, which has included both aluminium and plastic. This has made them difficult to recycle, and as a result people have usually thrown them away. Haleon started swapping the mixed-mate- rial toothpaste tubes – with their traditional aluminium barriers – for a mono material, HDPE,
which is one of the most widely recycled plastics in the world. The company partnered with Albéa Group & EPL company to use their laminate tube technology in its Sensodyne, Parodontax and Aquafresh toothpaste tubes, which can be recy- cled wherever collection programmes exist. So far, Haleon has already produced more than 400 million recycle-ready toothpaste tubes, following the launch of recycle-ready Senso- dyne Pronamel tubes in Europe since September 2021. By 2025, the company aims to hit 1 billion sustainable tubes.
“When the volumes are big, even a small modification to package design can make a big difference.” Iiro Numminen, Structural Packaging Designer, Metsä Board
Green workshop showcases sustainable packaging Metsä Board showcased its packaging expertise for pharma representatives in November 2022 at the company’s Excellence Centre in Äänekoski, Finland. A key part of the visit was the sustainability workshop which dived deep into the future of packaging design.
I iro Numminen , Structural Packaging Designer at Metsä Board, has designed an alternative paperboard packag- ing option for the Sensodyne toothpaste package. At present, Haleon is making the transition to MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright 245 g/m 2 for material, but Numminen sug- gested that 230 g/m 2 might do the trick, as well. “With the pharma industry, the volumes are so big that even a small modification to package design can make a big difference,” he says, adding that once you fully under- stand and master your material, you’re able to use it very economically indeed. According to Numminen, big brands in various indus- tries are setting up programmes to optimise their packag- ing processes in a sustainable way. “Fibre-based solutions will increase, since renewable and recyclable packaging is very much in line with EU regula- tions, as well.”
Metsä Board utilises a hi-tech simulation tool to explore various green alternatives, looking to introduce more light- weight packaging solutions. “We can get pretty close to the characteristics of plastic with paperboard,” he says, adding that fibre-based pack- age design is “a great arena to be in” right now. Cédric Le Dévéhat from Haleon said that the workshop featured many creative designs and provided a lot of ide- as for further development. “I believe we can leverage the Metsä Board’s special ex- pertise to make our products’ secondary packaging – namely, folding boxes – more innovative.” Numminen believes that co-creation workshops are a smart tool for increasing various forms of collaboration. “Via workshops we get an important perspective into the evolution of packaging. We respond to customer need by pre- senting them with the best possible, sustainable solution.” •
“The Life Cycle Assessment showed that switching to dispersion barrier board would reduce the cradle-to-gate including end-of-life carbon footprint of the packaging
by an astonishing 32%.” Tom Symons, Metsä Board Sales Manager
Art of packaging
Taste not waste – Baronie cuts its carbon footprint Belgium is synonymous with chocolate, and when one of the country’s top producers was seeking ways to further cut its carbon footprint, Metsä Board was on hand to help.
Charlie Bass, photos: Roope Permanto
S witching from a PE coated board to a dis- persion barrier board means the tray that holds the famous ice praline treats pro- duced by BIG – Belgian Ice Cream Group, part of the Baronie Group, now has a 32% lower cradle- to-grave carbon footprint. Baronie Group, Belgium’s biggest chocolate producer, has a long and distinguished history with roots stretching back to 1839. Today the company produces chocolate products under multiple brand names, with many being firm fa- vourites across its home market of Europe. Ba ronie’s dedication to quality and craftsmanship is matched only by its commitment to sustaina- bility. In addition to participating in several co- coa sustainability initiatives, Baronie is firmly focused on reducing packaging waste and im- proving recyclability. “In 2019, after we launched MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB, our lightweight dispersion-coated bar rier paperboard, we approached Baronie to dis- cuss how the product could help them because we were aware of their strong focus on improv- ing packaging sustainability,” says Tom Symons , Metsä Board Sales Manager for Benelux.
Baronie indicated that the product would be ide- al for its sister company BIG, a producer of ice cream specialities including ice pralines, which were already being packaged in MetsäBoard Clas- sic FBB, a fully coated folding boxboard with PE coating. The inner tray of the praline packaging requires a barrier board since it is in direct con- tact with the frozen product. In the past this has been solved by using a PE layer on the board but in order to reduce plastic, our recommendation was to use MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB. Lighter packaging, less plastic To demonstrate to Baronie the benefits of switch- ing to MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB, Metsä Board produced a cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assess- ment (LCA) - a lightweighting analysis covering the whole value chain from forest until end-of life – though excluding the converting process of the paperboard .“The numbers spoke for themselves,” Tom says. “The LCA showed that switching to the disper- sion barrier board would reduce the cradle-to- gate including end-of-life carbon footprint of the packaging by an astonishing 32%.”
Tom Symons Sales Manager at Metsä Board
Koen Verplancke Technical Development Director at Metsä Group
“Switching to a new material can bring challenges for packaging converters and brand owners, but Metsä Board’s technical services team was ready to provide support.” Koen Verplancke, Technical Development Director
ment Director Koen Verplancke picks up the story: “Fully automated packaging lines are extremely efficient but can be sensitive to change,” he says. “I visited the plant where the trays were be- ing produced and filled on several occasions to make sure everything went smoothly with the new material. The trays may look simple, but the design is quite complex especially from a die cutting perspective, with multiple folds and half cuts, so maintaining productivity is key. This project has allowed us to further strength- en our relationship with BIG and Baronie and act as a trusted advisor on a variety of differ- ent paperboard-related matters.” •
MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB reduced the weight of the tray by 0.2 grammes, which might not sound like a lot, but translates into 5% less pa- perboard per tray. In terms of carbon emis- sions, the LCA showed that replacing 100 tons of PE-coated paperboard with MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB enables an annual emission reduction equivalent to 15 cars driving for 20,000 km. Expert support to smooth the transition Switching to a new material can bring its own set of challenges for packaging con- verters and brand owners, but Metsä Board’s technical services team was ready and wait- ing to provide support. Technical Develop-
Art of packaging
MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB dispersion barrier board is suitable for food that requires resistance to grease or moisture. It is also 100% recyclable.
Replacing 100 tons of PE-coated paperboard with MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB enables an annual emission reduction equivalent to 15 cars driving for 20,000 km.
Moving towards 100% fossil free production Metsä Board is designing the world’s most modern, fully fossil free folding boxboard mill in Kaskinen. In addition, investments are underway at the Husum and Kemi mills, which will help Metsä Board offer even better service to its customers and move towards the Metsä Group-wide objective of being fully fossil free by the end of 2030.
Miina Poikolainen, photos: Metsä Group
KASKINEN Planning the most modern paperboard mill in the world
If everything goes according to plan, and the investment decision is made, Kaskinen will become home to a fully fossil free paperboard mill in 2026. “A paperboard mill project of this scope has not been seen in Finland in the last 50 years,” says Ari Kiviranta ,
be used as efficiently as possible to eliminate production side streams.
Environmental Impact Assessment began in January, and the environmental permit process is expected to last one year. In other words, the investment decision will be made in 2024 at the earliest. “This is a billion-euro investment, which absolutely requires an environmental permit. The permit conditions will be strict, as the goal is to keep emissions to a minimum.” Kiviranta points out that the environmental targets can- not be achieved with wastewater treatment alone but that water consumption must be minimised from the outset. “The mill’s water consumption will be dozens of percent- age points smaller than that of our current mills. The same is true of energy. While energy use cannot be avoided in paperboard drying, we will review the process carefully to reduce energy consumption as much as possible.”
Metsä Board’s SVP, Technology. The pre-engineering for the new mill began last year. “At the end of this year, we will have clear plans for the technology to be used at the mill as well as a cost estimate for the project. In our discussions with equipment suppliers, we have been presented with a great deal of modern tech- nology that is not used in our existing mills yet.” Thanks to the new equipment, there will be less pro- duction waste and fewer stoppages, which in turn will help reduce the mill’s environmental impacts. Raw materials will
Ari Kiviranta SVP Technology at Metsä Board
HUSUM Continued growth in the North American market
A new recovery boiler and turbine came online at the Husum pulp mill in Sweden at the end of last year, enabling the inte- grated mill’s electricity
smooth operation. The aim is to start up the renewed paperboard production line in the autumn of 2023 and reach full produc- tion capacity by the end of 2025. Follow- ing the renewals, the mill’s annual folding boxboard production capacity will increase from 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes. Growth is sought especially in the North American market. However, it is not always necessary to build something totally new to increase production capacity. “The possibility of expanding capacity was taken into account when the folding boxboard machine was constructed. This is a natural continuation that we prepared for a decade ago.”
self-sufficiency to be increased. “For the time being, we are using gas in coating drying, but we already have a technical solution for making the dryers electric,” says Kiviranta. The goal is to expand the production capacity of the Husum folding boxboard machine and carry out infrastructure improvements important for the mill’s
EUR 210 million investment for Husum FBB capacity expansion.
800,000 tonnes Kaskinen would increase folding boxboard production capacity.
87 % fossil-free
of the energy used at Metsä Board’s mills is now fossil-free.
KEMI Modernisation enables significant reductions in water and energy consumption
The Kemi mill is running a devel- opment programme to increase the annual production capacity of white kraftliner by approximately 40,000 tonnes while also improv- ing the mill’s water and energy efficiency. How is this possible?
“By modernising the mill’s water systems, we can reduce the use of fresh water by dozens of per cent. This is an important part of our journey towards our 2030 sustainability targets. We have also managed to recover waste heat more efficiently in the paperboard production line’s drying section, which enables us to reduce the use of primary energy.” Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct mill, which is expected to start up later this year, is also under construction in the mill area.
“We will acquire a modernised production line for unbleached pulp from Metsä Fibre. For example, we will address bottlenecks in post-processing to help us produce more paperboard than before,” says Kiviranta.
Where does sustainability and responsibility with regard to Metsä Board’s paperboards originate? We took a look at what it actually means to use forests and materials in a resource-wise manner.
Maria Latokartano, photos: Jussi Hellsten
H ow do I know that the procurement of the wood raw material I use is not causing deforestation? The foundation for forest use in Finland comes from the Finnish Forest Act, which dates back to the 1800s and states: let the forests not be destroyed . “Thanks to the regeneration obligation and good for- est management, forestry in Finland is not causing de- forestation,” says Metsä Group’s Sustainability Manager, Silja Pitkänen-Arte . Currently, about 2,500 million cubic metres of wood is growing in Finnish forests, which is an increase of over 50 per cent compared to the situation 50 years ago *. At least four seedlings are planted for every tree removed in final felling. On average, 150 million seedlings are plant- ed in Finland every year.
What does forest certification mean, and what does it guarantee?
Approximately 90 per cent of Finnish commercial forests are certified with either a PEFC™ or FSC® certificate, or both. Forest certification is a system verified through external audits that give the end-user a assurance that forests have been managed in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable manner. The degree of certified forests is high in Finland, especially given that only about 10 per cent of the world’s forests are already certified. “Most of the wood we use comes from certified forests. Uncertified wood also needs to meet certain minimum re- quirements, meaning it cannot be illegally felled or origi-
“The wood we use can be traced all the way from the mill to the stump.” Silja Pitkänen-Arte, Sustainability Manager, Metsä Group
“Northern wood is a valuable raw material, so it must be used wisely.” Anne Uusitalo, Product Safety and Sustainability Director, Metsä Board
With the permission of forest owners, Metsä Group has been making high biodiversity stumps in its thin- ning and felling operations since 2016. High biodiver- sity stumps are trees cut at a height of about 2–5 me- tres, and their idea is to produce decaying wood faster in the forest. High biodiversity stumps are now also required in the PEFC certification if the felling area does not otherwise have enough dead wood. With the permission of forest owners, Metsä Group will continue to make high biodiversity stumps, four for each hectare, to ensure that there is a wide range of decaying wood in the forest, benefiting various spe- cies such as wood decay organisms, insects and, lat- er, cavity nesters. According to the certification rules, only continu- ous-cover harvesting is allowed on buffer zones of wa- terbodies, and the ground surface must be kept un- disturbed. The buffer zones are used to safeguard the condition of waterbodies as well as biodiversity of the species in the area. What are a carbon sink and carbon storage, and how do they relate to forestry? When the forest binds more carbon dioxide than it releases into the atmosphere, it is considered a carbon sink. As trees photosynthesise, carbon dioxide is stored in the wood and in the ground as carbon, creating a carbon storage. As the forest grows older, its ability to bind carbon dioxide deteriorates, but old-growth forests are very important for carbon storage. However, as the trees die and decay, they gradually start releasing the car- bon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Old-growth forests can also be vulnerable to various kinds of nat- ural damage. To ensure the health and good growth of a forest, the forest should be managed through- out its rotation period. However, forests of all ages are needed to ensure biodiversity.
nate from a region where, for example, citizens’ rights are being violated. This “controlled wood” cannot originate from forests whose use threatens high con- servation values or causes deforestation. Further- more, the wood we use can be traced all the way from the mill to the stump,” says Pitkänen-Arte. In Finland, many of the global requirements of for- est certification, such as human rights and the prohi- bition of child labour, are already statutory require- ments.
What does biodiversity mean, and how is it considered in forestry?
Finnish forests are home to nearly 25,000 species. Different species require different features from their habitat. Even regeneration areas have a unique vari- ety of species, while other species are adapted to life among seedlings or in old-growth forests. “Natural biodiversity can be supported through na- ture management. In our commercial forest opera- tions, we do this by leaving retention trees and dead trees, as well as making high biodiversity stumps to ensure that species dependent on decaying wood have their habitats. Retention trees are trees that are not harvested during felling, but are instead left in the forest and eventually die naturally, supporting the continuity of decaying wood in the forest. Forest cer- tification also requires leaving decaying trees, reten- tion trees and thickets in felling areas, as well as buff- er zones along shores,” says Pitkänen-Arte. “Metsä Group only procures spruce, pine, birch and aspen with a diameter below 40 cm and thus does not procure more rare deciduous tree species in its wood sourcing. These rare deciduous species are beneficial to serve as retention trees. Additional- ly, trees such as nesting trees of birds of prey, nesting hole trees, sturdy juniper, large aspen, trees with fire wounds and old retention trees are all used as reten- tion trees,” she continues.
Read our Sustainability Report
What does resource wisdom mean, and how is it taken into account in forestry? Northern wood is a valuable raw material, so it must be used wisely. “We already know during felling how the wood will be used, so we can cut it optimally for its purpose,” says Pitkänen-Arte. Each part of the trunk is converted to its most val- uable possible end-use: logs are made into sawn tim- ber, used for wood products with a long life-cycle, while wood not suitable for timber with a smaller diameter, for example, is made into pulp, used for paperboard that can be used to replace fossil pack- aging materials, or in other bioproducts. The wood bark and some of the logging residue is used for the production of bioenergy.
What kinds of climate and water use targets does Metsä Board have?
Metsä Board’s target is to have fossil free mills that use as little process water as possible by the end of 2030 (target -35% by 2030 from 2018 level). Any- one can follow the progress on this target on the in- teractive roadmap available on the company’s sus- tainability website. “Our customers want to operate sustainably, so naturally they are also interested in knowing what we are doing to reduce our emissions. This is be- cause we as a material supplier are part of our cus- tomers’ value chain emissions. The value chain (Scope 3) emissions include emissions created in the production of raw materials such as our
“Our operations are based on renewable wood, so safeguarding natural biodiversity is important to us.” Katja Tuomola, Vice President, Sustainability Management, Metsä Group
Silja Pitkänen-Arte Sustainability Manager at Metsä Group
Anne Uusitalo Product Safety and Sustaina- bility Director at Metsä Board
Katja Tuomola Vice President, Sustainability Management at Metsä Group
paperboard as our customers’ packaging mate- rial as well as in the supply chain,” says Anne Uusitalo , Product Safety and Sustainability Director at Metsä Board.
Metsä Board’s experts work to find the best pos- sible paperboard solution for their customers’ needs. They can also calculate carbon footprint and life-cycle impacts for the various packaging options, which helps the customer to choose the most sustainable option. “The sustainability service became part of the Metsä Board 360 Service in the summer of 2022, and became quickly popular. Our customers ap- preciate the real environmental impact infor- mation, which helps them realise how big an ef- fect different packaging options can have,” says Uusitalo. • METSÄ GROUP HAS UPDATED ITS 2030 TARGETS Metsä Group’s forestry targets have a cen- tral focus on safeguarding the biodiversity of forest nature, as well as on mitigating and adapting to climate change. “Our operations are based on renewable wood, so safeguarding natural biodiversity is important to us. We need to safeguard habitats for endangered species and ensure that forests stay healthy and vibrant so that they can effectively bind carbon diox- ide,” says Katja Tuomola , Vice President, Sustainability Management at Metsä Group. Metsä Group will continue to make efforts to increase the diversity of tree species and the amount of decaying wood in forests, promote natural biodiversity through nature management, safeguard the growth conditions of forests through young stand management, increase forests’ car- bon sink growth through fertilisation, and minimise emissions into the atmosphere and water by recommending continuous cover forestry methods for peatlands. Metsä Group’s target is for over 90 per cent of the wood raw material it uses to originate from certified forests by the end of 2030.
How resource efficient raw material is fresh fibre?
Metsä Board’s folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners are made from pure fresh fibre. Thanks to the fresh fibres the paper- board is light but strong. “If you want the same stiffness for paperboard made from recycled fibre as of one made from fresh fibre, you need a significantly higher basis weight for the recycled paperboard. This makes the packaging heavier, and more material for the same packaging is needed. The increased weight also increases the emissions in the supply chain,” says Uusitalo. Paperboard has one of the highest degrees of collection and recycling among packaging mate- rials. In Europe, its recycling rate is 83 per cent, while the recycling rate for plastic packaging is less than half. Although recycling is a positive thing in itself, paperboard made from recycled fibre is not automatically more ecological than fresh fi- bre paperboard. “The environmental impact of paperboard is created by the amount of raw material used for the packaging and the energy used in the produc- tion of the paperboard. The more raw material we use and the more process energy is produced with fossil-based energy sources, the greater the envi- ronmental impact will be.” How does Metsä Board support its customers in choosing packaging solutions? Packaging is needed to protect the product from being wasted or damaged until it has been used by the consumer. Packaging comprises about one to five per cent of a product’s environmental load depending on the product or packaging in ques- tion, and good material choices can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of packaging.
Metsä Board is on its way towards its 2030 sustainability targets Completely fossil free mills and more efficient use of energy and water. Metsä Board’s ambitious goals can have a positive effect on its customers’ value chains, too.
Alisa Kettunen, photos: Seppo Samuli and Metsä Group
F ossil fuels are used to produce 80 per cent of the world’s energy, and reducing their use is necessary to mitigate climate change. Minimizing the use of non-renewable energy sources also aims to ensure that there will be enough of them in the future. The sustainability targets must be ambitious to push for achieving results. Metsä Board aims to further im- prove its energy self-sufficiency and achieve fossil free production by the end of 2030. Currently, 87% of the energy used at Metsä Board mills is fossil free. “We have continuously reduced the share of fossil-based fuels in our energy production to minimise fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions and completely eliminate them in the coming years,” says Matti Korhonen , Project Manager at Metsä Board. When calculating the environmental impacts of the en- tire production and supply chain, Metsä Board’s opera- tions have a direct impact on its customers’ carbon foot- prints, too: as Metsä Board reduces its carbon footprint, the companies that use its paperboards as raw materi- al can also reduce their raw material emissions and be- come more competitive. “Our customers carefully monitor their own carbon footprint calculations and require us to continuous- ly improve in matters such as the reduction of fos- sil-based emissions from our operations. Our clear
long-term plans assist our customers to achieve their emission targets when using our paperboards”, says Korhonen. Similarly, Metsä Board carefully monitors the emis- sions of its supply chain’ and logistics, which include the emissions from raw materials brought to its mills and those of the products they produce. “Our goal is to use only fully fossil free raw materials as well as packaging materials by end of 2030. Metsä Board participates annually in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), where the reported emissions are broken down into emissions from fuels in our own operations (Scope 1), emissions from purchased energy (Scope 2) and emissions from the value chain (Scope 3). The first two categories are already in quite good shape, and we are now focusing more on reducing the emissions from the value chain.” Energy efficiency also means cost-effectiveness In addition to phasing out fossil fuels, Metsä Board aims to improve its energy efficiency by 10 per cent and re- duce its use of process water per tonne of production by 35 per cent compared to 2018 by the end of 2030. Water use is also directly linked to energy efficiency, because heating and pumping the water in operations consume a lot of energy.
Renewal of the Husum pulp mill is an important step towards 100% fossil free production. The new recovery boiler and turbine will increase the bio- energy production and improve the integrate’s electricity self-suffiency.
Read more about energy-efficiency measures at Metsä Board’s mills
35 % reduction in process water use per product tonne by the end of the year 2030 compared to the 2018 level.
87 % of the energy used at Metsä Board mills is fossil free.
“Our goal is to use only fully fossil free raw materials as well as packaging materials by 2030.” Matti Korhonen, Project Manager at Metsä Board
“Energy efficiency is incredibly important for both sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Energy costs ac- counted for 18% of Metsä Board's total costs in 2022,” says Korhonen. The ambitious goals are achieved through detailed planning, which has been ongoing for a long time: Metsä Board has detailed roadmaps for the climate and water measures will be implemented in order to achieve the 2030 sustainability targets. The plans show the already completed and planned investments and the impact of these on emissions. The investments and improvements in energy effi- ciency will also help the company to achieve a high level of energy self-sufficiency. Metsä Board also uti- lises process by-products such as bark as fuel. “Thanks to the synergies with the Husum and Kemi production mills and our new stake in the Olkiluoto 3 power plant, our energy self-sufficiency is expected to further increase,” says Korhonen.
Eyes on alternative sources of energy An operational and productive mill is the starting point for good efficiency. It is very inefficient to have standstill at a production because certain basic op- erations must be kept running even during outages. “The mills’ utilisation rates have a direct effect on energy efficiency. When the operation is running well with quality consistency at a good level, less waste is produced which means that less energy is consumed in reprocessing the material,” says Korhonen. The energy crisis has accelerated measures to im- prove energy efficiency and to search for alternative sources of energy. “For example, the Kyro and Joutseno mills have in- vested in liquefied natural gas terminals. The same equipment can also be used for liquefied biogas in the future. We want to make sure that all our mills have access to energy even in the event of extreme energy shortages,” says Korhonen. •
Knowhow beyond paperboard
Metsä Board’s expertise will help you to minimize package’s carbon footprint, reduce plastic and improve production effiency – or whatever is needed to make your packaging more sustainable. At your service
Miina Poikolainen, photos: Metsä Group, Regina Baena Madwed/ Capitol Photo Interactive
Anne Uusitalo Product Safety & Sustainability Director at Metsä Board
Raúl Cisneros Packaging Services Specialist at Metsä Board
Kellcie Waters Technical Service Manager at Metsä Board
G ood circular economy solutions call for in- novation and cooper- ation. In its customer coopera- tion, Metsä Board makes use of its profound paperboard and packaging competence. This covers decades of co- operation with leading global technology suppliers, research institutes, brand own- ers, converters, printers, corrugated board producers, logistics and IT suppliers.
“We want to help our custom- ers and their customers succeed in the best possible way across the packaging value chain,” says Jari Vuori , Metsä Board’s VP, Sales
Services. “This means offering not only paper- board, but also our broad competence to help them maximise paperboard perfor- mance and the sustainability of packag- ing.” •
Tailor-made and sustainable packagings
With tougher legislation upon packaging and increasingly well-informed consumers, brand owners and converters have a tough crowd to please. Making wise material choices can positively influence the envi- ronmental impacts of packaging. This is why Metsä Board’s Sustainability Services are increasingly in demand among Metsä Board’s customers. “When having a general sustainability discussion with our customers, they start to see the different areas where things can be developed and improved together with us,” Anne Uusitalo , Product Safety & Sustainability Director, describes. “We can help our customers find alterna- tive packaging materials and designs, which enable lower environmental impacts and help to reduce their emissions. We can also calculate the overall emissions caused by our product, so our customers can use them in their own emission calculations,” Uusitalo says. The sustainability team can compare and calculate also other environmental impacts than just a carbon footprint. In both Europe and the Americas, for instance, the need to consider and evaluate wider human and ecosystem health impacts when making packaging material comparisons is growing, states Nathan Pajka , Sustainabil- ity Specialist.
Reducing plastic is a global trend, and when the sustainability team compares paperboard to plastic packaging, it becomes clear why. One example provided by Uusi- talo is an example of a cookie tray where Metsä Board compared the current cookie tray made of plastic (PET) to one made of paperboard. In the end, the overall emissions of the cookie tray made of paperboard were 79% lower than those of PET one. “We can be creative and flexible to effectively cater to our customers’ needs. Our tailored sustainability trainings and product-specific environmental impact comparisons are incredibly impactful in helping customers to meet their sustaina- bility goals,” Pajka explains.
Ilkka Harju Packaging Services Director at Metsä Board
Carla Da Rocha Moniz Business Process Expert at Metsä Board
Tarja Kemppi Supply Chain Development Director at Metsä Board
Less material, smaller footprint
Both plastic reduction and lightweighting, which is a term used for minimizing material usage, are the core of the Packaging Design team’s work. “Replacing plastics is a huge trend in the Americas right now. I believe it is partly due to heightened public awareness of climate change and the overall need to be more sustainable,” says Raúl Cisneros , Packaging Services Specialist. Besides reducing plastics, Packaging Design Team can help customers to cut their their material requirement by switching to a lighter weight paperboard or proposing a new structural packaging design. Fresh fibre as a raw material also gives Metsä Board’s paperboards many advantages, for example in food packaging. “Our fresh fiber paperboard does not have any unknown impurities, such as inks or chem- ical traces from the recycling process, and it is rated for direct food contact,” Cisneros explains.
Case in point, Metsä Board’s Packaging Ser- vices team helped a bakery company modernize the packaging for their pastries and cakes. The new design was developed with usability, ecol- ogy and layout in mind. The result was a pastry package that is easy to assemble, and that cuts CO 2 emissions by 34 per cent and reduces mate- rial requirements by 25 per cent. “We were able to bring down the environ- mental footprint of the package and provide a solution that takes time off the assembly of the package,” explains Ilkka Harju , Packaging Services Director. When asked about Metsä Board´s strengths in packaging design and the value it brings to customers, Cisneros says: “Without a doubt, it’s the people that make up global Packaging Services. Our customers are given access to our collective knowledge of packaging design that provides tremendous value for them.”
Technical Service Team assists you from start to finish
“Technical Service Team aids customers in product training and designing to ensure the correct fit for application,” says Kellcie Waters , Technical Service Man- ager. “We try to use a proactive approach and bring in the tech- nical team at the beginning of the process. It is critical that our team provides tailored trainings to the customers to help them understand the board properties and variety of grades to ensure the correct board is selected based on the end use of the application.” The team begins the process by utilizing Packaging Service team to recommend the correct board grade based on analysis
of the current supplier. Next, the R&D Team can continue the analysis to compare and simu- late external forces to the board grades to demonstrate benefits. The Technical Service Team can then be on site to assist in customer trials for a smooth execution. “With close co-operation and the 360 Services platform, we offer our customers a competitive advantage over the competition,” says Waters. “Troubleshooting is also a critical skill set that our team has, and it has been very beneficial for many customers,” Product Man- agement Director Leena Yliniemi points out.
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